| 1 October 2022, Saturday |

Turkey, Armenia plan 2d round of talks on Feb. 24 in Vienna

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that special envoys from Turkey and Armenia would undertake a second round of discussions in Vienna on Feb. 24 to improve relations after decades of hostility.

Turkey and Armenia conducted “pleasant and fruitful” discussions in Moscow last month, the first in more than a decade, increasing expectations for diplomatic relations and the reopening of their land border, which has been closed since 1993.

Since the 1990s, Turkey has had no diplomatic or trade connections with its little eastern neighbor. The Moscow discussions were the first attempt to reestablish ties since a 2009 peace treaty that was never signed.

Ankara has said it wants the normalization talks to be held either in Turkey or Armenia after the first round. However, its foreign ministry said on Thursday the next meeting would be in Vienna, without elaborating.

The two countries are at odds over several issues, primarily the 1.5 million people Armenia says were killed in a genocide by Ottoman Turkish forces in 1915.

Turkey accepts that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces during World War One, but contests the figures and denies the killings were systematic or constituted genocide.

Turkey also backed its ally Azerbaijan against ethnic Armenian forces in a 2020 conflict which saw Baku regain swathes of land in the Nagorno-Karabakh territory. But Ankara has since called for a rapprochement between Baku and Yerevan.

As part of the normalization process, Turkey and Armenia on Wednesday restarted commercial charter flights between Istanbul and Yerevan after two years.

  • Reuters