Turkey and Armenia will open their borders to third-country nationals visiting their respective countries. They have also agreed to allow direct air cargo on both sides. The two countries’ relations have been strained for decades, with the land border between them closed since 1993 due to border conflicts between Turkic Azerbaijanis and Armenians.
Since December 2021, they have been discussing normalizing and restoring their diplomatic relations. After several rounds of negotiations, they reached various settlements on both sides. The statement came following the fourth meeting in Vienna of Turkish and Armenian special representatives to normalize relations between the two countries. The relaxation of tensions between them can pave the way for broader security and stability in the region.
The Turkish and Armenian officials also “discussed other possible concrete steps that can be taken toward the ultimate goal of full normalization” between their respective countries, according to the statement by the Turkish foreign ministry.
On the side-lines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, the foreign ministers of Turkey and Armenia held a historic bilateral meeting on March 12. Turkey and Armenia, as part of the efforts, resumed commercial flights on February 2 after a two-year interval.
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The two countries’ relations have been contentious over the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and Turkey’s support of Azerbaijan. When tensions spoiled between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020, Turkey accused Yerevan of occupying Azeri territories. There have been past attempts to establish ties between them but either the deal was never ratified or Azerbaijan had been preventing Turkish attempts to open the border with Armenia, claiming that Yerevan must first withdraw from occupied territory.