Are Türkiye and Armenia ending their animosity? – Center East Monitor

On 14 January 2022, Russia hosted a gathering of Particular Representatives for the Normalisation Course of between Türkiye and Armenia, Ambassador Serdar Kılıç and Deputy Speaker of the Armenian Parliament, Ruben Rubinyan. Kılıç and Rubinyan mentioned the opportunity of ending the decades-long animosity between Türkiye and Armenia.

In accordance with a press release posted on the web site of the Turkish International Ministry, “the Particular Representatives exchanged their preliminary views concerning the normalisation course of by means of dialogue between Türkiye and Armenia.”

The press launch additionally said that the “events agreed to proceed negotiations with out preconditions aiming at full normalisation,” however they didn’t resolve the date and venue of their second assembly, noting that it “can be determined in due time by means of diplomatic channels.”

Al Jazeera English information web site reported the Armenian International Ministry giving related constructive remarks in regards to the mutual assembly hosted by Moscow. However will the neighbour international locations, which had no diplomatic or industrial ties because the Nineteen Nineties resulting from numerous points, together with the alleged Turkish genocide in opposition to the Armenians in 1915 and the Armenian occupation of Azeri province of Nagorno-Karabakh, have the ability to finish their hostilities?

READ: Armenia lifts embargo on goods from Turkey, advancing thaw in relations

Since earlier than the Armenian-Azeri battle over Nagorno-Karabakh which occurred in 2020, there have been indications that confirmed a glimpse of hope that the 2 neighbours had been going in direction of ending their hostilities. In 2009, Armenia and Turkey signed a landmark peace accord to revive ties and open their borders, which have been closed since 1993, however the deal was by no means ratified and ties have remained tense.

After the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh battle, Turkey and Armenia appointed their special envoys in December 2021, and Turkish International Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, mentioned the 2 international locations would start constitution flights between Istanbul and Yerevan as nicely. In accordance with Al Jazeera, the flights are set to start in early February.

“With borders closed,” in line with official Turkish knowledge reported by Al Jazeera, “Turkey and Armenia don’t have any direct commerce routes. Oblique commerce has risen marginally since 2013, however was simply $3.8m in 2021.”

The truth is, financial subject is central for the Armenian aspect. “Armenia’s isolation has excluded it from the most important vitality and transportation initiatives within the South Caucasus, together with the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline carrying Caspian Sea oil to the Mediterranean, the South Caucasus Gasoline Pipeline bearing gasoline headed for Europe and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars rail community,” the International Crisis Group mentioned.

Along with being out of such main financial initiatives, the closure of Armenia’s borders with Turkey has compelled it to make use of lengthier and costlier mountainous commerce routes through Georgia and Iran. In order that, the Worldwide Disaster Group mentioned: “An open border with Turkey would supply a direct path for Armenia to commerce by means of Turkish Black Sea ports, relieving the necessity to depend on extra circuitous routes.”

READ: ‘France has no right’: Turkey assails Macron’s call for Libya withdrawal

Turkish journalist, Ismail Yasha, instructed me that each Türkiye and Armenia would get strong good thing about the normalisation of ties and ending hostilities. The Worldwide Disaster Croup mentioned that “an open border would allow Turkish items, akin to building supplies, to compete with typically dearer Russian imports in Armenia, whereas additionally permitting for the sale of Armenian produce and agricultural items in Türkiye. Opening up commerce would seemingly even be a boon to enterprise in japanese Turkey.”

If solely the financial and commerce aspect of the matter was thought of, I believe the normalisation course of will attain a full settlement between the 2 neighbours, and all of the variations between them are anticipated to be ignored, no less than briefly, if not resolved.

Russia’s TASS information company cited Armenia’s International Ministry as saying that Yerevan anticipated the newest talks to result in the institution of diplomatic relations and the opening of frontiers closed since 1993. “The 2 international locations will attain full normalisation for financial causes and borders and gates can be reopened,” Yasha instructed me.

There are two main points which may pose obstacles forward of the normalisation, Yasha mentioned. “Armenia will proceed claiming that Türkiye carried out genocide, and Türkiye will preserve a detailed eye on this at this stage,” he instructed me. “The opposite subject,” he mentioned, “is the Armenian occupation of Azeri lands. In order that, Türkiye is not going to go forward alone, however together with Azerbaijan.”

Eurasianet reported yesterday, 19 January 2022, that “Armenia has established a working group to arrange plans for restoring a Soviet-era railroad connecting the nation to Azerbaijan, probably the most concrete step Yerevan has but taken in restoring transportation ties with the nation to which it misplaced a battle in 2020.”

READ: Turkish president presents Azerbaijani counterpart with Anadolu Agency book on Karabakh victory

The information web site additionally revealed that “Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, met with Azerbaijan President, Ilham Aliyev, twice – in Sochi in November, then in Brussels in December – to work out the main points of rebuilding the road connecting the 2 capitals, Yerevan and Baku, through Azerbaijan’s exclave of Nakhchivan.”

Following the assembly held in Brussels between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents on 14 December 2021, the EU President Charles Michel mentioned: “It was agreed to proceed with the restoration of railway strains, with acceptable preparations for border and customs controls, based mostly on the precept of reciprocity.”

The Turkish International Minister mentioned, final yr, that Turkey would coordinate all normalisation steps with Azerbaijan. Reuters has reported Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as saying that Armenia wanted to kind good ties with Azerbaijan for the normalisation effort to yield outcomes.

Whereas some displays say that any precise breakthrough wouldn’t be straightforward due to the Armenian occupation of Azeri territories, however Yasha mentioned: “Whereas Azerbaijan is able to normalise ties with Armenia, Türkiye doesn’t have any motive to delay the normalisation with its neighbour for the curiosity of each international locations.”

The views expressed on this article belong to the creator and don’t essentially replicate the editorial coverage of Center East Monitor.

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