After decades of hostility, Turkey, Armenia talk about normalizing ties | Clash News

Neighboring countries are at odds over various issues, chiefly the 1915 mass murder of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire.

Envoys from Turkey and Armenia will hold the first round of talks in Moscow on Friday aimed at normalizing relations, a move Armenia expects will lead to the establishment of diplomatic ties and the reopening of borders after decades of hostility.

Turkey and Armenia have had no diplomatic or commercial ties for 30 years, and the talks are the first attempt to restore ties since a 2009 peace deal. The deal was never ratified and relations remain tense.

Neighbors are divided over various issues, chiefly the 1915 mass murder of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire.

armenia says The killing of 1915 constitute genocide. Turkey acknowledges that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces during World War I, but disputes those numbers and denies the killings were systematically planned or constituted genocide.

During the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Ankara supports Azerbaijan And accused the Armenian army of occupying Azerbaijani territory. Turkey began calling for reconciliation after the conflict as it sought to exert greater influence in the region.

Russia’s TASS news agency quoted Armenia’s foreign ministry on Thursday as saying that Yerevan expects the latest talks to lead to establish diplomatic relations Border opening has been closed since 1993.

Due to border closures, Turkey and Armenia have no direct trade routes. Indirect trade has grown slightly since 2013, but is only $3.8 million in 2021, according to official Turkish data.

Thomas de Waal, senior fellow for Europe at Carnegie, said in November that the opening of borders and refurbished railways between Turkey and Armenia would bring economic benefits to Yerevan, as the routes could be used by Turkey, Russia, Armenia, Used by traders in Iran and Azerbaijan.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevrut Cavusoglu said last year that the two countries would also start charter flights between Istanbul and Yerevan based on the reconciliation, but Turkey would coordinate all steps with Azerbaijan.

Flights are scheduled to start in early February.

not easy to break through

The U.S. has a large Armenian diaspora and angered Turkey last year despite strong support for normalization Calling the 1915 massacre a genocide, analysts say, the negotiations will be complicated.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Armenia needs to establish good relations with Azerbaijan in order for normalization efforts to bear fruit.

Emre Peker, Eurasia Group’s London-based director, said both sides are expected to take a cautious approach due to past sensitivities, focusing on fast deliveries and adding to the role of Russia, which has contributed to Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire And being a major player in the region, that will be key.

“The talks could pave the way for more discussions in the coming months. But reaching a comprehensive, long-term deal will prove difficult due to the multi-faceted nature of the talks and domestic political constraints in both countries,” he said.

“The bigger challenge will come from the issue of historic reconciliation.”

He said the fate of the talks would depend on “Ankara acknowledging that it has to adjust its ambitions”.