Breakthrough in normalization talks: Turkey and Armenia to start direct air cargo trade “at the earliest possible date”
Turkish and Armenian Foreign Ministries issued nearly-identical statements following the conclusion of the meeting between Special Representatives Serdar Kılıç And Ruben Rubinyan. The statement from Ankara said that the representatives agreed to "enable the crossing of the land border between Türkiye and Armenia by third-country citizens visiting Türkiye and Armenia respectively at the earliest date possible and decided to initiate the necessary process to that end.”
According to the statement from the Armenian Foreign Ministry, the two countries agreed on commencing direct air cargo trade “at the earliest possible date”. Representatives Rubinyan and Kılıç also discussed other “concrete steps” in order to reach full normalization. The two sides reiterated the necessity to continue the normalization talks without preconditions.
The breakthrough came shortly after Rubinyan’s skeptical comments about the process. Speaking to journalists in the Armenian Parliament on June 30, Rubinyan, who also serves as the Deputy Speaker of the Armenian Parliament, was quoted as saying “Armenia has the political will, and the success of this process depends on whether Turkey has the political will. As you can see, up to this point there has not been much progress.”
The two countries never established diplomatic relations since Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The normalization talks got bogged down due to the First Nagorno-Karabakh War, with Turkey unilaterally withdrawing from talks in 1992. Later attempts also didn’t bear fruit due to Ankara's refusal to recognize the Armenian Genocide. The current talks were initiated after the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War which started in September 2020 and ended in November 2020. The first round was held in Moscow on January 14, 2022.