Turkish Foreign Ministry: “1915 events” are not on the agenda in normalization talks with Armenia

Turkish Foreign Ministry: “1915 events” are not on the agenda in normalization talks with Armenia
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A senior Foreign Ministry official requested the meetings to continue in Turkey or Armenia and said that Turkey from now on refuses to meet in a third country.

Turkey and Armenia have not yet reached a desired level of understanding after four rounds of talks, and they should step up their efforts to do so, said a senior official from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to a group of journalists, including Sputnik Turkiye

The official said that the sides met once in Vienna and three times in Moscow but from now on they should meet either in Turkey or Armenia “because that is the public opinion of the countries.”

“These are not enemy territory. They can easily come to Turkey and we can easily go [there]. From now on, we do not accept meetings in a third country,” he said. 

Apart from 4 head to head meetings, the two sides talked over 500 times on the phone. 

The official also revealed that the meetings did not cover “1915 events.”

“The parties agree that Armenian genocide allegations will poison the process. This is not an issue to resolve for the representatives. …But eventually we will talk about this,” he said. 

The official also stressed that the decisions taken in the latest meeting would take some time to be implemented. 

Last month, Turkey and Armenia decided to start direct air cargo trade “at the earliest possible date” and open their mutual border to third-country nationals.

Technical delegations are expected to meet for the details of the air cargo transportation in September, the official said. 

He also noted that opening the border gates to third country citizens may take a little longer due to various repairs to be made.

The official said that the positive steps taken in Turkey-Armenia normalization talks would reverberate in Armenia-Azerbaijan relations and vice-versa. 

“The phone call between our President and Pashinyan was extremely constructive. …And the meetings of our special representatives create a very positive atmosphere. We can say that they are on the same wavelength" he said.