Cyprus Mail
AsiaWorld

Turkish, Armenian, Azeri leaders meet at summit despite rifts

turkey's erdogan chats with armenian and azerbaijani leaders at a eu summit in prague
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan chats with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Prague.

Turkish, Armenian and Azeri leaders met informally at a European summit on Thursday, Turkish media reported, marking the first top level talks between Turkey and Armenia since they launched a bid to mend ties late last year after decades of animosity.

State-owned Anadolu news agency said President Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azeri leader Ilham Aliyev ahead of the Prague summit, publishing a photo of them sitting with others at a small table.

In January, Turkey and Armenia held a first round of talks in more than 10 years, describing them as “positive and constructive” and raising the prospect of restoring ties and reopening borders.

Ankara has not had diplomatic or commercial ties with Armenia since the 1990s. The latest initiative is the first attempt to restore links since a 2009 peace accord that was never ratified.

Tensions flared during a 2020 war over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory. Turkey accused ethnic Armenian forces of occupying land belonging to Azerbaijan, but it subsequently called for a rapprochement as it seeks to broaden its regional influence.

Turkey and Armenia are at odds primarily over the 1.5 million people Armenia says were killed in 1915 by the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor to modern Turkey.

Armenia says this constitutes genocide. Turkey accepts that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces during World War One, but contests the figures and denies it was systematic or constitutes genocide.

Amid the normalisation efforts, a commercial flight from Yerevan landed in Istanbul in February in the first such direct flight in two years.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan at a diplomatic forum in southern Turkey in March and said they had a very “productive and constructive” meeting.

That was the first sit-down meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers since 2009. They spoke briefly on the sidelines of an OSCE meeting last November.

Erdogan has previously said Armenia needed to form good ties with Azerbaijan for the normalisation effort to yield results.

Related Posts

UK crime agency arrests ‘wealthy Russian’ over money laundering

Reuters News Service

Beijing, Shenzhen loosen more Covid curbs as China fine-tunes policy

Reuters News Service

Biden not planning to speak to Putin for now, G7 agrees oil price cap

Reuters News Service

Biden weighs reviving Trump-era immigration restrictions, officials say

Reuters News Service

France to release 5 bln euros of SDRs to vulnerable countries under G20 programme

Reuters News Service

US whistleblower Snowden gets a Russian passport

Reuters News Service