The foreign minister of Armenia, Ararat Mirzoyan, met with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum on Saturday (12 March)
This historic meeting is the first time the two countries’ foreign ministers have held a formal sit-down meeting since 2009, and marks a significant step in the process of normalisation of relations between the two countries. In the past few months, Turkey and Armenia have made strides to re-establish diplomatic relations and open their border. This has primarily been through the appointment and the subsequent meetings of the special representatives for the normalisation of relations. The envoys have now met twice, with both sessions being described as positive. But other steps have also been implemented, such as the lifting of an embargo on Turkish exports, and the re-establishment of flights between Istanbul and Yerevan. The rhetoric coming out of Ankara and Yerevan also points to a potential breakthrough, with senior government officials on both sides speaking out in favour of a full normalisation of relations.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, Mirzoyan thanked Çavuşoğlu for the invitation to the forum, stating that it was “quite a positive message, and I consider it necessary to respond to that message in the same positive way”.
He went on to say that both sides had reaffirmed their readiness to continue the process of normalisation of relations without preconditions, and added that he was glad “to see that all the peoples of the region, all the states, are trying to build peace and stability in our region”.
The Armenian foreign minister concluded by saying that there was a readiness on the part of Armenia to have a peaceful and stable region.
Çavuşoğlu stated that the talks had been “productive and constructive”, adding that the sides were making efforts towards stability and peace.