Armenia, Turkey leaders discuss normalization of ties
The Armenian PM and Turkish President exchange congratulations on Muslim and Christian holidays during a rare phone call.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone on Wednesday in an effort to repair their strained relations.
The common border between Armenia and Turkey has been closed since the 1990s, and the two countries have never had formal diplomatic ties.
In further detail, Pashinyan's office said that the two leaders have exchanged congratulations on Muslim and Christian holidays and "discussed the process of normalization of bilateral relations."
In early June, Pashinyan traveled to Ankara to attend Erdogan's inauguration. He was among the first world leaders to congratulate the Turkish President on his re-election.
In December 2021, the two countries appointed special envoys to help normalize relations. The first commercial flights between Turkey and Armenia in two years were restored last year.
It is noteworthy that Ankara and Yerevan agreed to normalize their relations and open their common border in 2009 when they signed the accord. However, Armenia never ratified the deal and in 2018 ditched the process.
The relationship between the two countries, who have never established diplomatic ties, has been strained over historical and political disputes and has further deteriorated due to the Nagorno-Karabakh war after Turkey supported Azerbaijan's claim to sovereignty over the region.
However, the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria last February has led to some firsts in many years as countries around the world have been raising efforts to send aid and resources to help with the disaster relief efforts.
One of such event was observed on February 11 at one of the Turkish-Aremnian border crossings where, for the first time in 35 years, the crossing was opened to allow aid to pass into quake-struck Turkey.
At the time, Turkey's special representative for dialogue with Armenia said five trucks holding aid, such as food and water, in addition to a team that will participate in the search-and-rescue efforts, crossed into Turkey through the Alican border crossing.
On February 7, Erdogan thanked Pashinyan for Armenia's assistance after the devastating earthquake, emphasizing how much the Turkish government values Yerevan's assistance, according to sources in the Armenian government.