Accessibility links

Breaking News

Armenia, Turkey Hold First Round Of Talks On Normalizing Ties, Agree To Hold More


Ruben Rubinian (left) and Serdar Kilic (combo photo)
Ruben Rubinian (left) and Serdar Kilic (combo photo)

Representatives of Armenia and Turkey have agreed to continue negotiations after a first round of talks in Moscow on January 14 aimed at normalizing relations after years of animosity.

Ruben Rubinian, the deputy speaker of the Armenian parliament, and Serdar Kilic, a former Turkish ambassador to the United States, agreed during their meeting in the Russian capital that Turkey and Armenia should work to regulate ties “through dialogue” and without preconditions, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said.

"The date and place of the second meeting will be determined via diplomatic channels," the ministry said.

Going into the talks, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said it expected the negotiations to result in the establishment of diplomatic relations with Turkey as well as the opening of the border between the two countries.

Last month, Armenia lifted a ban on the import of Turkish goods that had been a burden mostly to Armenians, and Turkey announced charter flights to Armenia would be allowed.

Relations between Armenia and Turkey have historically been complicated over the 1915 killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottomans.

But it was the war between Armenian separatists and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh during the Soviet Union's chaotic breakup in 1991 that soured any potential for relations between Ankara and Yerevan. Armenia's victory prompted Turkey to seal the border in 1993 in support of its Turkic allies in Baku.

Regional dynamics changed when Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a six-week conflict in 2020 over Nagorno-Karabakh that had been under ethnic Armenian control for nearly three decades.

NATO member Turkey threw its weight behind Azerbaijan in the war, which ended with a Russia-brokered cease-fire in November 2020 that allowed its Turkic ally to regain control over parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding territory, with Russian peacekeepers on the ground.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.