Turkey, Armenia to hold 2nd round of normalization talks Feb. 24

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Turkey and Armenia will hold a second round of talks to normalize ties after decades of animosity, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

Special envoys from the two countries will meet on Feb. 24 in Vienna, the ministry said in a statement.

Last month, Turkey and Armenia held what both hailed as “positive and constructive” talks in Moscow, the first in more than a decade, raising hopes that diplomatic relations can be established and their land border – shut since 1993 – reopened.

As part of the normalization process, Turkey and Armenia on Wednesday restarted commercial charter flights between Istanbul and Yerevan after two years.

The two countries have had no diplomatic or commercial ties since the 1990s. The talks last month were the first attempt to restore links since a 2009 peace accord that was never ratified.

Ankara has said it wants the normalization talks to be held either in Turkey or Armenia after the first round.

The neighbors are at odds over various issues, primarily the 1915 incidents and Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan in liberating the Nagorno-Karabakh region from Armenian occupation.

During the 44-day conflict, which ended in a truce on Nov. 10, 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages in Nagorno-Karabakh from almost three decades of occupation.

Turkey’s position on the events of 1915 is that Armenians lost their lives in eastern Anatolia after some sided with the invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. The subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties, with massacres by militaries and militia groups from both sides increasing the death toll.

Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as “genocide” but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.

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