Sarkisian, Biden Discuss Turkey-Armenia Ties

YEREVAN (Yerkir Media)–Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian had a phone conversation with US Vice President Joe Biden on Monday in which the two discussed the current negotiations to establish diplomatic relations between Yerevan and Ankara.

The conversation comes after speculations of an imminent deal between Armenia and Turkey failed to materialize on Thursday when Sarkisian met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan as he visited Yerevan for a meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization (BSEC).

Recent reports in Turkish and Western media said that the two governments could use the BSEC meeting to announce agreement on a gradual normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations. But no deal was announced.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated over the weekend that Turkey will not normalize relations with Armenia before the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Turkish government appeared ready to drop that linkage when it embarked on an unprecedented dialogue with Yerevan last year to establish diplomatic relations and reopen its border with Armenia, which it closed in 1993 out of solidarity with Azerbaijan. Over the last two weeks, however, Erdogan and Turkish President Gul have repeatedly stated this precondition ostensibly responding to warnings by Azerbaijan that an unconditional deal with Yerevan would constitute a betrayal of its closest Turkic ally.

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