Armenia and Turkey have agreed to open their shared land border for citizens of third countries and individuals with diplomatic passports in time for this year’s tourist season, Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan told lawmakers on Friday.
The decision to open the land border was made in July when the special envoys of Armenia and Turkey, Ruben Rubinyan and Serdar Kilic met to discuss the normalization of relations between the two countries.
Then in February, Mirzoyan met with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, where the two pledged to accelerate the process and announced that the Ani footbridge would also be renovated.
Mirzoyan told members of the parliament foreign affairs committee on Friday that the government was working to ensure that the plan proceeds.
Mirzoyan reminded the lawmakers that on February 15 he was in Turkey to offer his condolences following the February 6 earthquake, which ravaged southeastern Turkey and northern Syria.
“The Margara land checkpoint [in Armenia] on the Armenian-Turkish border was put into operation for the first time in 30 years in February of this year. At that time, Armenia sent humanitarian aid and rescuers to the regions affected by the earthquake in Turkey,” said Mirzoyan.
“We reaffirmed with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey the readiness to open the Armenian-Turkish border for citizens of third countries and persons with diplomatic passports before the start of this year’s tourist season,” Mirzoyan told lawmakers on Friday.