Istanbul Patriarch Says Artsakh part of the Ankara-Yerevan Normalization Package
Special envoys for normalizing relations between Armenia and Turkey, Ruben Rubinyan and Serdar Kılıç held their third meeting in Vienna on Tuesday.
Following the meeting the two foreign ministries issued identical announcement expressing their countries’ commitment to the process.
“The Special Representatives reaffirmed the declared goal of achieving full normalization between their respective countries through this process. In this sense, they had sincere and productive exchange of concrete views and discussed possible steps that can be undertaken for tangible progress in this direction,” said the statement. “They reiterated their agreement to continue the process without preconditions.”
Since the last meeting in Vienna in February, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan traveled to Turkey and attended a diplomatic conference in Antalya.
Following the first meeting in Moscow in January, the sides committed to advancing relation “without preconditions.”
Official Yerevan has signaled that it wants to open the borders with Turkey and establish diplomatic relations.
While Ankara has echoed similar sentiments, its leaders have stepped up their calls urging Armenia to recognize Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity—including Artsakh. On April 23, Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu flashed the hand gesture used by the ultra-nationalist Grey Wolves to a group of Armenian protesters in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he was on an official visit.
In an interview with RFE/RL’s Armenian Service, the Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul Archbishop Sahag Mashalian said that Turkey wants a resolution from Armenia, suggesting that such a package also includes the settlement of the Artsakh conflict.
He said that although the Turkey-Armenia talks are proceeding between representatives from the two countries, however, in reality there are four countries, including Azerbaijan and Turkey.
“This is not just about Armenia-Turkey relation,” Mashalian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.