Armenia and Turkey have agreed in normalisation talks to open their common border for third-country nationals and to begin direct cargo flights, according to the Turkish foreign ministry and Interfax news agency citing the Armenian foreign ministry.
Relations between the two countries have been strained for decades and the land border between the two neighbours has been closed since 1993, in the wake of clashes between Armenia and ethnically Turkic Azerbaijan.
Envoys for Ankara and Yerevan “agreed to enable the crossing of the land border between Türkiye and Armenia by third country citizens visiting Türkiye and Armenia respectively at the earliest date possible,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement – also on Friday.
“They also agreed on commencing direct air cargo trade between Türkiye and Armenia at the earliest possible date and decided to initiate the necessary process to that effect,” the statement said.
The Turkish and Armenian officials also “discussed other possible concrete steps that can be undertaken towards achieving the ultimate goal of full normalisation between their respective countries,” it added.
“Finally they reemphasised their agreement to continue the normalisation process without preconditions,” the statement said.
The statement was issued after Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kilic and Armenian National Assembly Deputy Speaker Ruben Rubinyan, both special representatives for the normalisation agreement, held their fourth meeting in Vienna, Austria, on Friday.
Turkey and Armenia restored diplomatic contacts in December 2021 after they were suspended for years.
In January 2022, special envoys from Ankara and Yerevan began talks to fully restore ties “without preconditions”.
Turkish and Armenian envoys met for the second time in Vienna on February 24, and the third meeting was held on May 3 in the Austrian capital.
Also, an historic bilateral meeting took place between the foreign ministers of Turkey and Armenia on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum on March 12.
As part of the efforts, Turkey and Armenia have also resumed commercial flights as of February 2 after a two-year hiatus.