President Serzh Sarkisian congratulated his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul on Turkey’s main national holiday celebrated over the weekend.
Sarkisian’s office gave no details of Sarkisian’s congratulatory letter to Gul sent on the occasion of Turkey’s Republic Day.
The holiday is dedicated to the formal establishment of the modern-day Turkish Republic on October 29, 1923.
Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal declared his country a republic less than three years after defeating a short-lived independent Armenian republic in a war. The latter suffered massive territorial losses and was incorporated into the Soviet Union as a result.
Gul likewise congratulated Sarkisian on Armenia’s Independence Day marked on September 21.
The two leaders exchanged courtesies despite the absence of diplomatic relations between their nations. Turkey makes the normalization of bilateral ties conditional on a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict acceptable to Azerbaijan.
Armenia rejects this precondition. Sarkisian has repeatedly threatened to annul Turkish-Armenian normalization agreements signed in 2009 if Ankara sticks to the Karabakh linkage.
Sarkisian spoke with Gul by telephone as recently as on October 24. The Armenian leader phoned him from Moscow to reiterate Yerevan’s readiness to send relief aid and rescuers to an area in southeastern Turkey that was hit by a powerful earthquake.
An Armenian transport plane delivered 40 tons of tents, sleeping bags, blankets and other aid to survivors of the quake on Friday.