Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced on Monday that the governments of the two neighboring states will soon appoint special envoys for that purpose. The Armenian Foreign Ministry confirmed that.
“We welcome and strongly support statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and [the Foreign Ministry] of Armenia on appointing Special Envoys to discuss the process of normalization,” tweeted Blinken.
The Bloomberg news agency on Monday quoted an unnamed senior Turkish official as saying that U.S. President Joe Biden urged his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to open Turkey’s border with Armenia during an October meeting in Rome. Ankara hopes that efforts to normalize Turkish-Armenian ties will help it to improve its strained relations with Washington, said the official.
The U.S. played a major role in a past Turkish-Armenian rapprochement. Ankara and Yerevan came close to normalizing bilateral relations in 2009 when their foreign ministers signed two relevant protocols in Zurich, Switzerland. Erdogan’s administration subsequently linked their ratification by the Turkish parliament to a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict acceptable to Azerbaijan.
Cavusoglu made clear on Monday that Ankara will continue to coordinate its Armenian policy with Baku.
Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan complained last month that the Turks are setting “new preconditions” for establishing diplomatic relations and opening the border with Armenia. Those include the opening of a land corridor connecting Azerbaijan to its Nakhichevan exclave, he said.
A spokesman for Mirzoyan said on Tuesday that Yerevan continues to stand for “normalizing relations with Turkey without preconditions.”