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Next Turkish-Armenian Talks Set For February 24


Armenia - Armenia's deputy parliament speaker Ruben Rubinian (left) and Turkish diplomat Serdar Kilic.

Turkish and Armenian envoys will meet in Vienna on February 24 for the second round of negotiations on normalizing relations between their countries.

The two sides announced the date and venue of the meeting in identical statements issued late on Thursday. They said nothing about its agenda.

The Turkish daily Sabah reported last month that Ankara would like the talks to be held in Turkey or Armenia.

The first meeting between Serdar Kilic, a veteran Turkish diplomat, and Ruben Rubinian, a deputy speaker of the Armenian parliament, took place in Moscow on January 14. The foreign ministries of the two neighboring nations described the talks as “positive and constructive.” They said the special envoys agreed to continue the dialogue “without preconditions.”

Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan on Wednesday voiced cautious optimism over the success of the process welcomed by Russia, the United States and the European Union.

Earlier, the Turkish government invited Mirzoyan and Rubinian to an international conference that will be held in Turkey in March. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian signaled last week that Yerevan will likely accept the invitation.

Ankara has for decades linked the establishment of diplomatic relations with Yerevan and the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border to a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict acceptable to Azerbaijan. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has repeatedly made clear that his government will coordinate the Turkish-Armenian normalization talks with Baku.

“We will naturally continue to advance the course and all stages of these meetings through a dialogue with our Azerbaijani brothers,” Cavusoglu’s deputy, Yavuz Selim Kiran, said on Thursday.

Speaking at an event in Ankara marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Turkish-Azerbaijani diplomatic relations, Kiran noted the resumption this week of charter flights between Istanbul and Yerevan.

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