Erdogan was the first to speak about the possibility of such a meeting at the end of his visit to New York last week. He did not clarify whether it was proposed by Ankara or Yerevan.
“Such a meeting could indeed take place,” said Ruben Rubinian, a deputy parliament speaker representing Armenia in normalization talks with Turkey. “The Armenia-Turkey normalization process would be on its agenda.”
Pashinian has yet to officially confirm his participation in the Prague summit scheduled for October 6-7. He has never met with Erdogan.
Erdogan said in September 2021 that Pashinian offered to hold face-to-face talks with him. He appeared to make the talks conditional on Armenia meeting Azerbaijan’s key demands.
The two leaders spoke by phone in July this year after four rounds of normalization talks held by Rubinian and Turkish diplomat Serdar Kilic. They called for a quick implementation of agreements to open the Turkish-Armenian border to citizens of third countries and to allow mutual cargo shipments by air.
Rubinian revealed that Turkish and Armenian officials were scheduled to meet at the closed border between their states on September 14 to discuss practical modalities of the agreed arrangements. The Turkish side cancelled the meeting because of large-scale fighting that erupted on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border late on September 12, he told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.
Turkey has blamed Armenia for the two-day hostilities that left at least 280 soldiers from both sides dead. Its National Security Council reaffirmed this stance in a statement issued late on Wednesday after a meeting chaired by Erdogan. The statement voiced full support for Azerbaijan and accused Yerevan of not fully complying with agreements with Baku.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu made clear in August that the Turkish-Armenian normalization talks launched early this year cannot be delinked from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Echoing Baku’s demands, Cavusoglu said Yerevan must recognize Azerbaijani sovereignty over Karabakh and open a land corridor to Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave
Pashinian and his political allies say they want an unconditional opening of the Turkish-Armenian border and establishment of diplomatic relations between the two neighboring states. Their political opponents claim that Pashinian is ready to make sweeping concessions to both Ankara and Baku.