Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has commented on the “normalization” process with Turkey, signaling that a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is possible.
He said that although there is not yet an agreement on a planned meeting with Erdoğan, it might take place if special representatives from both sides conduct a successful negotiation process.
“There is no such idea or agreement [for a meeting with Erdoğan]. But if a negotiation process runs successfully with the participation of [Ruben] Rubinyan and the process matures up this point, it should be followed by a highest-level meeting,” Pashinyan was quoted as saying by Sputnik during an online meeting on Dec. 24.
He added that the date of the meeting of the special representatives has not been yet determined. On Dec. 18, Armenia appointed Rubinyan as its special representative for dialogue with Turkey.
On Dec. 14, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt announced that Turkey and Armenia will appoint special envoys soon to discuss steps to normalize relations. Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey would also move in coordination with Azerbaijan on the normalization steps with Armenia. The minister also announced that in the coming period, Turkey will start charter flights between Yerevan and Istanbul.
Pashinyan and Erdoğan have been recently exchanging public messages expressing interest in normalizing relations between the two countries.
Experts say that the leaders' remarks point to the possibility of restoring relations being closer than ever. Questions yet remain about a potential spoiler role that Russia may play.
In 2009, the top diplomats of Turkey and Armenia struck deals in Zurich for the establishment of diplomatic relations, but these documents have not been ratified by either of the sides. On March 1, 2018, Armenia announced the cancellation of these protocols.