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Turkey, Armenia agree to appoint special envoys to normalise relations

Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Vahan Hunanyan [@v_hunanyan/Twitter]
Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Vahan Hunanyan [@v_hunanyan/Twitter]

Turkey and Armenia have agreed to appoint special envoys in a bid to normalise relations with each other, following decades of tension and rivalry.

Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Vahan Hunanyan, yesterday announced that the country is ready to join the process of normalising relations with Turkey "without preconditions," confirming that a special representative will be appointed for that effort.

It came a day after Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, first announced the initiative, telling Turkish lawmakers that "we will respectively nominate with Armenia special representatives for normalisation." He also added that Turkey "will also start Yerevan-Istanbul charter flights in the coming period."

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Relations between Ankara and Yerevan have long been fraught, not only historically with regards to atrocities that took place over a century ago during the First World War, but especially since the 1990s, when Armenia took over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh which was internationally recognised as Azerbaijan's territory.

In October last year, after almost two months of fighting, however, Azerbaijan defeated Armenian forces and recaptured the region with support and assistance from Turkey.

Back in 2009, Turkey and Armenia also signed an accord to normalise relations which would have opened their shared border, but the deal was never ratified.

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