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Turkey, Armenia Vow to Continue Normalizing Relations

Turkey and Armenia have pledged to pursue the normalization of ties in what the Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu described as a “productive and constructive” meeting on Saturday.

After talks with his Armenian counterpart, Ararat Mirzoyan, Cavusoglu said that Azerbaijan also “supports the process” of normalization.

Armenia and Turkey have no diplomatic relations, a closed land border and a deep-seated hostility rooted in the mass killing of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

But in December, the two countries appointed special envoys to normalize relations, spurred by support from regional powerbroker Russia and Armenia’s arch-foe Azerbaijan.

The push came a year after Azerbaijan used the help of Turkish combat drones to recapture most of the territory it lost to ethnic Armenians in a 1990s war in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

A Russian-brokered truce that ended the second conflict removed Turkey’s main objection to talking to Armenia — namely, Yerevan’s support for the local Nagorno-Karabakh government’s claim of independence from Azerbaijan.

The first commercial flights for two years resumed in early February between Turkey and Armenia, but the land border between the two countries has remained closed since 1993, forcing trucks to transit through Georgia or Iran.

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