ANKARA / YEREVAN — Following years of frozen relations, Turkey and Armenia are reportedly taking steps towards normalizing relations. Since 1993, no political dialogue has been held between the two countries, with borders remaining closed. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey will appoint its former Ambassador to Washington, D.C. Serdar Kılıç, as a special representative for normalizing ties with Armenia and arranging for charter flights between Ankara and Yerevan.
Kılıç is known for his rigid stance and refusal to recognize the 1915 Sayfo Genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian, Suraye, and Pontic-Greek peoples.
The Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in turn, announced the appointment of Deputy Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Ruben Rubinyan as its special representative to Turkey.
“Assigning Rubinyan comes within the framework of joint peace negotiations in the region,” said the ministry’s spokesman Vahan Hunanyan.
These steps were welcomed by the U.S. State Department, who confirmed its support for appointing special envoys to discuss normalization between the two countries.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed Moscow’s readiness to contribute to restoring relations.
In related news, the Azerbaijani authorities released ten Armenian soldiers who had been captured during the war in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region after the European Union pressure on Baku to release all Armenian prisoners of war.