Pashinyan-Erdogan first meeting: “Both stressed the importance of direct contacts”
There is not much information about the first meeting between the leaders of Armenia and Turkey. The official press service of the Armenian government says that Nikol Pashinyan and Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed not only steps to normalize Armenian-Turkish relations, but also regional processes.
All the details about the Pashinyan-Erdogan meeting known at the time of publication, how the process of normalizing Armenian-Turkish relations is going, as well as expert comment.
“The need for the speedy implementation of agreements”
After the meeting in Prague, the Office of the Prime Minister of Armenia reported that in the context of the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations
- both sides stressed the importance of direct contacts and high-level meetings,
- discussed the process of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations and possible further steps in this direction,
- exchanged views on regional processes.
Pashinyan and Erdogan also discussed agreements reached by the special representatives of the two countries during their last meeting. In July, they agreed to ensure the possibility of crossing the Armenian-Turkish land border for citizens of third countries, as well as to start direct air transportation of goods between Armenia and Turkey. However, these agreements have not yet been fulfilled. The government’s message says that Pashinyan and Erdogan “emphasized the need for their speedy implementation.”
First metting Pashinyan-Erdogan
Dialogue Yerevan-Ankara: what happened before the meeting of the heads of state
Special representatives of Armenia and Turkey Ruben Rubinyan and Serdar Kilych have already held four meetings. The fifth was planned in September, but did not take place. It was canceled in connection with the hostilities on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on September 13-14.
The only result of the Rubinyan- Kilych talks is the restoration of direct flights between the two countries. Experts also considered the agreements reached during their last meeting on July 1 to be a significant breakthrough. The special representatives agreed to open the land border for third-country nationals “as soon as possible” and to start air cargo transportation. However, no concrete steps in this direction have been reported so far.
Armenian Special Representative Ruben Rubinyan has repeatedly stated that the success of the settlement process depends on the political will of Turkey, and that “Armenia is ready to open the borders and establish diplomatic relations with Turkey even tomorrow.”
Even before the Prague talks, Armenian experts said that a Pashinyan-Erdogan meeting was important from the point of view of dialogue, but “no breakthroughs should be expected.”
According to Turcologist Georgy Mirzabekyan, Armenian-Turkish bilateral relations are of secondary importance for Turkey, while “other issues are more important” for the authorities of this country.
“Turkey will put on the negotiating table the famous “peace treaty” [with Azerbaijan] and the issue of the “corridor” passing through Armenia [the road that through the south of Armenia will connect Azerbaijan with Nakhchevan, but will not be controlled by Armenia],” the JAMnews expert said.
He believes that Turkey is only trying to give its Western partners the impression that it is in favor of a constructive dialogue with Armenia, and the meeting in Prague meets the same goal.
According to political scientist Suren Surenyants, the meeting between Pashinyan and Erdogan can “minimize the risks of a possible new war”:
“Armenia should strive to urgently sign agreements with Turkey and Azerbaijan – with minimal risks for itself. It is obvious that we are the losing side and we need peace more than anything. And institutional peace is possible only after the signing of agreements.” Surenyants believes that any solution to issues that suits Baku will also suit Ankara.