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Armenian Government Hopes Turkey Will Uphold Agreement on Opening Land Border

Ruben Rubinyan

Armenia is nearing the completion of infrastructural restoration in Margara, and in response, expresses hope that Turkey will honor the agreement on opening the land border for diplomatic passport holders and citizens of third countries. Ruben Rubinyan, Vice Speaker of Parliament and Armenia's Special Representative for Normalization with Turkey, made the statement on June 26.

According to Rubinyan, the agreement stipulated that at the start of the tourism season, the land border should be accessible to citizens from third countries and holders of diplomatic passports. The necessary work to restore the relevant infrastructures in Margara is progressing swiftly, and completion is expected soon.

"We hope that the Turkish side will also adhere to the agreement, and that the agreement will be implemented this summer," Rubinyan told reporters.

He assured that the process of opening the border has not stalled, maintaining ongoing communication with his Turkish counterpart, Serdar Kilic. However, no new meeting has been scheduled yet.

The fulfillment of this agreement holds significant importance, particularly in terms of fostering trust in the normalization process between the two countries. Rubinyan emphasized that implementing the agreement will bolster trust, while failure to do so would naturally lead to a decline in confidence.

As both nations look forward to the possibility of reestablishing the land border for tourism and diplomatic purposes, the successful implementation of this accord remains a pivotal step in fostering bilateral relations.

The relationship between Armenia and Turkey has been complex and marked by historical events, including the Armenian Genocide of 1915, during which an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were killed under the Ottoman Empire. Turkey continues to deny the Armenian Genocide, despite the widespread international recognition of the tragic event.

In the aftermath of Armenia's independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Turkey closed its border with Armenia in the early 1990s, primarily due to the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The closed border has had significant economic and political implications for both countries, hindering trade and diplomatic ties.

Despite the historical and geopolitical challenges, the current Armenian government has shown willingness to open its borders with Turkey, with the recent agreement on allowing access for tourism and diplomatic purposes representing a potential step towards rapprochement.


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