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Pashinyan and Erdogan Discuss Armenian-Turkish Relations and Regional Security

Pashinyan and Erdogan Discuss Armenian-Turkish Relations and Regional Security

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia had a phone conversation with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, focusing on the relationship between their two countries and regional security. The call took place on Tuesday, June 18 as reported by the Armenian government.


The Armenian government’s report did not provide specific details on the topics discussed during the call. However, it mentioned that both leaders emphasized their strong political will to fully normalize relations between Armenia and Turkey without any preconditions. They agreed on the importance of continued dialogue between their special envoys and reaffirmed their commitment to agreements made in 2022.


One significant agreement from 2022 involves opening the Turkish-Armenian border for individuals with Armenian or Turkish diplomatic passports and citizens of third countries. Despite this agreement, Ruben Rubinyan, the Armenian official who negotiated it with Turkish diplomat Serdar Kilic, stated recently that Turkey has not yet taken any steps to implement it.


President Erdogan and other Turkish officials have consistently linked further progress in normalization to the signing of a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Additionally, Turkey has demanded that Armenia open an extraterritorial corridor to Azerbaijan’s Nakhijevan exclave. Although Armenia rejects these demands, opposition parties in Armenia claim that Pashinyan might be willing to accept them. They also criticize him for potentially compromising on the issue of the 1915 Armenian genocide, which Turkey denies.


Pashinyan faced backlash for his statement on April 24, during the 109th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. In his statement, Pashinyan suggested that Armenians should “overcome the trauma” of the genocide, rather than pushing for wider international recognition. This marked a departure from previous calls for international acknowledgment of the genocide, which saw the extermination of around 1.5 million Armenians during World War I.


Earlier in April, Andranik Kocharyan, a senior pro-government lawmaker, proposed verifying the number of genocide victims and clarifying the circumstances of their deaths. This suggestion led to strong reactions from Armenian opposition leaders, civil society, diaspora, and genocide scholars. Kocharyan later claimed that he was expressing his personal opinion and not the official stance of the government.


The recent conversation between Pashinyan and Erdogan show the ongoing efforts to normalize relations between Armenia and Turkey. Despite existing challenges and controversies, both leaders have expressed a commitment to continue their dialogue and work towards resolving their differences.

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