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Pashinyan Optimistic About Near-Future Opening of Armenia-Turkey Border for Third Countries

Pashinyan Optimistic About Near-Future Opening of Armenia-Turkey Border for Third Countries

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan expressed optimism regarding the potential opening of the Armenia-Turkey land border for citizens of third countries and diplomatic passport holders. During a committee hearing in the parliament on the 2024 state budget, Pashinyan emphasized the progress made in discussions and negotiations between special representatives of Armenia and Turkey.

"I’d like to express hope that soon we will have the implementation of the agreements reached as a result of the discussions and negotiations between the special representatives, which pertains to the following: At this phase, the Armenia-Turkey border gets opened for citizens of third countries and diplomatic passport holders," stated Prime Minister Pashinyan.

Pashinyan highlighted the substantial infrastructure work that has been completed, particularly at the Margara checkpoint. Efforts have been made to re-equip and restore the checkpoint, indicating Armenia's readiness for the potential developments related to the border opening.

"Besides the political agreement, significant infrastructure work has been done. In particular, we worked in the Margara checkpoint in the direction of re-equipping and restoring it and in this regard, we are already ready for such developments. We hope that these agreements get implemented," Pashinyan explained.

For some people, the prospect of opening the Armenia-Turkey border to citizens of third countries and diplomatic passport holders signifies a potential boost in regional connectivity and diplomatic relations. While awaiting the implementation of these agreements, Armenia remains prepared for the positive outcome, which could have far-reaching implications for trade, tourism, and diplomatic exchanges between the nations involved.

However, for many, this development is viewed through a lens tainted by historical grievances and recent events.

Turkey's persistent closure of its border with Armenia since the 1990s has been a longstanding point of contention. This closure has had significant economic repercussions, hindering trade and regional cooperation. Moreover, Turkey's denial of the Armenian Genocide, a tragedy that claimed the lives of over a million Armenians during the Ottoman Empire, continues to strain diplomatic relations between the two nations.

In recent years, Turkey's approach towards Armenia has been marked by Armenophobia, a deep-seated hostility or prejudice against Armenians. This sentiment has fueled concerns about the safety and security of Armenians, both within their own country and abroad.

Additionally, Turkey's active support for Azerbaijan during the 2020 Artsakh War, which led to the loss of thousands of Armenian lives, remains a fresh and painful memory for the Armenian people. Turkey's backing of Azerbaijan's efforts to ethnically cleanse Armenians from Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) , a region with deep historical and cultural significance for Armenians, has further exacerbated tensions.

As discussions regarding the potential border opening progress, these historical and recent events weigh heavily on the minds of many Armenians. The wounds of the past and the traumas of recent conflicts serve as a reminder of the challenges that lie ahead in fostering genuine reconciliation and lasting peace between Armenia and Turkey. The cautious hope for open borders is accompanied by a deep-seated desire for acknowledgment, understanding, and respectful dialogue to address the grievances of the past and build a more harmonious future for the people of both nations.


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