Armenia and Turkey agree to partially open border closed for decades | News | DW

The Turkish and Armenian governments have agreed to allow nationals of other countries – but not yet their own – to cross the border between the two nations, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

Their common border has been closed since 1993, when Armenia and Azerbaijan clashed after the fall of the Soviet Union. The Turkish and Azerbaijani majorities share a Turkish ethnic identity.

The plan to allow third-country nationals to cross the border “as soon as possible” is seen as the next step towards an eventual “full normalization” of the two neighbours, the countries said.

Path to Restoring Relationships

Friday’s announcement also included the news that the two states would allow direct air cargo trade between them as soon as possible.

The move follows the restoration of diplomatic relations between Ankara and Yerevan in December last year, followed by talks between the two countries’ special envoys in January that aimed to fully restore the “unprecedented” relationship.

Their foreign ministers met in March for the first time in years. A fourth round of talks was held Friday in Vienna.

complicated story

Turkey and Armenia share a common history charged largely due to the genocide of Turkey’s former Armenian minority in 1915.

Armenia has also historically fallen further into Russia’s sphere of influence in the Caucasus, with Azerbaijan maintaining closer ties with Turkey.

A short war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020 over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh left hundreds dead.

Turkey’s attempt to rebuild its relations with Armenia, however, was made in coordination with Azerbaijan.

ab/sms (dpa, Reuters)

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