By Emil Danielyan
YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — President Serge Sargisian held what he called “very useful” talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Switzerland late Thursday that were aimed at speeding up the normalization of Turkish- Armenian relations.
“I’ve seen a willingness of the prime minister to solve our issues. I think this is a positive signal,” the Associated Press quoted Sargisian as telling reporters after the two met at theWorld Economic Forum in Davos.
A separate statement issued by the Armenian presidential press service on
Friday said Erdogan “positively assessed the results of their first-ever meeting and assigned the foreign ministers of the two countries to make additional efforts to normalize bilateral relations.”
They agreed that Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s historic September 2008
visit to Yerevan marked a “breakthrough” in the Turkish-Armenian contacts, the statement said.
The visit was followed by a series of meetings between the Armenian and Turkish foreign ministers that seem to have brought Yerevan and Ankara close to establishing diplomatic relations and opening their border. “I won’t be surprised if a resolution happens this year,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ali Babacan told CNN-Turk television on Wednesday.
According to the AP, Sargisian gave no details of the meeting that took place shortly before Erdogan stormed out of the Davos forum after publicly lambasting Israeli President Shimon Peres over the Gaza offensive.
“We can resolve [this issue] by taking certain steps,” Erdogan said ahead of the talks, according to the Anatolia news agency. “While resolving this, Turkey won’t be the party ‘giving unilaterally and losing.’ We will also be happy if there can be an agreement which will provide mutual advantages for both sides.”