Ararat Mirzoyan (Aram Arkun photo)

Armenian Foreign Minister Mirzoyan to Visit Turkey

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ANKARA (Reuters) — Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan is to visit Turkey in March, his Turkish counterpart said on Thursday, January 27, as the neighbors work to mend ties after decades of animosity.

Earlier this month, Turkey and Armenia said a first round of talks in more than ten years between envoys on normalising ties was “positive and constructive”, raising the prospect that ties could be restored and borders reopened.

Speaking in Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu said Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had responded positively to Turkey’s invitation to the Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF), set for March 11-13, and that the normalization process was proceeding with confidence-building measures.

“The Armenian Foreign Minister and the Special Envoy Ruben Rubinyan were invited, and Pashinyan lastly said they could participate in ADF,” Çavusoglu said.

“We would welcome this, because Azerbaijan is coming too. So let Azerbaijan state its views and Armenia state its opinions too, and this can be part of the confidence-building measures,” he added.

This month’s talks were the first attempt to restore links since a 2009 peace accord. That deal was never ratified and relations have remained tense.

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In December, Ankara and Yerevan appointed special envoys to lead normalization talks. Cavusoglu said the envoys would decide when the next round of talks would be and where they would be held.

Ankara has said it wants the talks to be held in Turkey or Armenia, after the first round was held in Moscow.

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