Armenian and EU officials inspect a newly built checkpoint on the Armenian-Turkish border, May 23, 2024

Turkey ‘Not Implementing’ Border Deal with Armenia

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YEREVAN (azatutyun.am) — Turkey has still not taken any steps to implement an agreement to open its border with Armenia for holders of Armenian or Turkish diplomatic passport and citizens of third countries, a senior official in Yerevan said on Tuesday, June 11.

The official, deputy parliament speaker Ruben Rubinyan, and a senior Turkish diplomat, Serdar Kilic, reached the agreement in July 2022 after several rounds of negotiations.

In preparation for the partial opening of the Turkish-Armenian border, the Armenian government contracted last year a private company to build a new border checkpoint in Margara, a village 40 kilometers southwest of Yerevan.

“The checkpoint is ready to operate but we have not seen any steps towards the implementation of this agreement from the Turkish side,” Rubinyan told reporters.

Another deal negotiated by him and Kilic in 2022 envisaged air freight traffic between the two neighboring nations. There have been no signs of its implementation either, even though the Turkish government formally allowed cargo shipments by air to and from Armenia in January 2023. Ankara maintains a complete ban on imports of Armenian goods.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other leaders have repeatedly made clear that further progress in the normalization process is contingent on the signing of an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace accord sought by Azerbaijan. Speaking at a November 2023 summit of the leaders of Turkic states in Kazakhstan, Erdogan also demanded that Armenia open an extraterritorial corridor to Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave. Yerevan continues to reject these demands.

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Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and his Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan discussed the stalled process on March 1 when they met on the sidelines of an annual conference on international security in in Turkish city of Antalya. Kilic and Rubinian also attended the conference.

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