Armenia sees opportunity for discussion on normalization of relations with Turkey: Pashinyan responds to Erdogan

Deepening or normalization of relations with neighboring countries is an important foreign policy direction of the government, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at the cabinet meeting today.

He said the provision is enshrined in the government’s Action Plan approved by the National Assembly.

The Prime Minister noted that the development of regional communications is high on the agenda in the discussions with Iran and Georgia. In this context he attached importance to the North-South project, which connects Armenia’s border with Iran to the border with Georgia.

“The establishment of rail communication with Russia and Iran is also very important to us. To solve the issue we are discussing the reopening of communications in the trilateral Armenia-Azerbaijan-Russia format. We are resolute to make efforts to achieve concrete results, aware that Azerbaijan, in turn, expects to get communication between its western regions and Nakhijevan,” Pashinyan said.

He reiterated Armenia’s willingness to resume the peace process with Azerbaijan within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship format.

PM Pashinyan attached importance to the agenda of delimitation and demarcation of the border with Azerbaijan and noted that the Armenian side continues to work to establish due conditions.

“We hope to complete the process of return of prisoners of war, captives and other detainees to Armenia as soon as possible,” he added.

Referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest statements, Nikol Pashinyan said “we see an opportunity to talk about normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, recommissioning of the rail and road communication.”

“We are ready for such conversation, which could get a broader framework against the background of the above. In a broader sense it is about making the region a crossroad between the East and the West, the North and the South,” the PM stated.

He hailed the Russian Federation’s willingness to support the process. “The EU, France and the United States are also interested in the process, while the interest of China and India in the development of communication projects is well known,” he said.

Pashinyan emphasized that “regional peace and stability is a long-term strategy, and we are responsible for solving the issue.”

“Peace, stability and cooperation are easy-to-announce and desirable goals, but their implementation requires well-thought, pragmatic efforts,” Nikol Pashinayn said, adding that “Armenia is ready to make the effort.”

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