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Ruben Rubinyan sees no reason for Armenian-Turkish border to remain closed

Ruben Rubinyan, Deputy Speaker of the Armenian Parliament and Special Representative of Armenia for the normalization of relations with Turkey, stated that the

Normalization of Armenia-Turkey relations would positively impact the situation in the South Caucasus, as well as the process of improving relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Ruben Rubinyan, Deputy Speaker of the Armenian Parliament and Special Representative of Armenia for the normalization of relations with Turkey, said at panel discussion on “Peace, Development and Interdependence in the South Caucasus” held on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum.

“It is no secret that the relations between Armenia and Turkey have a huge historical context, and this does not make our work easier. However, Armenia is committed to working for the present and the future,” Rubinyan said.

“In July 2022, [Turkey’s Special Representative for normalization with Armenia] Serdar Kilic and I announced that in summer 2023 we would open the Armenia-Turkey land border to citizens of third countries, and then to diplomatic passport holders. Unfortunately, this has not happened yet. The entire infrastructure for this is ready on the Armenian side. And if Serdar agrees, we can announce that we are implementing this agreement,” he said.

Rubinyan added that he often notices a certain sensitivity in the matter on both sides, which sometimes gives an emotional character to the process  both positively and negatively.

Ruben Rubinyan recalled that during last year’s devastating earthquake in Turkey, for the first time in 30 years, the borders of the two countries were temporarily reopened, so that trucks with humanitarian aid from Armenia could cross the border and reach the earthquake zone; and this, according to him, was an inspiring moment.

“This is also a sad fact because we shouldn’t need tragedies to open borders; borders should not be opened for tragic reasons. We need open borders during times of happiness and prosperity. And I see no reason why the Armenian-Turkish border should remain closed,” Rubinyan said.

He expressed hope that the agreements reached with Turkey will be implemented very soon, noting that it will be the first step toward the comprehensive regulation of relations between the two countries and the full unblocking of the Armenian-Turkish border. 

“This will have a very positive effect on the situation in the South Caucasus, as well as on the normalization process of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Rubinyan concluded.

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