Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday met Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, marking the leaders’ first face-to-face meeting after agreeing to improve relations last year.
Erdoğan met with Pashinyan in Prague on the sidelines of a summit by the leaders of 44 countries to launch a “European Political Community,” Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.
Turkey and Armenia last year agreed to start talks in a bid to put an end to decades tensions reopen their joint border closed since 1993.
Since January, the country’s envoys have held four rounds of exploratory talks without preconditions aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations, but Turkey has frequently called on Armenia to open a trade corridor through territory it controls to Azerbaijan to allow the passage of Turkish and Azerbaijani goods.
Ties between the two countries have been suspended since early 1990’s due to Armenia’s conflict with Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, which the two countries last fought over in late 2020. The clashes lasted six weeks and Armenia handed back territories in Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan as part of a truce agreement signed in November 2020. Turkey sided with Azerbaijan in the conflict.
In their informal meeting on Thursday, Erdoğan and Pashinyan on Thursday were flanked by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, French President Emmanuel Macron, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Ceyhun Bayramov and Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.
No details have emerged of what the pair, who are scheduled to hold a formal meeting later today, discussed.