YEREVAN, 15 MARCH, ARMENPRESS. Within the framework of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, Foreign Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan gave an interview to “Anadolu” agency. “Armenpress” presents the text of the interview provided by the MFA Armenia.
Question: What would you like to express about your participation at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum?
Answer: I want to walk you through the highlights of the developments between Armenia and Turkey during the previous months. The leaders of the two countries – Prime Minister Pashinyan and President Ergodan exchanged public statements, expressing readiness to launch talks between the two countries. Later the two countries appointed Special Representatives for the dialogue between Armenia and Turkey.
They have already had 2 meetings respectively in Moscow and Vienna agreeing to continue negotiations without preconditions aimed at full normalization of the relations.
I paid a visit to Antalya to participate in the Antalya Diplomatic Forum to reiterate once again the political will of the Government of the Republic of Armenia to achieve full normalization of relations with Turkey and open the era of peaceful and sustainable development in the region.
Question: How would you evaluate the ongoing normalization process between Turkey and Armenia?
Answer: Overall, we consider it positive. Armenia is ready to establish diplomatic relations and to the opening of the borders with Turkey. I was glad to hear from my Turkish counterpart that there is a political will on their side to lead the process to that end as well. Amid the rapidly developing situation in the world, I do believe we should not hesitate to undertake concrete steps.
Question: What are the benefits of the normalization process for Armenian and Turkish people?
Answer: People are already benefiting from direct flights between Yerevan and Istanbul. Opening of the borders will have its positive impact on the connectivity, trade and economic relations between the two countries, people to people contacts and overall stability in the region.
Question: Are there going to be reciprocal official visits between Turkey and Armenia? Did you extend an invitation to Turkish officials to visit Armenia or received an invitation to visit Turkey?
Answer: Let me emphasize that this is the first visit of a high-level official of Armenia to Turkey in a decade. Needless to mention that if the process of normalization proceeds smoothly and we achieve positive results, mutual visits can take place.
Question: What can you tell us about the Armenian people’s approach to the normalization process?
Answer: Generally, the population of Armenia wants to normalize relations with Turkey. It is reflected in public opinion polls, as well. Of course, both in Armenian and Turkish societies, there are certain groups that, let me say, are skeptical about this process. Officials from both sides should take political leadership to address these issues. During my meeting with Minister Chavushoglu, we have exchanged views on certain sensitivities and I hope that they will be taken into account.