Armenian FM says efforts to normalize ties with Turkey underway

Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandyan said on Thursday that Armenia worked for the normalization of its relations with Turkey and he was optimistic about it. In an interview with the semi-official Anatolia news agency of Turkey in the Albanian capital of Tirana, Nalbandyan said efforts were underway to open the border between Turkey and Armenia and to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Nalbandyan also said that he was hopeful for the future of Turkish-Armenian relations.

Though Turkey recognized the state of Armenia soon after its independence, there have been no formal diplomatic ties between them currently.

Armenia has claimed that up to 1.5 million Armenians died as a result of “massacres” during the Turkish Ottoman Period between 1915 and 1923, but Turkey categorically rejects the accusation.

The 300,000 Armenians, along with many Turks, died in civil strife that emerged when the Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia, Ankara argued.

In 1993, Turkey also closed its land border with Armenia in a show of solidarity with Azerbaijan, a Turkic-speaking ally which was fighting Armenian-backed separatists over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

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