Turkey appoints Serdar Kilic as special envoy for dialogue with Armenia

Turkey has appointed Serdar Kilic, former ambassador to the United States, as a special envoy to discuss measures to normalize relations with Armenia, the Turkish foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters in the United Arab Emirates, Mevlut Cavusoglu said positive statements for normalizing relations had recently been made from both sides, adding that there was a need for confidence-building measures.

“We consult Azerbaijan on every issue and take such measures … No one should wonder whether we can act independently or separately from Azerbaijan. We are one nation, two states. These are positive things that will benefit us everyone, ”Cavusoglu said.

Kilic’s appointment was made with the approval of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish foreign minister said.

Cavusoglu also said that Turkish and Armenian airlines have requested to operate flights between Istanbul and Yerevan.

“These (requests) are evaluated by the Ministry of Transport and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. In principle, we approach them positively,” he added.

He said Turkey wants to see peace, stability, economic development and common projects in the region.

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been strained since 1991, when the Armenian army occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of the ‘Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

Further clashes erupted on September 27, 2020, and during the six-week war Azerbaijan retook several cities and 300 settlements and villages.

The conflict ended in November 2020 with an agreement brokered by Russia that saw Armenia cede parts of the territory it had occupied for decades.

In January, the leaders of the three countries agreed to develop economic ties and infrastructure for the benefit of the entire Caucasus region.

– Planned visit of the Turkish President to the United Arab Emirates

Cavusoglu said Erdogan’s visit to the United Arab Emirates is scheduled to take place on February 14 and 15, adding that they are planning to hold an event for Turkey’s National Day at Expo 2020 in Dubai on February 15.

Noting that relations between Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have not been at the desired level in recent years, Cavusoglu said there has recently been a desire to normalize relations.

Speaking about his meetings in the United Arab Emirates, Cavusoglu said he had “very productive” talks during his visit and discussed issues related to economic cooperation, especially investment and trade.

“There are agreements that we will sign in the coming period, we have discussed issues such as a comprehensive trade agreement related to land transport,” he added.

Cavusoglu said that during his meeting with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, bilateral relations and regional issues were discussed, including the return of Libya and Iran to the nuclear deal.

He said the normalization of relations between Qatar and four Arab countries has had an impact across the region. “This easing has also had a positive effect on our relations with the region. We want to continue in this way,” added the Turkish minister.

* Written by Jeyhun Aliyev of Ankara.

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