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Lavrov, Cavusoglu Discuss Turkey-Armenia Normalization As Ankara Again Sidesteps Genocide Issue

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who was visiting Ankara on Friday, said Moscow continues to support normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey as official Ankara continued to sidestep the issue of the Armenian Genocide repeating its insistence for a historical overview.

Lavrov’s comments came a day after Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told the Aydinlik newspaper that his president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared “that Ankara is open to the work of objective committees that historians shall form,” referencing the Armenian Genocide.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, on Friday Lavrov said the the process to normalize relations between Turkey and Armenia started with Russia’s support.

“We welcome efforts to unblock transport routs and communications. Of course, we welcome the post-conflict reconstruction of the South Caucasus,” Lavrov added.

Lavrov also warned countries outside the Caucasus region to not interfere in the processes outlined in “trilateral agreements reached between the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia on all issues, which still remain the basis of normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”

Lavrov said that Russia favors deepening cooperation between countries located in the region. 

“We are in favor of urgently signing a peace treaty between the two countries. We will continue consultations on this matter, including with Russia,” Cavusoglu said during the joint press conference.

Armenia, meanwhile, said that efforts were underway to open the Margara checkpoint at the Turkey-Armenia border.

The head of Armenia State Revenue Committee, Rustam Badasyan said the the justice ministry, in cooperation with other state bodies, were working to ensure that customs procedures were in place and are properly implemented at that border crossing.

Armenia and Turkey reached an agreement last July to open the land border for nationals of third countries and diplomatic passport holders. The commitment of the parties was confirmed during the meeting between Armenian and Turkish Foreign Ministers Ararat Mirzoyan and Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara in February.

“Turkey maintains the belief that the Turkish and Armenian peoples, who have lived in an atmosphere of tolerance and peace for centuries, will be able to establish relations within the framework of friendship and cooperation,” said Akar, Turkey’s Defense Minister, in his interview with Aydinlik.

Source: Asbarez