Turkish MFA says direct trade with Armenia to be win-win

12.08.2022 | 12:47 Home / News /
#Turkish MFA
Unnamed top-ranking official from Turkish Foreign Ministry, speaking to Anadolu news agency, expressed confidence that direct trade with Armenia would be a win-win for both sides.

He said that trade between Turkey and Armenia currently goes indirectly through neighboring Georgia and is worth $230 million, with approximately 15,000 trucks making the journey annually.

"From Turkey’s perspective, the current indicator of trade with Armenia is a relatively small figure, but in fact we are talking about the market of a country (Armenia) with millions of people. If both parties can ensure the evolving of relations to a positive point by showing the necessary flexibility, this will be a win-win for both countries," the official added.

The diplomat stressed the need of confidence-building steps between Turkey and Armenia.

He noted that the special envoys of the two countries agreed to continue the process step by step.

"The current situation is not the desired picture in Turkish-Armenian relations and it is necessary to make an effort to evolve this picture into the desired one," the official added.

On the confidence-building steps, the official said during their bilateral meeting on July 1, the special representatives of the two countries agreed on two concrete proposals.

"It is not about the signing of a protocol but rather reflects their agreement on confidence-building measures between Ankara and Yerevan. The issue is the desire of the parties to avoid
disappointments that they may experience amid the process," the official added.

He stressed that one of these "concrete steps" is the launch of air cargo transportation between the countries. “The official structures of Turkey and Armenia are discussing the technical details of joint steps. The details should only be determined by the experts of that subject coming together and identifying the missing procedures or documents, determining the technical details needed. We hope for relevant authorities of the two countries to come together, hopefully in September, without too much delay, and ensure quick implementation of the process," the official said.

Referring to the July 1 decision to open the land border between Turkey and Armenia for the citizens of third countries, the source noted that a delegation from the Turkish Foreign Ministry visited two border checkpoints - Alican and Akyaka - where a meeting was held on the implementation of this process.

"It became clear that the realities are quite different than previously thought. It is necessary to carry out work, including from the Armenian side. There is a 178-meter-long bridge built back in the 40s in the area of the Alican checkpoint. We do not yet know whether it is safe for the buses to drive over this bridge, " the source said.

"While in Armenia, people have begun to turn their homes into boutique hotels. That is, Armenians have serious expectations from the opening of the border. It is important to avoid disappointment on this issue,” he added.

At the same time, the source noted that for Ankara it is not just the matter of normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia or between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but the true goal is long-term peace and stability in the region.
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