Armenia and Turkey have agreed to open their common border for citizens of third countries and persons with diplomatic passports prior to the commencement of the tourist season this year, according to Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, as reported by MassisPost.com.
Mirzoyan said Armenia is preparing for the opening of the border and also noted that the Margara land checkpoint on the Armenian-Turkish border was opened in February for Armenian trucks to deliver food, medicine and other relief supplies to regions in Turkey affected by major earthquakes last month.
The two countries have never established formal diplomatic relations, and their shared border has been closed since 1993, when Turkey closed it as a display of solidarity with Azerbaijan, which was engaged in a conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Their relationship is strained by World War I-era mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, atrocities Yerevan insists amount to a genocide.
But in December 2021, the two countries appointed special envoys to help normalize relations — a year after Armenia lost to Turkey’s ally Azerbaijan in a war for control of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Turkey strongly rejects the genocide label, arguing that 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks died in civil strife when Armenians rose up against their Ottoman rulers and sided with invading Russian troops.
In February 2022 Turkey and Armenia resumed their first commercial flights in two years.