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Armenian PM to attend Erdoğan’s inauguration, official statement announces

Nikol Pashinyan

Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan AFP

Armenia’s prime minister will attend the inauguration of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday, Agence France-Presse reported, citing his office, the latest sign of a thaw between the two arch foes.

“Armenia received an invitation to attend the ceremony of inauguration of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” the statement said.

“Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will travel to Ankara on June 3 to take part in the ceremony.”

Armenia and Turkey have never established formal diplomatic relations and their shared border has been closed since the 1990s.

Their relationship is strained by World War I-era mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, atrocities Yerevan says amount to 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.

Azerbaijan used the help of Turkish combat drones to recapture most of the contested territory that had been under ethnic Armenian control since the 1990s.

Last year, Turkey and Armenia resumed their first commercial flights in two years.

In 2009, Ankara and Yerevan signed an agreement to normalize relations, which would have led to the opening up of their shared border.

But Armenia never ratified the deal and in 2018 terminated the process.

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