In a move towards normalisation, the Armenia-Turkey border will be opened to third country citizens and diplomatic passport holders according to the Armenian Foreign Minister, Ararat Mirzoyan, following discussions with his Turkish counterpart.
The announcement came after the discussions with his Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and may potentially lead to a thaw in the strained relationship between the two countries and promote economic and cultural exchange with positive implications for the wider region.
The move comes as part of the ongoing efforts towards the normalisation of relations between the two countries. In July 2022, special representatives of the normalisation process agreed to open the land border for the passage of third country citizens visiting the two countries.
The decision to open the border was made before the start of the tourism season, indicating that both countries are looking to boost their economies through increased travel and trade.
Earlier this month, Mirzoyan and Ruben Rubinyan, Armenia’s special representative for the normalisation process with Turkey, travelled to Turkey to hold bilateral talks and offer their condolences following the February earthquake. During their visit, Mirzoyan and Rubinyan held meetings with Turkish officials, including a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu. At the press conference held on 15 March, Çavuşoğlu expressed gratitude for Armenia’s support during the difficult time, saying “Armenia extended the hand of friendship to our people in this difficult time.”
The border between Armenia and Turkey was closed in 1993 following a conflict between the two countries over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The opening of the border to third country citizens will be a step towards further normalisation of relations in the future.