Demining operations began on the Armenian Turkish border after Yerevan and Ankara agreed to open their border to citizens of third countries, Russian news agency Interfax reported, citing Turkish newspaper GazeteKars.
“Demining operations have started on the border between Armenia and Turkey. They are carried out by an Israeli company,” according to the newspaper.
Demining work has been underway for 20 days in the Kars region of Turkey, the newspaper said.
On Monday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan congratulated the Turkish President on the occasion of Kurban Bayram by telephone, and the latter congratulated the Prime Minister on the occasion of Vardavar, the feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ.
The leaders reportedly underlined the importance they attach to the bilateral normalization process between their respective countries, which will also contribute to strengthening peace and stability in the region. In this context, they expressed their expectation for a rapid implementation of the agreements reached during the meeting between the special representatives of their countries on July 1.
On July 1, the special envoys of Armenia and Turkey for the normalization of relations – Ruben Rubinyan of Armenia and Serdar Kilic of Turkey – agreed at their fourth meeting in Vienna to allow the crossing of the land border between Armenia and Turkey by citizens of third countries visiting Armenia and Turkey respectively, as soon as possible, and have decided to initiate the necessary process for this purpose.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry said that they also agreed to start direct air cargo trade between Armenia and Turkey as soon as possible and decided to initiate the necessary process for this.
In addition, they discussed other possible concrete steps that can be taken to achieve the ultimate goal of full normalization between their respective countries.
Finally, they reaffirmed their agreement to continue the normalization process without preconditions.
The first round of talks was held in Moscow on January 14, where both sides agreed to continue negotiations without any preconditions. Turkish and Armenian envoys met for the second and third time in Vienna on February 24 and May 3, 2022.