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Turkey appoints envoy to Armenia to normalise ties

By AFP - Dec 15,2021 - Last updated at Dec 15,2021

ANKARA — Turkey on Wednesday named a former ambassador as special envoy to work on the normalisation of ties with arch-foe Armenia.

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

There were  strains after Turkey supported Armenia's Caucasus neighbour Azerbaijan, which last year fought a war with Armenia for control of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

"With the authorisation of the president, our former Washington ambassador Serdar Kilic will be officially appointed as special envoy," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in televised comments.

Kilic was also previously Ankara's envoy in Japan and Lebanon.

Turkish and Armenian companies had applied for permission for charter flights between Istanbul and Yerevan, he added.

The transport ministry will evaluate the applications and there would be more information in the coming days about which airlines could fly, Cavusoglu said.

"God willing there will be a continuation of these [steps]," he told Turkish reporters.

The minister was speaking during a visit to Abu Dhabi as ties between Turkey and the United Arab Emirates thaw following Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed’s trip to Ankara in November.

Cavusoglu said there were plans for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit the UAE on February 14-15.

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