YEREVAN, October 5. /ARKA/. Armenian and Turkish businessmen will discuss establishing air connection between Yerevan and Van during the fourth Armenian-Turkish business forum, being held in Yerevan Friday.
The first Van(Turkey)-Yerevan flight was scheduled for September 2011.
Establishing the air connection was initiated by the head of Van’s branch of Union of Turkish Tourism Organizations Van Abdullah Tunchdemir, who said a new terminal was being built in Van, and international flights, including those to Yerevan, would be operated through it.
The Armenian side, involved in the project, included a coordinator of SAID program “Support to Armenian-Turkish Relations Improvement” Artur Ghazaryan and a chief of the Union of industrialist and entrepreneurs of Armenia Arsen Ghazaryan.
Head of Van Young Businessmen Organization Kadri Salaz said that this issue will be discussed.
The issues with this flight aroused because of political reasons, he added.
The forum organizer is the Union of industrialists and entrepreneurs of Armenia. The forum is held within a two year USAID program “Support to Armenian-Turkish rapprochement, launched in October 2010.
The analogical forum was held in Turkey in 2012.
Yerevan’s forum gathered nearly 50 businessmen primarily from Eastern provinces of Turkey.
The forum partner is Turkish-Armenian Business Development Council (TABDC).
Turkey and Armenia have had no diplomatic ties since Armenia became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in a show of support for its ally, Azerbaijan, which had a dispute with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, the ethnic Armenian enclave of Azerbaijan. There are several sensitive issues complicating the establishment of normal relations between the two countries, particularly, Ankara’s blatant support of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process and Turkey’s refusal to acknowledge the mass killings of Armenians in the last years of the Ottoman Empire as a genocide.
The relations normalization process was initiated by Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan in fall 2008.
In 2009 October Armenia and Turkey signed two protocols in Zurich. They committed the two neighboring nations to establish diplomatic relation and open the Turkish-Armenian border.
However, on 22 April 2010 Sargsyan signed a decree on suspending the protocols ratification process saying Turkey is not ready to continue the launched process. -0-