YEREVAN, October 5. /ARKA/. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey agreed to register business visas for Armenian drivers, delivering goods from Armenia to Turkey via Georgia, at Turkey’s Embassy in Tbilisi, USAID program “Support to Armenian-Turkish relations rapprochement” coordinator Artur Ghazaryan said Friday.
The Armenian side was informed of this decision two days ago, Ghazaryan said at the fourth Armenian-Turkish forum in Yerevan.
According to him, Armenian drivers will also get visas at Georgian-Turkish border.
The Turkish legislature states that any driver passing the territory of Turkey must receive a visa at the Embassy. Armenia doesn’t have Embassy of Turkey, as the countries have no diplomatic relations.
The Armenian entrepreneurs have earlier shown interest in shipping goods through Trabzon port in Turkey, which could be an alternative to Georgian Poti port.
Head of Trabzon port said earlier the port is ready to serve Armenian cargos, and if the Turkish government agrees, Trabzon port will operate cargo delivery to and out of Armenia.
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-