Turkey, Armenia agree to continue negotiations without preconditions

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ANKARA, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Turkey on Friday said the first meeting between Turkish and Armenian envoys in Moscow was positive and that they will continue negotiations for full normalization of ties without preconditions.

"During their first meeting, conducted in a positive and constructive atmosphere, the special representatives exchanged their preliminary views regarding the normalization process through dialogue between Turkey and Armenia," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The parties agreed to continue negotiations "without preconditions aiming at full normalization," it said, adding that the date and venue of their second meeting will be decided in due time through diplomatic channels.

Since the two neighboring nations do not have diplomatic relations, Turkey and Armenia appointed their special envoys and they held their first meeting on Friday aiming to end decades-old hostilities.

Turkey appointed Serdar Kilic, a former ambassador to the United States, as the special representative, while Armenia appointed National Assembly Deputy Speaker Ruben Rubinyan for talks.

This meeting is to be followed by the resumption of charter flights between Istanbul and Yerevan.

The relations between Turkey and Armenia were severed in 1993, during the first war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, when Turkey closed the border with Armenia in support of Azerbaijan.

Turkey and Armenia made serious attempts to restore ties in 2008-2009, with American and Swiss intermediation, but the effort broke down due to mounting pressure from Azerbaijan.

In last year's war, Armenia lost control of the territories around Nagorno-Karabakh, which provided a new impetus to restore ties between Ankara and Yerevan. Enditem

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