Yerevan Says No Plans for Armenia-Turkey Border DemarcationTuesday, May 3, 2022
Armenia on Monday denied Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s claims that Ankara and Yerevan have agreed to re-demarcate their closed border.
Cavusoglu said over the weekend that the issue will be on the agenda of the next round of Turkish-Armenian normalization talks which will be held in Vienna on Tuesday. Turkish and Armenian negotiators will discuss practical modalities of the demarcation process, he said, adding that the two neighboring states may set up a bilateral commission for that purpose.
“There have been no discussions or agreements between Armenia and Turkey regarding the border re-demarcation,” said Vahan Hunanyan, the Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman.
“There is no such issue on the agenda,” Hunanyan added in written comments.
Cavusoglu said last month that sections of the Turkish-Armenian border marked by the Arax river need to be demarcated again because over the past few decades the river has changed its course as a result of floods.
Ruben Galchian, an Armenian cartographer, insisted on Monday that the changes cited by Cavusoglu are insignificant. He suggested that Ankara simply hopes to use a re-demarcation process to get Yerevan to formally and explicitly recognize the existing frontier.
“I think that those minor border changes are simply a pretext [for the Turks,]” Galchian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.
Turkey has for decades kept the border closed and made its opening conditional on a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict acceptable to Azerbaijan. Cavusoglu has repeatedly made clear that Ankara is coordinating its ongoing dialogue with Yerevan with Baku.
At their two meetings held earlier this year, Armenian and Turkish envoys discussed prospects for normalizing bilateral relations. According to the foreign ministries of the two countries, they agreed to “continue the process without preconditions.”