Former Armenian parliamentarian says new window of opportunity awaits Turkey, Armenia

Armenians perceive use of term 'Zangezur corridor' as policy of strangling Armenia, says Styopa Safaryan.

Former Armenian parliamentarian says new window of opportunity awaits Turkey, Armenia

A former Armenian parliamentarian has said a new window of opportunity has opened in relations between Yerevan and Ankara, despite Turkey's support to Azerbaijan in the Karabakh War which ended in November 2020.

Styopa Safaryan, a member of center-right party Heritage, told Anadolu Agency that after the recent war between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was facing difficulties at home and was willing to take steps to revive bilateral relations with Turkey.

"Pashinyan is trying to show that there is a positive signal from Turkey so that a common agenda can be formed. He is making these statements understanding very well the sentiment on the ground [...]," he said.

He added that the most sensitive issue in the normalization agenda is the Zangezur corridor, which will provide the Turkey-Nakhchivan-Azerbaijan connection.

Safaryan stated that some circles in Armenia interpreted the opening of the corridor as a political strangling of Armenia.

He claimed that Turkey will gain a lot from the opening of these roads without using the expression "Zangezur Corridor."

"If this [corridor] expression is used, the Armenian-Turkish dialogue will be finished," Safaryan said.

The routes of the corridor and its mode of transportation have been a bone of contention between Armenia and Azerbaijan, former Soviet states, who have been at loggerheads since the 90s.

Their tensions culminated in the second Karabakh War in 2020 in which Azerbaijan liberated several cities and some 300 settlements and villages after nearly three decades of illegal Armenian occupation.

Hüseyin Demir

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