Turkey plans to schedule direct flights from Istanbul to Armenia's capital Yerevan in order to boost the recent process of renewed relations between the two countries, Hurriyet Daily reported on Sunday. (UPDATED)
The progress of this plan is directly connected to Armenia's attitude in relation to Turkey and Azerbaijan, Hurriyet Daily said citing unnamed sources.
According to report, Ankara will also take Azerbaijan's attitude on the issue of direct flights consideration. "No concrete decision has been taken as yet. The issue should be assessed as a mental exercise," sources were quoted as saying in the report.
Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic ties and their border has been closed for more than a decade, as Armenia presses the international community to admit the so-called "genocide" claims instead of accepting Turkey's call to investigate the allegations, and Armenia's invasion of 20 percent territory of Azerbaijan.
A warmer period began the two countries began after Turkish President Abdullah Gul paid a landmark visit to Yerevan in September on the occasion of a Turkish-Armenian World Cup football qualifying match.
BABACAN VISITS AZERBAIJAN
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan is going to pay a visit to Azerbaijan on Sunday, where he is expected to discuss a possible trilateral meeting with his Azerbaijan counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov to discuss the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict during a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Helsinki between Dec. 4-5.
Babacan, Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian and Mammadyarov held a trilateral meeting in New York in September, and discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
According to recent media reports Babacan and Nalbandian decided to continue the trilateral process during the Armenian minister's visit to Istanbul to attend at the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC).
The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia began in 1988 on Armenian territorial claims over Azerbaijan.
Since 1992 Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. Some 10 percent of the Azeri population was displaced due to a series of bloody clashes both between and within the two neighboring countries.
In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are currently holding peaceful negotiations.
Babacan and Mammadyarov are also expected to exchange views about putting the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform into practice.