Armenia, Turkey reopen border after 30 years for quake aid delivery
Istanbul, Feb 15 (EFE).- Armenia and Turkey have reopened their land border for the first time in three decades to allow humanitarian aid into quake-stricken regions, Armenian foreign minister Ararat Mirzoyan said on Wednesday.
Mirzoyan met his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu during his visit to Ankara and is later set to travel to the southeastern province Adiyaman, one of the hardest-hit by the devastating quake that ripped through Turkey and Syria on February 6 and killed more than 40,000.
In the wake of the earthquake, Armenia sent a team of 28 rescuers to Turkey to take part in search and rescue operations.
In a gesture described by Mirzoyan as a symbol of ongoing reconciliation, the first convoy of trucks carrying 100 tons of quake relief was transferred to Turkey over the weekend, while the second one passed through the border on Tuesday.
Mirzoyan stressed Armenia’s readiness to build peace in the region and fully normalize relations with Turkey.
Cavusoglu, meanwhile, thanked Armenia for the aid, saying it has shown solidarity and cooperation in such hard times.
The Turkey-Armenia relations had been tense since 1993, mainly due to clashes with Azerbaijan, a close ally of Turkey.
Several reconciliation attempts have failed in the past decade, but the two neighbors have started diplomatic contacts since last year.EFE