Antalya to recode diplomacy in March. Turkish Armenians expect normalisation

Daily Sabah
Antalya to recode diplomacy in March. Turkish Armenians expect normalisation

This year's Antalya Diplomacy Forum is expected to become a new solution platform for global political issues as Turkey has recently launched several normalization processes in order to resolve regional tensions through diplomacy. Reports indicate that participants from all over the world have been invited to the forum, including from Armenia – where normalization negotiations are being carried out – as well as Greece, Egypt and Israel. It was stated that close to 50 high-level participants at the forum, which will be held on March 11-13, have been confirmed, Daily Sabah writes.

Most recently, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said Monday that Armenia wants to establish diplomatic relations with Turkey without any preconditions, indicating that the country might attend the Antalya Diplomacy Forum.

Moreover, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday received the Armenian Foundations Community President Bedros Şirinoğlu. Şirinoğlu said that the 45-minute reception at the Çankaya Mansion in the capital Ankara was a courtesy visit and expressed his satisfaction at the resumption of flights between Armenia and Turkey in February. Starting Feb. 2, round trip flights will be launched between Turkey and Armenia amid ongoing discussions to normalize long-time broken ties between the two countries.

The announcement came less than a week after the two countries held normalization talks in Moscow. The two parties agreed to continue the negotiations with the goal of full normalization without preconditions after the groundbreaking meeting. Before the meeting, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had said that at the gathering, envoys would exchange views on a road map for moving forward, including confidence-building measures. In that context, the two officials conducted the first meeting in "a positive and constructive atmosphere" as they had "exchanged their preliminary views regarding the normalization process through dialogue between Turkey and Armenia."

In his meeting with Erdoğan, Şirinoğlu also stated that he wanted to learn about the results of the bylaws related to the election of the community, and that President Erdoğan informed him that the work will be concluded soon.

Şirinoğlu stated that the issue of normalization was not discussed at this meeting, but it was discussed before. Emphasizing that Armenians in Turkey are very hopeful about normalization, he said, "We look forward to the normalization of relations and to pave the way for the consolidation of the brotherhood of the two peoples."

Turkey has been emphasizing the need for enhanced cooperation and integration in the region following the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Ankara proposed the 3+3 platform to solve ongoing problems in the Southern Caucasus and is expected to hold the next round of talks.

After Pashinian's statement that it would be unreasonable to miss an opportunity with Turkey, it is clear that Antalya Diplomacy Forum undertakes a critical mission, by laying the groundwork for all countries that have disagreements with Turkey or tensions with other global actors to conduct diplomatic negotiations. The forum is described as the "Turkish Davos" making reference to the annual Davos Summit held in Switzerland, where Ankara-Athens talks were held previously.

The year 2021 saw Turkey seeking warmer ties with several regional countries and longtime foes after many tumultuous years. Ankara reiterated that Turkey hopes to maximize its cooperation with Egypt and the Gulf nations "on a win-win basis," at a time when Ankara intensified diplomacy to mend its fraught ties with Cairo and some Gulf nations after years of tensions.

The Antalya Diplomacy Forum will be held on March 11-14 in the southern Mediterranean Antalya province, under the motto "Recoding Diplomacy" and will be attended by several heads of state, ministers, academics and members of the press. The gathering, where the most important regional and global issues on the world's agenda will be discussed in a solution-oriented platform, will provide leaders, politicians, prominent academics, thinkers, opinion leaders, diplomats and business people an opportunity to discuss international issues from a diplomatic perspective.