Turkiye and Armenia have agreed to name special envoys to try and mend their relations and bring economic prosperity to the region.
Armenia has appointed its Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Ruben Rubinyan to be the special representative for dialogue with Turkiye.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson announced the news on Twitter on Saturday.
Earlier this week, Turkiye appointed Serdar Kilic, former ambassador to the US, as special envoy to discuss steps for normalisation of ties with Armenia.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Kilic was appointed with the approval of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Cavusoglu said that positive statements for the normalisation of relations were recently made from both sides, adding that there is a need to take confidence-building measures.
The Biden administration has also welcomed Kilic’s appointment.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington “strongly” supports the start of the process.
Turkish and Armenian companies also applied for permission for charter flights between Istanbul and Yerevan, according to Cavusoglu.
The transport ministry will evaluate the applications and there would be more information in the coming days about which airlines could fly, he said.
“God willing there will be a continuation of these (steps),” he told Turkish reporters.
Armenia and Turkiye have never established formal diplomatic ties and their shared border has been closed since the 1990s.
Armenia and Turkiye signed a landmark peace accord in 2009 to restore ties and open their shared border after decades, but the deal was never ratified and ties have remained tense.
Serdar Huseyin Yildirim, head of the Turkish Space Agency, has said Turkiye aims to strengthen its presence in space.
Speaking at a conference, titled Future in Space, Space in Future, held on Saturday at Azerbaijan Technical University in the capital Baku, Yildirim said: “Investment in space studies is not a luxury, but a need.”
“Our aim is to strengthen Turkiye’s presence in space,” Yildirim told the conference, adding that this is for the interests of both Turkiye and its fraternal countries.
Yildirim said that Turkiye is a bit late in space-related issues, but added that the country is currently moving fast and capable of solving the problems on the way.
“If you are not powerful in space, you can’t be powerful in the world,” he stressed.
Cooperation among the stars
Informing the conference that the preliminary design of the national space vehicle that will go to the moon has been completed, Yildirim said Turkiye intends to send this two-ton vehicle to lunar orbit no later than 2024 in agreement with one of the international launch companies.
The conference was organised by the Azerbaijani office of Turkiye’s Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MUSIAD) in collaboration with Azerbaijani universities.
“Together with our own flag, we will take the flags of friendly and fraternal countries, primarily Azerbaijan, into space,” Yildirim told the conference.
He also participated in another conference titled The Space Age and the Turkish World organised by the Caucasus Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies (QAFSAM), at the Caspian University.
Speaking about the strategic importance of operating in space, Yildirim said: “The great powers once colonised some territories on the Earth. The same thing can happen in space.”
“Let’s all work together in space. Let’s not compete. When a union is formed, it will also serve world peace,” he proposed.