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Turkish, Armenian special envoys to meet in Moscow

Moscow will host the first meeting between Turkish and Armenian special envoys to discuss steps for normalizing ties between the two countries, Turkey's foreign minister said on Monday.

Speaking at a year-end evaluation of Turkey's foreign policy, Mevlut Cavusoglu said the special envoys of each country should first speak over the phone and decide on the date and place of a face-to-face meeting.

"Our impression is that the first meeting will take place in Moscow, as Armenia desires. Aside from the first meeting, we also want communication to be held directly ... We have mutually appointed special envoys to speak directly," Cavusoglu said.

He said a roadmap towards normalizing ties needed to be set, adding that this would be on the first meeting's agenda.

Noting that charter flights between Turkey and Armenia would soon begin, he reiterated that Turkey was pursuing its normalization discussions in consultation and coordination with Azerbaijan.

Armenia's rhetoric has so far been positive, said the Turkish official, adding that Turkey wanted to action, as well.

Citing the attempts in 2009 by Turkey and Armenia to normalize relations, Cavusoglu said that though this previous attempt had been conducted in "good faith," the new process was separate.

"Within the framework of this process, new steps must be taken to normalize relations. This will be important for the stability, peace, and prosperity of the Caucasus," he said.

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