ANKARA, August 31 (RIA Novosti) - Turkey and Armenia have agreed at talks mediated by Switzerland to start "internal political consultations" on establishing diplomatic relations, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Monday.
The two countries have had no diplomatic relations since the Soviet Union broke up in 1991. However, they agreed to a "roadmap" to normalize their relations under Swiss mediation in April this year.
"Political consultations will be completed within six weeks, and following that two protocols will be signed and submitted to the two countries' parliaments for approval," the ministry said.
"Both protocols [on establishing diplomatic relations and on the development of bilateral relations] create a base for normalizing bilateral relations," the ministry said. "Normalization of bilateral relations will further guarantee peace and stability in region."
Armenia said it was ready to establish diplomatic relations without preconditions and welcomed the timeframes laid out as reasonable.
"Both documents define reasonable time frameworks for the normalization of bilateral relations," the Armenian Foreign Ministry said.
Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in a show of support for Azerbaijan following a bloody conflict over Nagorny Karabakh. Over 35,000 people died in fighting over the area in the early 1990s before a ceasefire was signed in 1994. Nagorny Karabakh technically remains part of Azerbaijan, but has its own government and is de facto independent.