Istanbul, July 21 () - Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has sent a letter of condolence to his Turkish counterpart, Tayyip Erdoğan, following a suicide bombing in southeastern Turkey that killed 32 people and wounded nearly 100 on July 20.
“It was with deep sorrow that I learned of the explosion in the town of Suruç in Turkey’s Şanlıurfa province that killed a few dozen people. We strongly condemn all manifestations of terrorism” Sargsyan said in his letter which was posted on the official site of the President of the Republic of Armenia on July 20.
“Please, accept my condolences on the incident. I wish steadfastness and strength of spirit to the victims’ relatives and a speedy recovery to the injured” said Sargsyan.
The two estranged neighbors do not have diplomatic relations, and Ankara closed its border with Yerevan in 1993 because of its war with Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
A now-stalled rapprochement process between the two countries began in 2008. In October 2009, Armenian and Turkish officials initiated protocols to normalize relations between the two countries, but the documents have not been ratified since then and have faced immense criticism in both countries.
The protocols, which call for the establishment of diplomatic ties and the reopening of the shared border, also called for a joint commission to examine the two countries’ shared history. Armenia recognizes the mass killings of Anatolian Armenians in the Ottoman era in 1915 as “genocide” – a label fiercely rejected by Turkey.