Armenia - Turkey

Step forward for Armenian Turkish relations

File photo/AFP

The leaders of Turkey and Armenia agreed Wednesday to meet for talks next week in a bid to restart a process of reconciliation between the two countries. The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Armenian president Serzh Sarkisian have arranged to meet on the sidelines of a nuclear summit in Washington starting on 12 April.

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Turkey's top diplomat was in Yereven for talks Wednesday to end the impasse the two countries have reached in trying to establish diplomatic relations.

Both confirmed their commitment to the reconciliation process, which ran into problems almost as soon as a deal was signed in October.

The foreign ministry undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu held talks with Sarkisian and his foreign minister Eduard Nalbandian.

Armenia has signed its part of October's deal but refuses to contradict its line that Armenia was a victim of genocide under the Ottoman Empire. This annoys Turkey, while Armenia is rankled by Turkey's refusal to to ratify the accord unless it makes progress in its conflict with Azerbaijan.

Last month the US House of Representatives and the Swedish parliament both ruled that the Armenian massacre during World War I was genocide.

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