Turkey and Armenia agree on plan for diplomatic ties

August 31, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Turkey and Armenia who only recently agreed on a road map for normalizing relations and reaching reconciliation in April have taken another big step. In a Swiss-brokered agreement, the two hostile neighbors have reportedly agreed to present a plan to establish diplomatic relations within six weeks to their respective parliaments, the two countries’ foreign ministries said on Monday.

The ministries said in a joint statement that the two countries had agreed to start “internal political consultations” on two protocols: one establishing diplomatic relations and the other developing bilateral ties.

“The political consultations will be completed within six weeks, following which the two protocols will be signed and submitted to the respective parliaments for ratification,” the statement said.

The two countries have had no diplomatic ties since Armenia became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in a show of support for its ally, Azerbaijan, which had a dispute with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, the ethnic Armenian enclave of Azerbaijan. Armenians mark this year as the 94th anniversary of the start of the massacres of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Armenians in Turkey during the demise of the Ottoman Empire in 1915, when they were deported en masse from eastern Anatolia to the Syrian desert and elsewhere. Armenians have campaigned for the killings to be recognized internationally as genocide. Turkey has admitted that many Armenians were killed but it denies any genocide, saying the deaths were part of the widespread fighting that took place in World War I.


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