Turkish Leader Mulling Attending Armenia Match


Wednesday July 16 2008

ISTANBUL July 16 (Reuters) – Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s
attendance at a soccer match in Armenia will depend on developments
between the two countries, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan told NTV
broadcaster on Wednesday.

Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan has invited Gul to visit Yerevan
for a soccer match in September, marking a shift in relations between
two states which have no diplomatic ties.

"Such a participation would depend on the developments ahead of the
match," Babacan told NTV, without giving further details.

Armenia and Turkey will play against each other in the Armenian capital
Yerevan on September 6 in a qualifying match for the 2010 FIFA World
Cup, scheduled to be held in South Africa.

Turkey broke diplomatic relations with Armenia in protest against
Yerevan’s control of Nagorno-Karabakh region over which Armenia fought
Turkey’s ally Azerbaijan in a war in the 1990s.

"The normalisation of relations with Armenia is one of Turkey’s
serious foreign policy goals," said Babacan.

Turkey was among the first countries that recognised Armenia’s
independence after fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Armenia accuses Turkey of genocide during violence at the end of World
War One. Turkey denies the accusations and says that both Christian
Armenians and Muslim Turks died in fighting. Football Browse the
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