IRAN CAN MEDIATE FOR RECONCILIATION BETWEEN TURKEY AND ARMENIA
21.07.2008 13:24 GMT+04:00
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki spoke by phone to his
Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian during his recent visit to
Ankara, hailing positive developments between Ankara and Yerevan.
Iranian news agency IRNA said Iran, as a powerful and stable country in
the region, can bring about reconciliation between estranged neighbors
Turkey and Armenia.
The report of the telephone conversation between Mottaki and Nalbandian
indicates that a series of positive developments between Turkey and
Armenia may also be on the agenda.
In his phone conversation with Nalbandian, Mottaki expressed hope
that positive developments in Armenia-Turkey relations would help
strengthen regional peace and friendship, according to the IRNA.
In a further sign of readiness to normalize ties, Armenian President
Serzh Sargsyan proposed "a fresh start" in relations with Turkey
in an article published in The Wall Street Journal earlier this
month. Sargsyan also invited Gul to a World Cup qualifying match
between Armenian and Turkish teams in September. Officials say the
invitation is still under consideration and that the president will
decide according to developments.
As Azerbaijan’s ally, Turkey severed diplomatic relations with Armenia
in 1993 over the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
Ankara also denies claims that Armenians were subjected to genocide
during World War I and says "both Armenians and Turks died in civil
strife that erupted after Anatolian Armenians took up arms against
the Ottoman state in search of independence," Today’s Zaman reports.