ARMENIAN PRESIDENT DETECTS THAW WITH TURKEY
Turkish Daily News
July 22 2008
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said yesterday that he detected
a thaw in relations with Turkey, confirming that diplomats from the
two neighbors had held meetings in Switzerland.
Sargsyan invited his Turkish counterpart, President Abdullah Gul,
earlier this month to watch a FIFA World Cup qualifying match between
Turkey and Armenia in Yerevan in September. Gul, who has also said
he wants greater cooperation, has yet to reply.
"A readiness to begin healthy discussions on existing problems in
Armenia-Turkey relations has appeared," Sargsyan told journalists in
Yerevan. "A visit by Gul to Armenia could transform these tendencies
into a stable and positive movement," he said.
Ankara has refused to establish diplomatic ties with Armenia since
its independence in 1991 because of Armenian efforts to secure
international recognition of the World War I killings of Armenians
Sargsyan’s latest comments came after diplomats from the two countries
met in Switzerland this month to discuss normalizing ties.
Turkish media reported that the talks were held in secret and marked
an important step in reconciling the two sides. But, like Turkish
officials, Sargsyan downplayed the significance of the talks.
"There was no secret or reason to be surprised. Such contact between
Armenian and Turkish diplomats never stopped. They have always taken
place," he said.
In 1993, Turkey shut its border with Armenia in a show of solidarity
with its close ally Azerbaijan, then at war with Armenia, dealing a
heavy economic blow to the impoverished ex-Soviet nation.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress