ANKARA: FM Babacan to pay relations boosting visit to Armenia

Hürriyet , Turkey
March 10 2009

Turkish FM Babacan to pay relations boosting visit to Armenia

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan decided to accept an invitation
to attend a Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) meeting in Yerevan
next month, Hurriyet daily reported on Tuesday.

The Turkish foreign minister accepted an invitation from his Armenian
counterpart Eduard Nalbandian to attend the meeting to be held at
foreign ministerial level on April 16-17 as part of efforts targeting
the normalization of relations between the neighboring countries.

Babacan’s decision is also seen as a gesture that aims at reducing the
"risk" that U.S. President Barack Obama would define the 1915
incidents as "genocide" in a speech due to be delivered on April 24.

Babacan said last Sunday there was still a "risk" that Obama would
recognize the incidents as "genocide", adding that such a move would
only impede efforts to reconcile Turkey and Armenia.

Armenian lobby organizations have increased their efforts to have
Obama define the 1915 incidents as "genocide" in a speech due to be
delivered on April 24 and to have U.S. Congress approve legislation
formally recognizing the Armenian claims. During the election
campaign, Obama had pledged to recognize the Armenian claims.

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic relations and their border has
been closed for more than a decade as Armenia presses the
international community with the backing of the diaspora to admit the
so-called "genocide" claims, instead of accepting Turkey’s call to
investigate the allegations, and over Armenia’s invasion of 20 percent
territory of Azerbaijan.

A warmer period began in relations when Turkish President Abdullah Gul
paid a landmark visit to Yerevan in September to watch a World Cup
qualifying football match between the two countries. Both have been
holding contacts at the ministerial level since.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS