ANKARA: Turkish Minister Reaffirms Determination To Normalize Relati


Anadolu Agency
July 29 2009

Ankara, 29 July: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said [on]
Wednesday [29 July] that Turkish government was still resolute to
normalize relations with neighbouring Armenia.

"But at the same time, it is important for us to see the same
determination from the international community and especially from
Armenia on the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan," Davutoglu
told a press conference after his meeting with Bosnian Foreign Minister
Sven Alkalaj.

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic or economic relations since
Armenia declared its independence in 1991 and Turkey closed its border
with Armenia after this country invaded the Upper Karabakh region of
Azerbaijan in 1992.

On 24 July 2008, the then Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan
expressed Turkey’s willingness to normalize relations with Yerevan.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul travelled to Armenia in September
2008 to watch 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier match between the two
countries upon an invitation by President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia.

Turkey and Armenia are to play another qualifier in Istanbul in
September 2009 but Sarksyan said [on] Tuesday he would only accept
an invitation to the return match if Turkey takes "real steps" to
open their border.

Davutoglu said Turkish government was hopeful over the normalization
process with Armenia.

"We believe that the most extensive normalization would be seen in
our region in the coming period," Davutoglu said.