Turkey, Armenia sign historic accords restoring diplomatic relations
MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti) – Turkey and Armenia signed on
Saturday historic accords restoring diplomatic relations and opening
borders between the two countries.
The documents were signed in Zurich by the Turkish and Armenian foreign
ministers at a ceremony attended by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, French Foreign
Minister Bernard Kouchner, Slovenian Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar,
and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.
The signing was delayed earlier in the day amid speculation that the
parties had failed to agree over the wording of final statements.
Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in a show of support for
Muslim ally Azerbaijan, following a bloody conflict over Nagorny
Karabakh between the two ex-Soviet republics. Turkey has also demanded
that Yerevan drop its campaign to have the mass killings of Armenians
by Ottoman Turks in 1915 internationally recognized as genocide.
Armenia and Turkey agreed to a "roadmap" to normalize their relations
under Swiss mediation this April. The draft pact between the countries
has been backed by the United States and European Union.
Nagorny Karabakh, a region in Azerbaijan with a largely Armenian
population, has been a source of conflict between the former Soviet
republics since the late 1980s. The province has its own government and
is de facto independent.
During his recent international visit, Armenian President Serzh
Sargsyan met with representatives of Armenian diasporas in different
countries, and many of them expressed their opposition to the signing
of a Turkish-Armenian agreement.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress