|ISTANBUL - Turkey and Armenia under Switzerland's mediation have agreed on a comprehensive framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations, a move welcomed by the Washington administration.
"The two parties have achieved tangible progress and mutual understanding in this process and they have agreed on a comprehensive framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations in a mutually satisfactory manner. In this context, a road-map has been identified," the statement posted on the foreign ministry's Web site late on Wednesday.
This agreed basis provides a positive prospect for the on-going process, the statement added.
The announcement of the agreement on a road map comes just a day before the Armenian commemoration day of the 1915 incidents.
Turkey and Armenia, together with Switzerland as mediator, have been working intensively with a view to normalizing their bilateral relations and "developing them in a spirit of good-neighborliness, and mutual respect, and thus to promoting peace, security and stability in the whole region," according to the statement.
Ankara and Yerevan have no diplomatic relations. Their border was closed in 1993 over Armenia's invasion of 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory and over pressure exerted on the international community, with the backing of the diaspora, to recognize their claims regarding the 1915 incidents instead of accepting Turkey's call to investigate the allegations.
The Washington administration welcomed the move in a statement and urged the normalization should take place without preconditions as well as within a reasonable timeframe.
"We urge Armenia and Turkey to proceed according to the agreed framework and roadmap. We look forward to working with both governments in support of normalization, and thus promote peace, security and stability in the whole region," Robert Wood, the spokesman of the U.S. State Department said in statement.
Wood also said that it has long been and remains the position of the United States that normalization should take place without preconditions and within a reasonable timeframe.