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    Turkish, Armenian FMs optimistic on new era of relations in the region

    HotNewsTurkey with wires
    23.10.2008 - 15:55 | Son Güncelleme:

    Armenia was optimistic about Turkish-Armenian relations, the neighboring country's foreign minister, Eduard Nalbandian, said on Thursday, as the Turkish foreign minister hailed the new era of dialogue process in the region. (UPDATED)

    Armenia worked for the normalization of its relations with Turkey, Nalbandian told Turkish state-run Anatolian Agency in the Albanian capital of Tirana, where he attended the foreign ministers meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).

    He said efforts were underway to open the border between Turkey and Armenia and to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries.

    Turkey and Armenia do not have diplomatic relations, and the border between the two countries closed over Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan.

    Nalbandian also said he was hopeful for the future of Turkish-Armenian relations. 

    He said Turkish, Armenian and Azerbaijani officials, who held talks in New York last moth, might come together again. He added the "Caucasus Cooperation Platform", proposed by Turkey, was on the agenda of the talks between the countries.

    Such a platform would contribute to the stability and security in the region, Nalbandian was quoted by the Anatolian Agency as saying.

    Nalbandian, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov discussed the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict in their both bilateral and trilateral meetings in New York.

    Starting of a new process for the solution of the problems between Turkey and Armenia was a remarkable effort for the stability of the region, Turkish Foreign Minister Babacan told reporters after attending Thursday's Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) meeting in Tirana.

    Babacan also said Turkey's final goal was the normalization of its relations with Armenia, as well as the relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

    The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia began in 1988 on Armenian territorial claims over Azerbaijan.

    Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts.

    Some 10 percent of the Azeri population was displaced due to a series of bloody clashes both between and within the two neighboring countries.

    In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are currently holding peaceful negotiations.

    A warmer period began between Turkey and Armenia, who for more than a decade have not had any diplomatic relations, after Turkish President Abdullah Gul paid a landmark visit to Armenia early September.


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