Turkish-Armenian talks welcomed

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Members of the world community welcomed joint statements made by Turkey and Armenia regarding a move toward normalized bilateral relations.

In a joint statement Monday, the governments of Turkey and Armenia announced they would work toward normalizing diplomatic ties and bilateral relations.


Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also called for a settlement of Armenian issues with Azerbaijan. Turkish relations with Armenia were complicated by claims of genocide during the Ottoman Empire.

Recent ties are complicated over disputes regarding the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, an area of dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Ian Kelly, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said Washington "warmly welcomes" the joint statement.

"It has long been and remains the position of the United States that normalization should take place without preconditions and within a reasonable time frame," he said.

Turkey earlier this year said it would open its borders with Armenia in time for a World Cup qualifying match set for October.

Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, the chairperson for the OSCE, welcomed the joint decision as a step toward normalization of relations in the South Caucuses region.

"I warmly welcome this positive step toward normalization of ties between two OSCE participating states," she said.


Swiss-mediated talks between Turkey and Armenia are expected to last about six weeks.

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