WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Washington has given its full support to the normalization processes under way between Armenia and Turkey, said U.S. President Barack Obama.
Obama in a phone conversation with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan commended his "courageous leadership" in moving to normalize relations with Turkey.
In an August joint statement, the governments of Turkey and Armenia announced they would work toward normalizing diplomatic ties and bilateral relations.
Turkish relations with Armenia were complicated by claims of genocide during the Ottoman Empire. Recent ties are strained further over issues regarding the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, an area of dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
War broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh in the early 1990s, and the regional fallout from that row remains tense despite a 1994 cease-fire.
The White House said in a statement that Obama offered his full support for the normalization process between Armenia and Turkey.
"The president underscored the U.S. position that the normalization talks should move forward without preconditions and within a reasonable time frame," the statement continued.
Ankara said it could open its borders with Armenia in time for a World Cup qualifying match scheduled for Oct. 10.