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Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian said on Monday Yerevan was determined to move forward on the delicate issue of establishing ties with Turkey and urged Ankara to show the same political will.

“We were determined during all the process and we are determined now to go forward,” Nalbandian told AFP in an interview.

“We hope the Turkish leadership will demonstrate the same will in the coming days and months.”

Armenia and Turkey announced in late August that they had agreed a plan to establish diplomatic ties and reopen their border after decades of hostility.

The two countries agreed to hold six weeks of internal political consultations before presenting two protocols on establishing diplomatic ties and developing bilateral relations to their respective parliaments for approval.

Nalbandian did not confirm that he and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu would meet in Switzerland on Saturday to sign the protocols, as Turkish officials have said, and hinted that Turkey had prematurely announced the meeting.

“When we will be ready to declare anything in that sense, we will declare it jointly. This is a bilateral process. Any of the sides should not make some unilateral declaration,” he said.

Turkey has long refused to establish ties with Armenia over Yerevan’s international campaign to have World War I-era massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turks recognised as genocide, a label Ankara categorically rejects.

Turkey also closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with ally Azerbaijan over Yerevan’s backing of ethnic Armenian separatists in the breakaway Nagorny Karabakh region.

AFP
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