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Clinton Hails ‘Historic’ Turkish-Armenian Agreement


U.S. -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies during a House Appropriations Committee State and Foreign Operations hearing in Washington, DC, 23Apr2009

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was reported to describe as “historic” a Turkish-Armenian statement on the normalization of bilateral relations in a phone call with Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian on Monday.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said Clinton phoned Nalbandian to discuss the latest developments in the Turkish-Armenian dialogue and the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiating process.

“Secretary of State Clinton welcomed the [April 22] joint statement by the foreign ministries of Armenia, Turkey and Switzerland, describing it as a historic step towards the establishment of normal relations between the two countries,” the ministry said in a statement.

In their joint statement, Ankara and Yerevan said they have agreed on a “roadmap” for establishing diplomatic relations and reopening the Turkish-Armenian border. The U.S. State Department was quick to welcome the announcement. “We urge Armenia and Turkey to proceed according to the agreed framework and roadmap,” a department spokesman said.

Speaking at the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Clinton confirmed Washington’s involvement in the fence-mending talks. “The Turkish and Armenian governments have sought U.S. support and encouragement of their reconciliation efforts,” she said.

According to Nalbandian’s press office, Clinton also expressed hope that the internationally mediated peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan will produce a breakthrough soon. No further details were reported.

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