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Posted by Alexander from ( on Saturday, July 12, 2003 at 1:38AM :

Slightly interesting, especially the part about European harmony with ?Armenia??
Hmm....So much for the idea that EU membership should apply to EU mainland or regional states. It seems the boundaries can skip over other countries as well. Interesting system of geopolitical establishments. Anyhow, I read a few sentences and no more, so tell me if I posted something offensive- for all I know the Turks could be calling Assyrians idiots in this article..:)

Oskanian says Yerevan interested in normalizing relations with Turkey


Avet Demourian
Armenia is prepared to take steps toward ending a simmering dispute with neighboring Turkey and normalizing relations, Armenia's foreign minister said Thursday during a visit by a European Union delegation.

Armenians accuse Turks of a genocide of up to 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923. Turks reject the claim, saying the number of deaths is inflated and that they were killed in civil unrest.

The dispute has prevented the neighboring countries from establishing normal relations, and led to Armenia's increased isolation.

Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian announced Thursday that he and his Turkish counterpart reached agreement during a meeting in Madrid last month to take "small steps" toward restoring diplomatic relations.

"If Ankara's official position doesn't change, in the next few months we should successfully make progress on a number of questions," Oskanian said.

He added that Armenia was prepared to normalize relations with Turkey without any preconditions, including Turkish acknowledgment that the killings amounted to genocide.

Meanwhile, Armenian officials told the visiting European Union delegation that they were continuing to make efforts to integrate this former Soviet republic with Europe. Armenian parliament speaker Artur Bagdasarian said that lawmakers were creating a committee to study ways to harmonize Armenia law with European legal codes.

He also said that Armenia hoped to fulfill its human rights commitments as a member of the Council of Europe by year's end.

Italian Foreign Minister Margherita Boniver, who led the EU delegation, said the European Union was interested in widening its contacts with the southern Caucasus nations.

Armenia's economy has suffered since the Soviet breakup of 1991, and tense relations with its neighbors have aggravated the situation.

Yerevan - The Associated Press

-- Alexander
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