Turkey, Armenia Move Toward Diplomatic Ties

Talks won't touch WWI-era massacre at root of ill feelings, however
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 31, 2009 9:13 PM CDT

(Newser) – Armenia and Turkey, bitter foes for a century, took a step toward reconciliation today by announcing they would launch final talks aimed at establishing diplomatic ties. But they won't discuss the deepest source of their enmity: the World War I-era massacres of Armenians under Ottoman rule. The sides say they expect talks to take six weeks and to end with an agreement setting up and developing ties.

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The talks still face pitfalls, and will follow months of inactivity after signs of promise earlier in the year when President Obama appealed for reconciliation during a visit to Turkey. The parliaments of the two countries must ratify a deal on diplomatic normalization, and in Turkey, nationalist sentiment and suspicion about Armenian intentions is particularly high. (Read more Turkey stories.)

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