UK Minister Says Turk EU Membership Long Way Off

ANKARA (Anatolian News Agency)–An Armenian delegation arrived in Kars Tuesday to hold talks on the opening of the East Gate at the Turkish-Armenian border. The meetings resulted in a decision to open the border once a week.

The delegation–which was received by Kars Mayor Naif Alibeyoglu–was comprised of Grigor Aranelyan–chief of the Armenian Foreign Ministry’s Near and Middle Eastern Countries Desk; Turkish Desk Chief Arsen Avaryan–Karen Kocharyan–director general of the Local Administration Ministry; Gumri Mayor Vardan Ghukasyan; Shirak Deputy Governor Seyran Petrosyan and an Armenian television crew.

The delegation called on Kars Governor Nevzat Turhan at his office and conferred with him for some time. In a statement he made here–Avaryan said that the visit aims at taking the necessary initiatives to ensure that the East Gate is opened as soon as possible and added–"There are no problems between the peoples of Armenia and Turkey. The opening of this gate is very important for both countries. We hope that our visit will consolidate our relations. We wish to inaugurate the East Gate as soon as possible."

Turhan expressed that the problems between Armenia and Azerbaijan will be resolved as soon as possible with goodwill and within the framework of good relations–recalling that President Suleyman Demirel has taken the necessary initiatives on the issue. He added that the opening of the gate will greatly develop the economy of Kars.

The delegation later visited Prof. Necati Kaya–rector of the Kafkas University–and was briefed on the economic and technological fields in which cooperation can be achieved with universities in Gumri and Yerevan.

Alibeyoglu–who is hosting the delegation–said that if the East Gate opens migration in Kars will halt–expressing the wish that the gate be inaugurated as soon as possible. The delegation also visited Van.

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