Turkish Official Looks to Improved Relations with Armenia

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Leading the Turkish delegation at a session of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Parliamentary Assembly that convened in Yerevan on Wednesday–Salik Kapusoz of the Turkish ruling Justice and Development party–said that the borders of Armenia and Turkey may open soon. "The Justice and Development party has taken on the task to develop relations with all neighbors of Turkey–and I hope that we shall soon see better times," he said–stressing that the opening of borders should serve as a solid incentive to improve Turkish-Armenian relations. He also told reporters that both nations should not cling to the past–and instead must look forward.

The BSEC Parliamentary Assembly body meeting in Yerevan is the Commission on Culture–Education–and Social Issues. The head of Romania’s delegation and Vice-chair of the commission Dumitru Buzatu–is presiding over the session attended by parliamentary delegations from Turkey–Moldova–Bulgaria–Albania–Ukraine–Russia–and Georgia. The Azeri delegation opted not to attend–citing busy schedules. "I hope they will take part in future meetings held in Armenia," announced Buzatu.

The first sitting of the session took up the social–economic–and civil rights of the disabled–with Russian representative Adam Tleuz addressing the physical and social obstacles the disabled face.

Members of the session noted that in Armenia–rights of the disabled are consistently violated–and that the country’s medical centers are far from reaching international standards.

Paying special attention to the rights of disabled children and women–participants urged BSEC governmen’s and parliamen’s to advance their laws on the disabled so that they correspond to international standards.

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