Turkey Welcomes Relations with Armenia on New Preconditions

MOSCOW–Turkey welcomes the establishment of diplomatic relations with Armenia, Turkish Ambassador to Russia Kurtulus Taskent told a news conference in Moscow.
"I hope favorable conditions will be created for the establishment and development of diplomatic relations between our countries," Taskent said. He noted that due to certain reasons diplomatic relations cannot be established between Armenia and Turkey today. According to the Ambassador, for establishment of relations to occur Armenia must now also remove the provisions in its declaration of independence laying claim to territories within certain foreign countries.
Ambassador Taskent underlined that Turkey is taking active steps for normalization of relations with Armenia. "Currently 50-60 Armenia’s are illegally working in Turkey, but we close our eyes," he noted. He informed also that Armenian airlines make 100 flights monthly through Turkish air space, thus "allowing Armenia to maintain contacts with the outer world and the European countries." He also noted that in 2005 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that the archives of both countries be opened to "see the truth about the genocide of 1915." The Turkish Ambassador said there has been no response by President Kocharian on this issue.
While Turkey continues to place preconditions on the establishment of diplomatic relations, Armenia maintains a willingness to establish relations without preconditions.

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