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Armenia: Ministry Denies Banned Party Has Opened Office

  • Liz Fuller

Yerevan, 31 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - An Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman yesterday denied a Turkish press report that the banned Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) has recently opened an information office in Yerevan after being denied permission by the Georgian government to open such an office in Tbilisi.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Arsen Gasparian told "RFE/RL Newsline there is no PKK office in Yerevan. He says Armenian authorities are not cooperating with the PKK.

Gasparian says the Anatolia news agency report, which was published in yesterday's "Turkish Daily News," was "groundless and provocative." He said such statements "are not helpful for the establishment of cooperation in our region."

Gasparian says Turkey should change its position and understand that it would be better to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia without any preconditions. He also called on Turkey to open a border crossing with Armenia. Ankara has consistently refused to open a border crossing until Nagorno Karabakh Armenian forces withdraw from six occupied districts of Azerbaijan.

Gasparian says that as a member of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe's Minsk Group that is engaged in mediating in the Karabakh conflict, Turkey should establish diplomatic relations with Armenia in order to expedite a political settlement to the conflict.