YEREVAN -- Armenia's National Academy of Sciences has officially given its support for its country's proposed normalization of diplomatic ties with Turkey during a closed-door session with Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian and more than 150 academics, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.
The state-funded institution, which rarely challenges government decisions, discussed the matter as part of the internal political consultations which Ankara and Yerevan agreed to hold with their constituencies before signing the deal next month.
Academy of Sciences President Radik Martirosian reportedly praised Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian for his "dynamic and active foreign policy."
He said that although all Armenian presidents had sought to normalize relations with Turkey, only Sarkisian has made progress.
A press statement from his office also welcomed the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border "without preconditions" and Sarkisian's efforts to "settle relations with neighbors and get Armenia out of the [Turkish] blockade."
Many Armenian opposition parties and their leaders have sharply criticized the rapprochement efforts of Ankara and Yerevan.