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YEREVAN -- The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun) party has criticized a deal between the Armenian and Turkish governments that could pave the way for the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Dashnaktsutiun took issue with reports that the Armenian government plans to use the topic of the Armenian genocide as a bargaining chip in talks with Turkey.

Armenia's stance that the Ottoman Turks' massacre of ethnic Armenians during and after World War I was genocide have prevented the two countries from normalizing diplomatic ties.

Dashnaktsutiun said no president and no government had the right to use the issue for gain in political talks with Turkey.

Late on August 31 a statement was issued by Armenia and Turkey in Berne, Switzerland, announcing two protocols -- one on "the establishment of diplomatic relations" and the second on "the development of bilateral relations" -- that have been initiated in the course of their efforts under Swiss mediation.
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