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Azerbaijan Rejects Armenia-Turkey Deal


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian after the signing ceremony on October 10

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian after the signing ceremony on October 10

BAKU -- Azerbaijan has sharply criticized Turkey for agreeing to normalize ties with Armenia.

AFP news agency quotes the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry as saying in a statement that the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia before the withdrawal of Armenian forces from occupied Azerbaijani territory would be "in direct contradiction with the interests of Azerbaijan."

The statement continues to say that this action "casts a shadow over the spirit of brotherly relations" between Azerbaijan and Turkey, which it says are built on deep historical roots.

It says Azerbaijan believes that the unilateral opening of the Turkish-Armenian border would call into question the architecture of peace and stability in the region.

The Azerbaijani reaction comes after Turkey and Armenia on October 10 signed accords to restore diplomatic ties and open borders after almost a century of enmity.

Officials said Armenian Foreign Minister Edouard Nalbandian and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu inked the two protocols in a ceremony in Switzerland.

The bitterness between Turkey and Armenia has centered on the deaths of more than 1 million Armenians under the Ottoman Turks during World War I.

Armenia says the deaths were genocide, which Turkey denies.
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