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Armenian FM Hopes Turkey Will Open Border

Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian
Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian
YEREVAN -- Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian says the Turkish and Armenian governments have made substantial progress toward the opening of their mutual border "without preconditions," RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Nalbandian, speaking over the weekend at an international conference on regional security issues held in Yerevan, said he hopes Turkey will "make the last decisive step" toward rapprochement.

Nalbandian said relations with Turkey and the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict "are different, and by no means interconnected, even if some would like to see a linkage or parallelism in their resolution."

His remarks came one day after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated that his country will not establish diplomatic relations or reopen the border with Armenia until the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is resolved.

Armenian opposition leaders accuse President Serzh Sarkisian of helping Turkey to scuttle efforts to see the United States officially recognize the 1915 mass killings of Armenians as genocide while also failing to get Turkey to lift its 16-year economic blockade of Armenia.