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Russian FM Urges Progress On Turkey, Armenia Rapprochment

Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the sooner Turkey and Armenia establish diplomatic relations "the better for the whole region."

Turkey and Armenia -- their ties strained by the World War I-era killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks -- signed the historic protocols normalizing relations in October.

The accords await independent ratification by each country's parliament, but Turkey has signaled that its parliamentary confirmation hinges on progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh territorial dispute dividing Armenia and Turkey's ally Azerbaijan.

Lavrov told reporters in Yerevan today that trying to "artificially link those two issues is, in my opinion, not correct."

compiled from agency reports