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Turkish PM Calls On Armenia To Withdraw From Karabakh

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Armenia should withdraw from the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh in order to help gain the approval of the Turkish parliament for a peace accord signed between Ankara and Yerevan.

"If the problems between Azerbaijan and Armenia are solved, then it will be easier for the Turkish community to embrace the normalization of the relations between Turkey and Armenia. Also, it will make it easier for the Turkish parliament to adopt the protocols," Erdogan said.

The foreign ministers of Turkey and Armenia on October 10 signed protocols of an accord that would restore diplomatic ties and open borders after almost a century of enmity. But the accord still needs to be passed by the parliaments in Ankara and Yerevan.

Earlier today, Azerbaijan sharply criticized Turkey for moves toward normalizing ties with Armenia -- saying the accord "casts a shadow over the spirit of brotherly relations" between Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Bitterness between Turkey and Armenia has centered on the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians under the Ottoman Turks during World War I. Armenia says the deaths were genocide. Turkey denies that charge.

with agency reports