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U.S. Ambassador To Armenia Calls Turkey Deal 'Transformative'

Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Armenia
YEREVAN -- U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Marie Yovanovitch has told RFE/RL's Armenian Service that the country's rapprochement with Turkey is a "significant step forward" and a "transformative" development for the region.

In addition to opening diplomatic relations between the two neighboring countries, she said it is "vital for Armenia's security" to open the border because it would bring both countries substantial economic benefits.

She added that because the historic Turkish-Armenian agreement has been controversial in Armenia and in its diaspora communities abroad -- in the United States in particular -- signing it is a "bold foreign policy move both by President [Serzh] Sarkisian and the Turkish leadership."

She said it is in Armenia's interest to "move forward on Nagorno-Karabakh," but emphasized that normalization with Turkey and Karabakh are separate issues.