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Anti-Turkish Party Joins Armenian President Sarkisian's Government

An anti-Turkish party has joined the government of Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian in a deal highlighting Yerevan's failure to normalize ties with Ankara.

At Sarkisian's invitation, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun) took three ministerial posts for economy, education, and local administration, and appointed two regional governors.

The agreement with Sarkisian's ruling Republican Party (HHK) on February 24 "marks the beginning of a long-term political cooperation based on common values and joint goals and action plans," HHK Deputy Chairman Armen Ashotyan told journalists.

Armenia and Turkey have clashed over Armenian demands that Turkey take resonsponsibility for the massacre of ethnic Armenians during the rule of the Ottoman Empire.

Dashnaktsutiun, a socialist party that has antagonized Ankara by making territorial claims in Turkey, currently holds five seats in Armenia's 131-member parliament.

Dashnaktsutiun went over to the opposition in 2009 after Armenia and Turkey signed an agreement to normalize relations.

The pact would have led to the opening up of the border between the two neighbors, but it has since languished without ratification in both countries' parliaments.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax

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