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    Armenia, Turkey to sign historic agreement

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    The foreign ministers of Turkey and Armenia are expected to sign an agreement on diplomatic relations in Zurich on Saturday.

    MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti) - The foreign ministers of Turkey and Armenia are expected to sign an agreement on diplomatic relations in Zurich on Saturday.

    U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as well as their French counterpart Bernard Kouchner and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana will attend the signing ceremony.

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently told The Wall Street Journal that Turkey is ready to sign a pact on October 10 on reopening its border with Armenia and reestablishing relations, if Armenia does not insist on last-minute changes to the draft.

    Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in a show of support for Muslim ally Azerbaijan, following a bloody conflict over Nagorny Karabakh between the two ex-Soviet republics. Turkey has also demanded that Yerevan drop its campaign to have the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 internationally recognized as genocide.

    Armenia and Turkey agreed to a "roadmap" to normalize their relations under Swiss mediation this April. The draft pact between the countries has been backed by the United States and European Union.

    Nagorny Karabakh, a region in Azerbaijan with a largely Armenian population, has been a source of conflict between the former Soviet republics since the late 1980s. The province has its own government and is de facto independent.

    During his recent international visit, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan met with representatives of Armenian diasporas in different countries, and many of them expressed their opposition to the signing of a Turkish-Armenian agreement.

     

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