Today.Az » Politics » Armenian president offers Turkey to set up joint committee
20 February 2007 [13:11] - Today.Az
Armenian President Robert Kocharian renewed his offer to establish diplomatic ties with Turkey and proposed setting up a joint government commission to discuss sensitive issues, a French newspaper said on Monday.
Kocharian, interviewed by Le Figaro newspaper during a visit to France, was asked why his country had refused Turkey's offer to form a joint research committee to discuss the World War I-era killings of Armenians, which Armenia considers genocide.
"Normalization of bilateral relations is up to governments, not historians," Kocharian was quoted as saying.
"That's why we are ready to establish diplomatic relations with Turkey without conditions and to create an intergovernmental commission and to discuss all questions, even the most sensitive," he said.
Armenia accuses Turkey of genocide in the killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians during World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire as part of a campaign to force them out of eastern Turkey. Turkey denies this.
Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic relations and the border between the two countries has been shut since 1993 because of Armenia's unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan - a close Turkish ally - over Nagorno Karabakh, a disputed territory inside Azerbaijan. The Associated Press