The Armenia/Turkey Agreement Delayed

Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 11:42 am
From Jill Dougherty
CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent

ZURICH, Switzerland (CNN) -- The historic Saturday signing of an agreement normalizing relations between Turkey and Armenia was delayed when the Armenian delegation objected to the wording of an oral statement.

The Swiss-mediated peace deal would open the border between the countries, which has been shut since 1993.

"We are facilitating the two sides in coming to an agreement on the statements that they're going to make at the ceremony," U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said.

He didn't indicate what Armenia's problem with the wording was.

The statement was to be delivered after the signing in Zurich. Officials said the signing is apparently not jeopardized by the holdup.

Rest of story here:

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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 01:33 pm
@Merry Andrew,
But three hours later:
Turkey and Armenia sign historic pactl:
Turkey and Armenia's foreign ministers on Saturday signed pacts to establish ties, in a first step to reconciliation after nearly a century of bitterness over World War I-era massacres.

Armenian Foreign Minister Edouard Nalbandian and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu shook hands after signing the two protocols in a ceremony at a university in the Swiss city of Zurich.

But the two ministers and US, Russian, French and Swiss foreign ministers immediately left the room and failed to make their scheduled statements after the signature.

"No problems, they signed," said French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner afterwards.

The deals to establish diplomatic ties and regular dialogue, as well as open their common border, still have to clear the hurdle of parliamentary ratification in each country before they can take effect.

The ceremony attended by US, Russian, French and EU officials was delayed for more than three hours after "a last minute hitch" with the Armenians over the closing statements, according to a US official.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with US and Swiss diplomats in tow rushed back to a hotel to iron out the concerns expressed by Nalbandian.

A Turkish diplomatic source said the parties had decided not to make any statements to avoid the problem that had triggered the delay.

Merry Andrew
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 03:48 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Well, there goes another international news thread. Nothing to discuss here. Move along, folks.
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