The two countries signed a Swiss-brokered accord last October to establish diplomatic ties and end decades of enmity.

Neither country's parliament has approved the deal though.

Tensions between the two have risen recently, with Turkey last month threatening to expelthousands of illegal Armenian workers from the country.

That threat, from Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister, came in response to resolutions passed in the US and Sweden, which branded the World War I killing of Armenians as genocide.

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Erdogan said Armenia's influential diaspora was behind those resolutions and "unfortunately have a negative impact on our sincere attitudes".

Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their kin perished in a systematic extermination campaign during World War I as the Ottoman Empire fell apart.

Turkey counters that between 300,000 and 500,000 Armenians, and at least as many Turks, were killed in civil strife when Armenians rose up against their Ottoman rulers and sided with invading Russian forces.