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Armenia halts Turkey reconciliation
President Serzh Sarksyan blames the standoff on the current political atmosphere in Turkey.
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2010 15:27 GMT
Armenia's move on Thursday was not a pullout of the normalising process, Sarkysan said [EPA]

Armenia has said it is suspending ratification of a reconciliation deal with Turkey, but is not pulling out of negotiations entirely.

Serzh Sarksyan, the Armenian president, said in nationally broadcast remarks on Thursday that the halt in the reconciliation process between the two countries was due to the current political atmosphere in Turkey.

"We shall consider moving forward when we are convinced that there is a proper environment in Turkey and there is a leadership in Ankara ready to re-engage in the normalisation process," he said.

Deadlock

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.

In depth
 Turkish Armenians hope for new era
 Ending the Turkey-Armenia standoff
 The Armenian question
 An Armenian Homecoming
 Interview: Ahmet Davutoglu

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.

Source:
Agencies
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