Armenia halts Turkey reconciliation

President Serzh Sarksyan blames the standoff on the current political atmosphere in Turkey.

    Armenia's move on Thursday was not a pullout of the normalising process, Sarkysan said [EPA]

    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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