World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made Turkey's first high-level visit to Armenia in nearly five years on Thursday, raising the prospect of a revival in peace efforts between the historical rivals which stalled in 2010.
Turkey and Armenia signed accords in October 2009 to establish diplomatic relations and open their land border. Yerevan suspended ratification of the peace accords six months later, setting back to square one U.S.-backed efforts to bury a century of hostility between the neighbours.
Davutoglu was set to meet his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian on the sidelines of a Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) group meeting.
"I hope my Yerevan visit will contribute to efforts for a comprehensive peace and economic stability in the BSEC region and the Caucasus in particular," Davutoglu wrote on Twitter.
The last visit by a Turkish minister was in April 2009, six months before the protocols were signed, when Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan attended a BSEC meeting in Yerevan.
Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with Azerbaijan during the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, when ethnic Armenians backed by Armenia threw off Azeri rule with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Armenia says about 1.5 million Armenians were killed in what is now eastern Turkey during World War I in a deliberate policy of genocide ordered by the Ottoman government.
The Ottoman Empire dissolved after the end of the war, but successive Turkish governments and the vast majority of Turks take the charge of genocide as a direct insult to national pride.
Ankara argues there was a heavy loss of life on both sides during fighting in the area.Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Aralık 2013, 14:38