The New Anatolian, Turkey
May 2 2005



Armenia rejects conditions for political relations with Turkey

The New Anatolian / Ankara

Armenia rejected the proposal of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan
on Saturday to establish political relations while jointly
researching the killings of Armenians during World War I.

The proposal by Erdogan, made on Friday, "does not contain anything
new," said Armenian presidential spokesman Viktor Sogomonyan. "We
have proposed to establish diplomatic relations without
preconditions, and examine outstanding issues between our two
countries within the framework of an intergovernmental commission,"
Sogomonyan said.

Armenia insists the killings constitute genocide, and refuses to make
establishing relations conditional on agreeing to review what it says
is fact. Turkey denies a genocide was committed.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogansaid earlier in an
interview that Turkey might establish political ties if Armenia
agreed to his proposal for investigating the events. "Political
relations might be established on one side and studies (about
killings) can continue on the other side," Erdogan said.

Earlier this month, Erdogan invited Armenia to set up a joint
research committee. Armenian President Robert Kocharian responded by
saying ties should be formed first.

Armenia opens its national archives

On the other hand, the head of the Armenian national archives,
Amatuni Virabyan, said Saturday that the first Turk to be allowed to
carry out research there. Ektan Turkyelmaz, from Duke University in
the U.S. state of North Carolina, would begin work Monday, Virabyan
said.