EU'S TERM PRESIDENT SWEDEN, SOLANA WELCOME MOVE BY ARMENIA, TURKEY

Today's Zaman
Sept 4 2009
Turkey

Both the European Union term president, Sweden, and Javier Solana, the
EU's high representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy
(CFSP), have welcomed an announcement made on Monday by Armenia and
Turkey that they are launching final talks aimed at establishing
diplomatic ties.

The two countries, which currently have no diplomatic relations and a
history of animosity stemming from the killing of Anatolian Armenians
by Ottoman Turks during World War I, announced late on Monday that
they plan to sign two protocols within six weeks under a plan to end
a century of hostility.

"The normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey would be an
important contribution to the stability of the South Caucasus and the
wider region," the presidency of the EU said in a statement released
earlier this week, while welcoming the recent agreement between Armenia
and Turkey to further the process of normalization of relations.

Solana, meanwhile, called the agreement between Armenia and Turkey
"a crucial step towards normalization of bilateral relations, which
would greatly contribute to peace, security and stability throughout
an important region of Europe." "I commend the courage and vision of
both sides to move forward with this historic process. I hope the two
protocols can be signed, ratified, and implemented in the near term,"
Solana said in a written statement released earlier this week.