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Turkey, Armenia agree on road map to normalize ties

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A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

Turkey and Armenia have tentatively agreed to normalize diplomatic ties amid fierce rancor over the massacre of more than a million Armenians nearly a century ago. Swiss-mediated talks yielded an accord that would, if confirmed by lawmakers, create a road map for bilateral cooperation between the two antagonistic neighbors.

Armenia has been lobbying Western nations to back its claim that the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against its people during World War I. Turkey has long denied that the killings amounted to genocide. On a recent visit to Turkey, US President Barack Obama called on the country to come to terms with its past and reopen its sealed border with Armenia. During his term as a senator, he joined calls for the US government to recognize the genocide. But on his recent trip, he carefully avoided using the term.

Turkey's government said Wednesday that the talks had achieved "tangible progress and mutual understanding," Bloomberg reports. Last September, President Abdullah Gul became the first Turkish head of state to visit Armenia. To resolve the dispute over the massacres, Turkey has proposed opening the archives of the Ottoman Empire, the forerunner to the modern nation-state, to foreign historians.

The Foreign Ministry said Turkey and Armenia "have agreed on a comprehensive framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations in a mutually satisfactory manner," according to the statement on its Web site. "In this context, a road map has been identified."

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