1 Sep 2009

Turkey, Armenia to hold talks on diplomatic ties

11:36 am on 1 September 2009

Turkey and its neighbour Armenia have agreed to hold talks on establishing diplomatic ties, in a move to tackle almost a century of hostility on both sides.

Their foreign ministries announced the Swiss-brokered development in a joint statement. Turkish spokesman Burak Ozugergin said the talks should take about six weeks, the BBC reports.

The two countries' animosity stems from the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I.

Armenia, which took shape as a Soviet republic in 1920, has only had diplomatic relations with Turkey as part of the USSR.

Since declaring independence in 1991, it has pressed for recognition that the mass killing was genocide, a call Turkey has resisted.