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Armenia thanks Swiss for deal with Turkey

Armenia has thanked Switzerland for the "very important" role it played in brokering a landmark accord between the Caucasus state and Turkey.

During a visit to Bern on Tuesday, Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian said he hoped his country's parliament would soon ratify the agreement normalising relations with Ankara.

The accord was signed in Zurich last month. It calls for the opening of borders between the former foes, and for the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Nalbandian, speaking at a news conference alongside his Swiss counterpart, Micheline Calmy-Rey, said Switzerland's mediation efforts required "determination and restraint, imagination, prudence and patience".

For her part, Calmy-Rey thanked Nalbandian for showing "political will and engagement" and hoped that Armenian-Turkish relations would soon be normalised.

Turkey and Armenia are pursuing rapprochement after almost a century of animosity stemming from the First World War mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.

Their common border was closed 16 years ago while Armenia fought a war with Azerbaijan, a state with close ties to Turkey.

Nalbandian and Calmy-Rey signed two bilateral agreements during the Armenian foreign minister's visit – a treaty on air traffic and a deal doing away with the necessity for diplomats to apply for visas. and agencies


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