Ministers agree to closer Swiss-Turkish ties

Switzerland and Turkey have agreed to strengthen ties in energy, migration, counter-terrorism and fighting organised crime.

This content was published on September 11, 2008 - 20:14

The two countries signed an extension to their 2001 memorandum of understanding in Bern on Thursday stating they would hold future talks on the issues.

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey noted that the partnership had great potential. She also praised renewed dialogue efforts between Turkey and Armenia, damaged as a result of the mass killing of Armenians in 1915.

The Armenians say Ottoman Turks slaughtered up to 1.8 million Armenians in a planned genocide, a charge Turkey disputes.

The Council of Europe, the French parliament and the Swiss House of Representatives have all since recognised the events as genocide. The question has long affected relations between Switzerland and Turkey, including the postponing of official visits.

In 2007, the Lausanne district court fined Turkish politician Doğu Perinçek for denying the killings were genocide during a public speech in the city in 2005.

Speaking in Bern on Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said politicians needed to be forward-looking and "history needed to be written by historians".

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