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Turkey wants to develop relations with Armenia — parliament speaker

April 15, 2015, 13:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Turkish parliament’s speaker said freezing Armenian-Turkish relations is damaging mostly for the Armenian side
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Turkish parliament’s speaker Cemil Cicek

Turkish parliament’s speaker Cemil Cicek


MOSCOW, April 15. /TASS/. Turkey wants to develop its relations with Armenia, the Turkish parliament’s speaker Cemil Cicek told TASS on Wednesday.

"We want to develop relations with Armenia, but the fact that some individuals serve as instruments in a campaign to defame Turkey, does not contribute to normalization [of relations]," Cicek said, commenting on Pope Francis’ recent genocide remarks.

"Freezing Armenian-Turkish relations is damaging mostly for the Armenian side," he added.

"If we are talking about the events of 1915, we have opened our archives and call on all countries that have any connections to those events to open theirs and absolutely openly and sincerely demonstrate what they have," Cicek said.

On April 12, Turkey recalled its Ambassador to the Vatican Mehmet Paraci for consultations after Pope Francis’ genocide comments.

The Turkish authorities are "disappointed" by the comments made by Pope Francis, who used the word "genocide" in describing the mass killing of Armenians under Ottoman rule in World War I. The statement made by the Pope causes a "problem of trust" between Turkey and the Vatican, the authorities said.

Pope Francis’ comments came at a service in Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica attended by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.

The Pope said humanity had lived through "three massive and unprecedented tragedies" in the last century. "The first, which is widely considered 'the first genocide of the 20th Century', struck your own Armenian people," Pope Francis said, referencing a 2001 declaration by Pope John Paul II and the head of the Armenian church.

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