Papandreou praises Armenia, Turkey for peace efforts

December 02, 2009, Wednesday/ 16:41:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES
Armenia and Turkey’s efforts to normalize their relations should encourage other countries in the region to take similar actions in order contribute to regional security, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said in Athens on Tuesday at a meeting of the 56-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The foreign policy chiefs of 56 OSCE members, including Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, were trying to agree on a rare political declaration on a common security structure. If an agreement can be reached, it would be the first time since 2002 that the OSCE has settled on a common political declaration.

Papandreou asked those attending to take Turkey and Armenia as an example for the OSCE. The two countries ended a century of hostility earlier this year by agreeing to establish diplomatic relations. “The bold decision taken by Turkey and Armenia has not been easy but they have been important. We must now take this same spirit of reconciliation to the unresolved conflicts that persist in the OSCE area,” Papandreou said.

Also in Athens, the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan were expected to hold a meeting with the French, Russian and American co-chairs of the OSCE’s Minsk Group, which has striven for 17 years to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a territorial dispute between Baku and Yerevan.

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