ANKARA (Combined Sources)—Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is on his first official visit to Turkey, said Wedneday that he hoped Turkey and Armenia would be able to “restore full-fledged relations,” reported the Itar-Tass news agency.
“We are closely watching the development of relations [between Ankara and Yerevan] and hope the positive momentum gained after the signing of relevant documents in Zurich will go on,” Medvedev told a news conference after his talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul. Although, he noted that “the process of mending relations between the two countries is not easy and gets different response in Turkey and Armenia.”
According to the Russian President, the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations will undoubtedly contribute to the stabilization of situation in the region, the active development of economic ties. “We welcome the process and will be closely watching the developments,” he said.
“Encouraging steps have recently been taken to settle the Nagorno Karabakh issue,” said Medvedev.
“The sides are holding meetings, are speaking with each other and certain progress has been reached on a number of issues, but it does not mean all issues have been agreed upon. I personally offered the two presidents my help in mediation. Naturally, other members of the OSCE Minsk Group should make their contributions, but all the issues should be discussed by the conflicting sides first.”
A trilateral meeting of the Armenian, Russian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers is expected soon. The sides will discuss Nagorno-Karabakh, added Medvedev
“The Foreign Ministers of the countries meet regularly and we will continue the meetings of the Armenian, Russian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers in the near future,” said the Russian President said.
Russia, Turkey boost ‘strategic’ ties
Visa-free travel between Russia and Turkey was just one of several agreements signed by the two countries Wednesday during Medvedev’s visit to Ankara. Another was an agreement that Russia would build a $20 billion nuclear power plant in Turkey, the first for that country.
“Our relations have dramatically changed over the past years. Today they are strategic,” Medvedev told a joint press conference with Gul.
“This is a very special day in Turkish-Russian relations,” he said after overseeing the signing of cooperation accords in the fields transport, education and anti-drug trafficking laws.
Gul, meanwhile, said relations between the two nations were “strong” and growing.
Expressing Turkey’s determination to move forward with Turkish-Russian relations, Gul said the visa deal would benefit not only transporters but also tourists.
“Relations between Turkey and Russia are developing in all fields. During our meetings today, we had a chance to go over bilateral relations,” he said. “We were pleased to note common visions on regional and international issues. We have agreed to work together to solve regional problems by dialogue.”