Armenia rejects help from Turkey to settle Nagorno Karabakh
Ankara "cannot be objective" towards Armenia, the chairman of the foreign affairs commission, Ovanes Ovanesian, told AFP.
"Turkey has shown in recent years that it does not have a neutral policy in the region. Under those conditions, it could not play a positive role in any settlement," said a spokesman for the nationalist Dashnaktsutiun party, Gegam Manukian.
US Ambassador Carey Cavanaugh, one of three co-chairs from an OSCE mediation group, said Tuesday in Baku that Turkish firms could help reconstruct areas destroyed during the war between ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan.
"Turkey would be a key player in implementing any peace settlement in the region," Cavanaugh told AFP.
Relations between Turkey and Armenia are tense over Yerevan's demands that massacres carried out between 1915 and 1917 under the Ottoman empire be considered a genocide.
Turkey has repeatedly backed Baku in the conflict with ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region located within Azerbaijan.
The Armenian foreign ministry said earlier this week that Turkey must change its policy towards Armenia and Azerbaijan before it can hope to play a role in the peace process.
Fighting broke out in 1988 when the enclave's ethnic Armenian majority broke away from Baku, which administered the region, and tried to unite with Armenia proper.
More than 30,000 people have died and nearly a million people were displaced in what is widely seen as one of the bloodiest conflicts in the former Soviet Union.
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Received by NewsEdge Insight: 12/13/2000 10:23:18
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