Babacan meets with Armenian FM Nalbandian in Istanbul
Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian yesterday arrived in Istanbul to take over the six-month term presidency of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC). On the meeting's sidelines, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan met with Nalbandian for nearly three hours. Afterwards, Babacan told reporters that they had spoken about ties between the two countries and other problems in the Caucasus region. Characterizing the meeting as fruitful and constructive, he stated they would continue to discuss issues with a strong political will towards normalizing Turkish-Armenian relations. For his part, Nalbandian said that their meeting had been positive, adding, "We decided to continue to talk to normalize relations between our countries." Before the meeting with Babacan, referring to President Abdullah Gul's landmark visit to Armenia in September, Nalbandian told reporters, "An active dialogue between the countries started with a football match in Yerevan. We will maintain this positive atmosphere." He added that Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian will come to Turkey next year to watch a match between Turkey and Armenia . Stating that Armenia is ready to open its borders and establish diplomatic relations without preconditions, he said that they hope to see the same attitude from Turkey.