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Angry Turkey pushes on with Armenia diplomacy

Turkey said yesterday it would push on with efforts to normalise ties with Armenia despite a US congressional panel vote labelling as genocide the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915.

Turkish leaders reacted with fury over the approval of the non-binding resolution by the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

Although it was unclear whether the bill would be considered by the full House, President Abdullah Gul, whose visit to Armenia in 2008 led to the peace initiative, said the US vote would hurt efforts to bring peace and stability to the South Caucasus, a volatile region with pipelines taking oil and gas to the West. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the US action had jeopardised chances of Turkey's parliament ratifying peace accords with Armenia, but that the government would push on with efforts to resolve disputes with its old foe.

“We are determined to press ahead with normalisation of relations with Armenia,” Davutoglu told a news conference hours after Turkey recalled its ambassador from Washington.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has warned of possible damage to relations with the United States because of the vote.

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