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After Accord Signing, Turkey Presses Armenia on Nagorno-Karabakh

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Turkey's prime minister says Armenia needs to withdraw its troops from a breakway enclave in Azerbaijan before Turkey will open its border with Armenia.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan linked the issues Sunday, one day after Turkey and Armenia signed an agreement to normalize relations after a century of hostility.

In Ankara, Mr. Erdogan said an Armenian troop pullout from Nagorno-Karabakh would ease the way for Turkey's parliament to ratify the deal on normalizing relations. Before the agreement can take effect, it must be ratified by the parliaments of both Turkey and Armenia.

Turkey shut its border with Armenia in 1993 in support of Azerbaijan, which was fighting to keep control of the Armenian-majority enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Broader differences between Turkey and Armenia stem from the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turkish forces during and after World War One.

The chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, Sunday welcomed the Turkey-Armenia accord signed Saturday. He commended the effort and political will that leaders of the two countries have invested to overcome differences.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent several hours Saturday working to resolve a last-minute dispute over statements to be made at the signing ceremony in the Swiss city of Zurich. In the end, neither Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian nor his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, spoke after signing the protocols to establish diplomatic ties and to reopen the border.

There is strong opposition to the deal in both countries.

Armenians want the massacres between 1915 and 1923 recognized as genocide, and many countries have done so. Turkey strongly rejects the genocide claim. It says the Armenian death toll is inflated and that many Turks also were killed during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

The agreement calls for a joint commission of independent historians to examine the genocide question. Some experts say the commission would be a concession to Turkey as it would revisit an issue Armenia says has already been confirmed.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.