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Armenia Gives Cautious Reply to Turkish Offer for Study of Genocide Claims

Armenia says it could take part in a commission with Turkey to study decades-old allegations of Turkish genocide against Armenians during World War I and other issues, but first calls for improved ties.

Armenian President Robert Kocharian said the proposal would only work if the two countries improve bilateral relations. The neighbors share a border, but have no diplomatic ties.

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul earlier this month said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the offer in a letter to the Armenian president.

Turkey has refused to establish diplomatic ties with Armenia because of Armenia's campaign to gain international recognition of the World War One massacres as genocide.

Armenia says 1.5 million of its nationals were slaughtered by the Turks during the final years of the Ottoman Empire 90 years ago. Turkey says 300,000 Armenians and thousands of Turks were killed during a Russia-backed Armenian uprising against Ottoman rule.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.