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Turkey Renews Offer to Armenia for Joint Study of Genocide Claims

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country is ready to build ties with neighboring Armenia, despite disagreements over decades-old allegations of Turkish genocide against Armenians.

In an interview with the newspaper Milliyet, Mr. Erdogan renewed his call for creation of a joint Turkish-Armenian commission to study the disputed genocide issue. He said this could coincide with the establishment of political relations between the two neighbors. The countries share a border, but have no diplomatic ties.

Tuesday, Armenian President Robert Kocharian said his country could take part in a commission, but he first called for improved ties.

Armenia says 1.5 million of its nationals were slaughtered by the Turks during the final years of the Ottoman Empire 90 years ago, characterizing this as genocide. 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, and AP.