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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 2,797 2,367 2,100 139
GNI per capita
 US $ 950 790 570 143
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Armenia

Update No: 333 - (25/09/08)

The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. 

Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. Some 10 percent of the Azeri population was displaced due to a series of bloody clashes both between and within the two neighbouring countries. 

In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are currently holding peaceful negotiations.

Turkey brings together Armenia and Azerbaijan in historic meeting
Something more direct is required to resolve the issue. The Turks have come up with what may be an answer.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan arrived in the U.S. on September 19 to attend the United Nations summit in New York. Turkey also will push for its bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council ahead of the voting in October.

A new chill in East-West relations overhung the U.N. General Assembly gathering of world leaders, the first major international meeting since Russia-Georgia in August. The financial turmoil on Wall Street also cast a pall over the annual week of speechifying, whose main theme this year was stepping up aid to impoverished countries.

But for Turkey the most important aim was to bring Armenian and Azerbaijani top diplomats together on the same table, with the hope of taking a step towards the solution of the conflicts between them. Babacan met with his Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts in New York on September 25 and 26 respectively on the sidelines of the UN summit.

The ministers met both bilaterally and trilaterally mainly to discuss settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

Armenia gives the signal
Armenia’s foreign minister Edward Nalbandian sounded optimistic about the prospects of a solution in the long-running dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, saying that such a solution would open up new possibilities for regional cooperation in a press conference.

Turkey has suggested setting up a commission between the two countries, and various sub-committees.

Yerevan prefers diplomatic relations first
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said it would be better to form diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia prior to the establishment of any commission.

"I generally said that I was not against the establishment of commissions between the two countries... First, let our joint border be opened and diplomatic relations constituted, then we can establish commissions, sub-commissions and sub-sub-commissions for any issue," Milliyet News quoted Sargsyan as saying.

But, but, but what about that genocide?
Turkey is among the first countries that recognized Armenia when it declared its independence in the early 1990s. However there are no diplomatic relations between the two countries, as Armenia presses the international community to admit the so-called "genocide" claims, instead of accepting Turkey's call to investigate the allegations, and Armenia’s invasion of 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory despite UN Security Council resolutions on the issue.

In 2005, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan took a first step towards resolving the genocide issue by proposing that a joint commission of historians launch an investigation and publish their conclusions, but that seemingly reasonable proposal was rejected by Yerevan. 

The decisions taken by the commissions are also not determining, and would only make recommendations for decision takers and governments, Sargsyan said and was reminded about similar commissions formed by U.S. efforts in the past

"In fact, if you remember a similar commission to this was formed in the past with the efforts of the United States, and this commission concluded a 'genocide had taken place'. What happened then? Has something changed? Did anybody accept it? No. Nobody accepted."

Armenia, with the backing of the diaspora, claims up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings in 1915. Turkey rejects the claims, saying that 300,000 Armenians along with at least as many Turks died in civil strife that emerged when Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia.

No territorial demand from Turkey
Sargsyan also denied that they were making territorial demands from Turkey. 

“I am surprised by the territorial demand claim. I do not know but it is a common opinion. But have you ever heard an Armenian official saying, ‘we are demanding territory from Turkey.” In no way has such a statement ever been made,” he said.

A warmer period however began in the relations between the two neighbours after Gul paid a landmark visit to Armenia early September to attend a World Cup qualifying match between the countries’ national teams. Turkey hopes this period would eventually lead to a normalization of relations.

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