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Football to advance Turkish/Armenian diplomacy

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Football to advance Turkish/Armenian diplomacy

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The Turkish and Armenian presidents will seek to build on Saturday’s breakthrough in peacemaking between their countries at a World Cup match in Turkey on Wednesday.  They met at the corresponding fixture in Armenia last year as part of the process that led to the signing of a peace deal at the weekend.
 
It aims to bring to an end a century of hostility but there is opposition from nationalists on both sides and the accord has yet to be ratified by the Turkish and Armenian parliaments. 
 
Last-minute disagreements delayed the signing for more than three hours, and the pact was only salvaged after intense talks led by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 
 
Turkey continues to demand Armenia withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan, which Ankara backs. And Armenia insists that Turkey acknowledge the killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians during World War One as genocide.

But both sides say they remain determined to restore normal relations.