Armenian leader to visit Turkey

Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan said Monday he would visit Turkey to attend a football match this week between the two neighbors who have signed a peace accord after a century of hostility.

Sarksyan said he had accepted an invitation by his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, to watch Turkey play Armenia in the Turkish town of Bursa in the second leg of their World Cup qualifying tie. Gul attended the first leg last year in Yerevan.

“Providing nothing extraordinary happens in these two days, I will go to Bursa and support my favorite team,” he told reporters before he left Yerevan for talks in Moscow with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

“I see no serious basis not to accept this invitation,” he added.

Turkey and Armenia signed accords Saturday to establish diplomatic relations and open their border under a road map to end a century of hostility stemming from the World War One mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.

But the accords require ratification by both parliaments, a process that could yet be derailed by the festering conflict between Armenia and Azeri-ally Azerbaijan over Armenian-backed breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh.

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