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Sarkozy Urges Ankara to Quickly Recognize Armenian 'Genocide’, Turkey Rebuffs

French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged Turkey on Friday to recognize the World War I-era massacres of Armenians as genocide within a "very brief" period before his term ends in May 2012.

"From 1915 to 2011, it seems to be enough (time) for reflection," Sarkozy told reporters in Yerevan on the second day of his visit to Armenia.

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Sarkozy Tells Turkey to Recognize Armenia 'genocide'

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday urged Turkey to take responsibility for the 1915 massacre of Armenians, calling its refusal to recognize the deaths as genocide as "unacceptable".

Sarkozy's comments, issued at the start of his first state visit to Armenia, whose diaspora represents a large voting minority in France, come months before a presidential election which he heads into with approval ratings at a low.

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Syria: No Message Was Conveyed between Assad, Davutoglu

An official source at the Syrian Foreign Ministry denied on Thursday media reports that a meeting was recently held between President Bashar Assad and Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, labeling them as untrue, reported the state news agency SANA.

The source said that the last meeting between the two officials took place in August, adding “no messages were conveyed from or to anyone during the meeting.”

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Turkey to Keep on Gas Search in Mediterranean

Turkey will continue searching for gas and oil in the Mediterranean waters, where the rival Cyprus government has already started drilling, the Turkish energy minister said.

"We will not leave the Mediterranean. There are zones that we had spotted earlier," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency on Thursday.

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Erdogan Says Israel a 'Threat' to Region over Atomic Bomb

Israel is a "threat" to its region because it owns nuclear weapons, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.

"I right now see Israel as a threat for its region, because it has the atomic bomb," Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency, during an official visit to South Africa.

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Turkey PM Firm on Syria Sanctions Despite U.N. Vote

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government would announce a package of sanctions against neighboring Syria despite a U.N. resolution blocked by Russia and China.

"Unfortunately, the draft prepared in the form of a warning (against Syria) was vetoed during the vote at the U.N. Security Council yesterday," Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.

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Reports: Turkish Police Detain 150 People on Terror Charges

Turkish police on Tuesday detained over 140 people with suspected links to Kurdish rebels in three main cities, media reports said.

Police early Tuesday morning arrested 90 people in Istanbul after raiding several addresses around the city, Anatolia news agency reported.

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Syrian Colonel in Turkey Exile Urges Unity against Damascus

A Syrian army colonel who fled to Turkey has called for a united front against President Bashar Assad's regime, the Anatolia news agency reported on Tuesday.

"Opponent forces in Syria should get united and close ranks until the regime collapses," colonel Riad al-Asaad, who is currently taking refuge in Turkey, told the news agency.

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Berri from Armenia: International Powers Targeting Arab Regimes to Subject Them to Their Will

Speaker Nabih Berri criticized on Tuesday the international community’s “double standards” in dealing with Israel, accusing it of having hidden agendas in the Middle East.

He said before the Armenian parliament: “International decision-makers are placing all Arab regimes in the position of the accused in order to subject them to their will.”

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Turkish PM Leaves Door Open to Talks with Kurdish Rebels

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested a resumption of talks with Kurdish rebels was possible despite a recent surge in attacks, the Turkish press reported Monday.

"If we deem it necessary, we will make a decision and tell our colleagues to do what is needed," Erdogan said, referring to talks with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

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