World Digest

World Digest: Turkey Sets Condition for Ties With Armenia

Monday, October 12, 2009


Nation Sets Condition For Ties With Armenia

One day after Turkey signed a deal the United States helped salvage to end a century of enmity with Armenia, Turkey's leader set a tough condition for normalizing ties on Sunday: Armenia must withdraw from the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The statement appeared to be an effort by Turkey to appease close ally Azerbaijan, which said the agreement will aggravate the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Nagorno-Karabakh is an Armenian-occupied enclave in Azerbaijan.

On Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hailed the agreement to establish diplomatic ties with Armenia and reopen their border. He called such steps with a former bitter foe an "important step" that would lead to cooperation and dialogue.

However, Erdogan said the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute must be resolved to enable Turkey to take steps to normalize ties and for the deal to be approved by parliament. To take effect, the agreements must be ratified by the Turkish and Armenian parliaments, but the accord faces stiff opposition in both countries.

-- Associated Press


Pope Benedict Names Five New Saints

Pope Benedict XVI named five saints on Sunday, including Belgian priest Damien, who worked and died among Hawaiian lepers. Damien's life had won the admiration of President Obama, who sent a message hailing Damien's canonization.

Born Jozef De Veuster, Damien went to Hawaii when he was 23, and 10 years later began work among the lepers -- "not without fear and repugnance" at first, the pope said. He got ill and was "a leper among the lepers" for the last four years of his life.

The pope also canonized Zygmunt Szczesny Felinski, archbishop of Warsaw when Poland rebelled against annexation by imperial Russia in 1863. Exiled to Siberia for 20 years by the czar, he was "a shining example for all the church," the pope said.

Dominican friar Francisco Coll Guitart, one of two Spaniards canonized, preached in Catalonia in the 19th century and "reached the hearts of others because he transmitted what he himself lived with passion, which burned in his heart," the pontiff said.

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