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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Armenia, Turkey Agree to Diplomatic Thaw

ISTANBUL -- Turkey and Armenia have agreed on a road map to normalize ties after nearly a century of hostility, a move that would boost Turkey's relations with the EU and the United States but could upset its ally Azerbaijan.

The deal came on the eve of the commemoration of mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915. Since last year, the two states have held high-level talks to restore ties, which could mean reopening a border shut in 1993.

"The two parties have achieved tangible progress and mutual understanding in this process, and they have agreed on a comprehensive framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations," the foreign ministries of both countries said late Wednesday, without elaborating.

The years of standoff isolated impoverished Armenia and obstructed Turkey's efforts to join the European Union. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with Azerbaijan, which was fighting Armenian-backed separatists in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Azerbaijan, Europe's key hope as a supplier of gas for the proposed Nabucco pipeline that would run through Turkey and cut Europe's dependence on Russia, warned against any deal that does not include a withdrawal of troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azeri Foreign Ministry spokesman Elkhan Polukhov said it was "too early" to discuss what steps Azerbaijan might take in retaliation, but some analysts warned that it may affect European energy security plans.

"If Azerbaijan feels that Turkey is betraying them, then why would Azerbaijan not move in a Russian direction? And the Russians are offering to buy all their gas at European prices," said Svante Cornell, research director at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute.

However, Wolfango Piccoli, an analyst for Eurasia consultancy group, said it was unlikely that Azerbaijan would decide to put "all its eggs in the Russian basket," especially after the brief Russian-Georgian war last year.