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Friday, 25 January, 2002, 16:44 GMT
Turkey and France build bridges

Turkey and France say they want to improve their relations after a year marked by tensions over a decision by the French parliament to recognise as genocide the killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire.

During a visit to Ankara, the French Defence Minister, Alain Richard, called the vote in parliament an isolated incident and said France was interested in a constructive relationship with Turkey.

Mr Richard also expressed support for Turkey's bid to take over the command of the international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.

The government in Ankara scrapped several large armement deals in retaliation to the French vote, but now says the period of stagnation in relations with Paris should end.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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