Armenia and Turkey agreed Monday to start talks aimed at solving a seemingly intractable rift that dates to the massacres of Armenians under Ottoman rule nearly 100 years ago.
It is unclear if the talks to establish diplomatic relations, expected to take six weeks, will touch on the dispute over the World War I-era killings.
Armenian President Serge Sarkisian has indicated, however, that the dispute will not be a deal-breaker between the two neighbors.
"It's important that historical justice be restored. It's important that our nations are able to establish normal relations. It's important, finally, that this not be repeated in the future," Sarkisian said in an interview published Monday by the BBC Russian service. "But we do not regard a recognition of genocide as a preliminary condition for establishing relations."