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Erdogan criticizes Gul’s “football diplomacy”


Serzh Sargsyan and Abdullah Gul
Serzh Sargsyan and Abdullah Gul

Photo: Press service of the Armenian President


Yerevan /Mediamax/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized former President Abdullah Gul for attending a soccer match between Turkish and Armenian national teams in 2008, which was then dubbed "football diplomacy" between Turkey and Armenia.

''Today’s Zaman'' Turkish newspaper reports that Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this at a meeting with Turkish historians.

According to him, Gul's visit played into the hands of Armenians and failed to yield any substantial result on the diplomatic front.

Abdullah Gul visited Armenia on September 6, 2008, upon the invitation of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan. During his short-term visit, he met with the Armenian leader and attended Armenia-Turkey football match in Hrazdan stadium.

This visit marked the start of the so-called “football diplomacy” which ended in 2009, by signing of bilateral protocols in Zurich in October 2009. The protocols haven’t been ratified by the Turkish parliament yet.

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