Armenian president halts ratification of agreement meant to restore ties with Turkey

The Armenian president says he has asked the country's parliament speaker to withdraw his signature from a groundbreaking 2009 agreement with Turkey meant to restore ties between the two nations.

President Serge Sarkisian said in a statement on Monday that Armenia would not ratify the agreement because of the "preconditions" that Turkey is putting in place before it ratifies its part of the deal.

The agreement aims to restore diplomatic ties between the countries as well as re-open the common border, which has been closed since 1993. It was brokered by the United States and other nations.

In another sign of tensions between the countries, the Turkish foreign minister recently urged Armenia to pull out its forces from Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed region between Armenia and Turkey's ally Azerbaijan.