Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan visits Athens on Friday for talks with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou in what Turkish and Greek officials hope will bring a new era in relations between the often feuding Aegean neighbors.

Closer Russo-Turkish relations and the latest indications that these relations may grow from economic cooperation into strategic partnership have caused concern among political circles in Armenia.

The cross-border spending sprees are one of the most visible effects of a recent rapprochement between Turkey and Syria, part of Ankara's drive to strengthen ties with its eastern neighbours, using trade and cultural links to increase its "soft power" in the Middle East.

President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had talks this weekend with a number of top leaders from Turkey's Middle Eastern neighbors, including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Syria is ready to reopen peace talks with Israel, with Turkey serving as a mediator, but Israel has not asked Ankara to resume that role, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Saturday.

Like China, Brazil or the EU, Turkey in recent years has upgraded its engagement with Africa. Ankara's new interest in Africa is not just economically driven, but exemplifies a recalibration of Turkish foreign policy.

Political scientist Zardusht Alizade commented on the situation around the Armenian-Turkish process, as well as the Karabakh problem. "The USA is behaving like a gangster. They behave very arrogantly towards smaller countries..."

President Barack Obama on Saturday marked the World War One-era massacre of Armenians by Turkish forces, calling it one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century, but avoiding any mention of "genocide."