Turkish PM Erdogan cancels Argentina trip

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Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (28 May 2010)
Image caption,
Mr Erdogan had been due to meet President Cristina Kirchner on Monday

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cancelled the Argentina leg of his tour of Latin America.

It comes after city officials in Buenos Aires called off an event inaugurating a monument to the revered founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

The Turkish foreign ministry blamed "hostile" interference from Armenian pressure groups in Argentina.

Turkey and Armenia remain in a long-running row over the 1915 mass killing of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks.

Armenian groups want Turkey to recognise the killings as genocide - Argentina is one of several countries to have done so.

President Cristina Kirchner is reported to have telephoned Mr Erdogan to express her understanding of his position, but to explain that the central government could not reverse the city government's decision.

Mr Erdogan had been due to meet Ms Kirchner on Monday but will now travel directly to Chile for the next leg of the tour.