ICG: Turkey And Armenia Should Finalise Their Agreement


15.04.2009 17:12

Turkey and Armenia should seize their best opportunity yet to normalise
relations, work on a new approach to shared history and open a European
border that for nearly a century has been hostage to conflict.

Turkey and Armenia: Opening Minds, Opening Borders: the latest report
from the International Crisis Group, examines how a decade of academic
and civil society outreach laid the foundations for what is now intense
official engagement between the governments. The two sides are now
close to agreement on a package deal that will establish diplomatic
relations, open the border and set up bilateral commissions to address
a range of issues.

"Turks’ and Armenians’ once uncompromising views of history are
significantly converging, showing that the deep traumas can be healed",
says Hugh Pope, Director of Crisis Group’s Turkey/Cyprus Project.

"At this sensitive time, third parties should avoid statements or
resolutions in the politicised debate over genocide recognition or
denial that could inflame opinion on either side".

"Turkey and Armenia should finalise their agreement and thus create
new momentum for peace and cooperation in the South Caucasus", says
Sabine Freizer, Crisis Group’s Europe Program Director. "They should
not wait until the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is settled. But out side
powers such as the U.S., EU, Russia and others should build on their
rare common interest to move both Turkish-Armenian normalisation and
the Nagorno-Karabakh process forward".