Turkey and Armenia Move to Bury the Hatchet

Chislett, William (2009) Turkey and Armenia Move to Bury the Hatchet. Elcano Newsletter (56). 8 p.. ISSN 1698-5184

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Abstract

Turkey and Armenia, backed by the US and Russia, agreed a framework on 23 April 2009 to normalise their relations and end one of the most intractable disputes left from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in support of its ally Azerbaijan, which was in conflict with Armenia over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Abdullah Gül, Turkey’s President, kicked off the rapprochement with Armenia with some football diplomacy. In September 2008 he watched a World Cup qualifying game between Turkey and Armenia in Yerevan, the Armenian capital. It was the first-ever visit by a Turkish President to Armenia and broke the ice. Resolving the dispute between the two countries, however, requires a great deal of political will and compromise on both sides as their positions are very entrenched. The thorniest issue is how to address the 1915 massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians, which Armenia and its diaspora label genocide, a term that Turkey virulently refuses to accept. The other major issue is to what extent the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh has to be resolved before diplomatic relations are restored and the border opened. The economies of both countries, but particularly landlocked Armenia’s, would benefit from normal relations. And Turkey’s bid to become a full member of the EU, moving at a snail’s pace, would receive a boost as one more obstacle would be removed. Open borders is an EU membership requirement. This is particularly important this year as there is a deadline for Turkey to normalise relations with the Greek Cypriots, something that requires resolution of or, at least, progress on Cyprus, the Mediterranean island partitioned between Greek and Turkish Cypriots after Turkey’s invasion in 1974.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Estudio sólo disponible en inglés
Uncontrolled Keywords: Europa
Subjects: INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION > INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS > FOREIGN POLICY.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION > INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS > BILATERAL RELATIONS.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION > COUNTRIES AND REGIONS > EASTERN EUROPE
DEMOGRAPHY; POPULATION > ETHNIC GROUPS > TURKS.
CULTURE; SOCIETY > SOCIETY > CONFLICTS
Divisions: Real Instituto Elcano, RIE
Depositing User: Jorge Horcas Pulido
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2012 09:51
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2012 09:51
URI: http://biblioteca.ribei.org/id/eprint/1710

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