Armenia-Turkey Relations: Where are we heading?

Over the past three years there have been some initiatives by Turkish and Armenian authorities to start some type of dialogue. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested Armenian President Robert Kocharyan to establish a joint commission on Armenian Genocide issue, which was met with cautions response of the official Yerevan. On a more recent example, Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan has invited Turkish President Abdullah Gul to visit Armenia on September 6, 2008 to watch the World Cup qualifying match between Armenia and Turkey.
While the officials on both sides have not achieved any substantial results, a conductive environment has been created, at least in Armenia, for discussing possibilities of Armenian-Turkish reconcilliation. Strangely enough, reactions of the political forces on all sides of the political spectrum have so far been very disappointing. The pro-government parties have been reluctant to speak, with Kiro Manoyan of Dashnaktsutyun being a rare exception to speak up. The opposition, on the other hand, have been taking a rather strange stance, mostly ridiculing the attempts of President Serzh Sargsyan to do something that Levon Ter-Petrossian was suggesting in his pre-election program: start dialogue with Turkey.
Frankly, I don’t think anything will come out of this, considering the current political situation in Turkey – they have much bigger worries now then the Armenia-Turkey relations. However, I would have expected the political forces in Armenia, and especially the pro-government parties to start more logical and grounded discussions on the possibilities of improving Armenian-Turkish relations, especially as ‘their’ president – Serzh Sargsyan has come forward with the initiative.
Well, I guess we have what we have… or to be more correct, we don’t have what we don’t have – which is – political parties and political idiologies. This is just one more illustration, that there are no political parties in Armenia whatsoever.

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