Turkey and Armenia could soon announce a deal aimed at reopening their border and restoring relations, the Wall Street Journal writes, citing “diplomats”, and saying the move could help “stabilize a region that’s increasingly important as a transit route for oil and gas”.
The WSJ also says the Turkish and Armenian governments have agreed on terms to open talks: opening and fixing borders, restoring diplomatic relations and setting up commissions to look at disputes, including one on the tense history between the two nations, according to the diplomats, all of whom declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the talks.
I’ve highlighted a couple of curious words in the paragraph above. I’d be really interested to know what the “fixing” borders and setting up “commissions” – not just one “commission” is all about. Sadly, my numerous attempts to get a response from the Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson failed today. Will try again tomorrow. Further on the WSJ writes:
Announcement of a Turkish-Armenian pact is also being influenced by Mr. Obama’s campaign promise to support a Congressional resolution that would recognize as genocide the Ottoman Empire’s 1915 killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians in what is now central and eastern Turkey.
A Senior Turkish foreign-policy official said the U.S. is trying to facilitate the agreement with Armenia.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said on Turkish television last week he would discuss Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian “genocide” and relations between Russia and Georgia with the U.S. president, among other issues.
One date under discussion for signing the deal with Armenia, diplomats say, is April 16.
The full story at the Wall Street Journal, which by the way, has a comments section with only 2 comments at this point, is here.