Friday, April 23, 2010

Armenia / Turkey / Azerbaijan / Nagorno-Karabakh

Suspended Accords Highlight Deep Fissures in Turkey-Armenia Relations
Deutsche Welle dispatch, April 23, 2010
Photo: AP
"With the current set of peace accords designed to restore relations between Armenia and Turkey suspended, the US faces a struggle to reopen negotiations to end the long-standing conflict in the strategic South Caucasus. Washington's efforts to bury a century of hostility between the neighbours were dealt a hefty blow this week when Armenia suspended ratification of the US-brokered peace accords which were signed in October 2009 to establish diplomatic relations and open their shared border. With both sides seemingly unwilling to move on from nearly 100 years of deep mistrust, neither the government of Christian Armenia nor that of Muslim Turkey chose to ratify the agreement on Thursday amid claims of manipulation of the texts and the insertion of new unapproved conditions. Despite the obvious benefits of the agreement -- including huge economic gains for poor, landlocked Armenia and a boost to Turkey's EU credentials -- both Armenia and Turkey have instead chosen to postpone further negotiations, with the on-going feud over the World War I mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks and the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh at the heart of the dispute. The decision to suspend the peace accords came just two days before the 95th anniversary of the killings on April 24th, again highlighting the importance of the 1915-1917 massacres of Armenians in the history of hostile relations between the two countries. [...]"

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