Friday, March 5, 2010

The Turkish-Armenian game, played in Washington D.C.

A new stage in the dispute between Turkey and Armenia, concerning the issue of the genocide, was played this week in Washington D.C., after the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted a nonbinding resolution calling the mass killing of Armenians by the Turkish military, at the beginning of the last century a genocide. Turkey already condemned this move, who is risking to endangered the delicate equilibrium between Ankara and Yerevan, after an aparent opening in the second half of the last year.
The resolution was discussed as well in the Senate, in 2007, but given the need of Turkey's support for the war in Iraq by the then W. Bush administration stopped a further materialization of the decision. Both Barrack Obama and Hillary R. Clinton were supportive of the resolution.
The Turkish-Armenian agreement, signed in Switzerland, October 2009, was not fully supported by Armenian community, benefiting of a powerful and influential profile in Washington D.C..
Today, OSCE's Minsk Group on Nagorno-Karabakh isssued a statement calling the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaidjan to settle the conflict, position welcomed by Turkey.
The reconciliation process between the two countries is still extremely long and impredictable. Serious efforts, in the frame of the so-called Track II Diplomacy were made in the last dozen of years for making a dialogue possible. One of the most important issues established last year was the possibility to let the historians to discuss about such an high identity impact issue as the problem of the genocide. In this way, the politicians and diplomats are able to think about the present and the future. A very hard task, for societies where very often politicans are historians and made history focusing on the past.
The decision of the House do not add nothing to this process and complicate a situation that, in fact, was already volatile. Maybe it is a signal sent to Turkey - as long as, for example, this resolution was permanently on the agenda in the last two years but not voted - who is facing various setbacks in terms of coherent engagement regarding European and international politics.

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