Turkey and Armenia, whose century of hostilities constitutes one of the world’s most enduring and acrimonious international rivalries, have agreed to establish diplomatic relations, the two countries announced Monday.
In a breakthrough that came after a year of tiny steps across a still-sealed border and furtive bilateral talks in Switzerland, the foreign ministries of the two countries said that they would begin talks aimed at producing a formal agreement.
One of the touchy elements in this has been the Armenian diaspora. The diaspora (especially in the United States) is an important asset to the Armenian government for a variety of reasons. At the same time, the Armenian government has been far more reticent about arguing for American recognition of the Genocide, because Yerevan has to live next to Turkey, and understands the practical value of maintaining cordial relations with its larger neighbor. Pressing forward on diplomatic normalization while at the same time remaining legitimate in the eyes of the diaspora has been a delicate project.