A Kick-Off for Peace?

Armenian President Serge Sarkisian’s recent invitation to Turkish President Abdullah Gul to visit Yerevan to watch a football match together was historic. Turkey has begun playing a key role in mediating disputes in the Middle East, but, especially in the aftermath of the Russian-Georgian war, its help in resolving the myriad disputes in the Caucasus is no less important.

Yerevan – Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s recent invitation to Turkish President Abdullah Gul to visit Yerevan to watch a football match together was historic. Given the two countries’ long-strained relations, this visit would have been remarkable at any time. But coming as it does only one month after the alarming Russian-Georgian confrontation, it may offer real hope that tensions in the volatile Caucasus region can be eased.

Of course, ancient and difficult issues divide Armenia and Turkey. But now is the moment for both countries to put the past aside in order to address their common security concerns. In the new context set by the war in Georgia, the urgency of Turkey becoming a real bridge between the nations of the Caucasus is not lost on anyone.

This expectation is an inevitable consequence of Turkey’s geography and history. Situated figuratively between modernity and tradition, secularism and Islam, and democracy and tyranny, Turkey also is an actual physical bridge between East and West. For the peoples of the Caucasus, Turkey marks our path to Europe. It is a NATO member, bordering the three Caucasus republics that have NATO Individual Partnership Action Programs. It aspires to join the European Union, and would bring the EU to our three borders, even as we, too, aspire to join one day.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/wxjh76F;
  1. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Angela Merkel’s Endgame?

    The collapse of coalition negotiations has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing a stark choice between forming a minority government or calling for a new election. But would a minority government necessarily be as bad as Germans have traditionally thought?

  2. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.

  3. A GrabBike rider uses his mobile phone Bay Ismoyo/Getty Images

    The Platform Economy

    While developed countries in Europe, North America, and Asia are rapidly aging, emerging economies are predominantly youthful. Nigerian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese young people will shape global work trends at an increasingly rapid pace, bringing to bear their experience in dynamic informal markets on a tech-enabled gig economy.

  4. Trump Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Profiles in Discouragement

    One day, the United States will turn the page on Donald Trump. But, as Americans prepare to observe their Thanksgiving holiday, they should reflect that their country's culture and global standing will never recover fully from the wounds that his presidency is inflicting on them.

  5. Mugabe kisses Grace JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images

    How Women Shape Coups

    In Zimbabwe, as in all coups, much behind-the-scenes plotting continues to take place in the aftermath of the military's overthrow of President Robert Mugabe. But who the eventual winners and losers are may depend, among other things, on the gender of the plotters.

  6. Oil barrels Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty Images

    The Abnormality of Oil

    At the 2017 Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the consensus among industry executives was that oil prices will still be around $60 per barrel in November 2018. But there is evidence to suggest that the uptick in global growth and developments in Saudi Arabia will push the price as high as $80 in the meantime.

  7. Israeli soldier Menahem Kahana/Getty Images

    The Saudi Prince’s Dangerous War Games

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working hard to consolidate power and establish his country as the Middle East’s only hegemon. But his efforts – which include an attempt to trigger a war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon – increasingly look like the work of an immature gambler.