Yet even against this backdrop of internal challenges, there have been recent signs suggesting a possible new opportunity for a breakthrough in Armenia's strained relationship with its western neighbor, Turkey. Even before his election as president, Sarkisian outlined his vision of how Armenian-Turkish relations could be positively transformed by Turkey's admission to the EU. In an article published in December 2006 in "The Wall Street Journal," and again in an interview with the "Financial Times" one year later, Sarkisian expressed support for Turkey's bid for EU membership, albeit for purely pragmatic geopolitical reasons, suggesting that EU membership would make Turkey "more predictable" and thus strengthen Armenia's national security.
Therefore, while it may seem attractive to blame Turkey for failing to seize the initiative and reap the benefits from a fresh approach toward Armenia, the real impediment lies in Turkey's desire to allay Azerbaijani concerns, at least in the short term.
Initially published at RFE/RL
Copyright (c) 2008. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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