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Quarterly Overview of "Support to Armenia-Turkey Rapprochement" Project


Project goal is to support Armenia-Turkey rapprochement through development of new business partnerships and regional professional networks, engagement of civil society in alliance-building to further contribute to Armenia-Turkey normalization, and establishment of a favorable environment for state-to-state dialogue and interaction.

Armenia and Turkey are burdened by a long history of painful disagreement. The two countries have made a series of attempts over the last twenty years to set aside their differences and establish ties, but thus far these efforts have not resulted in diplomatic relations being established. There have been at least three major "waves" of dialogue with Turkey since Armenia's independence. While all these "waves" had limited success in fostering political rapprochement, a lesson learned from the "third wave" was that the combined efforts of governments, civil society and the international community can affect public attitudes in a positive way.

With that in mind, the project supports a "fourth wave" of rapprochement by leading civil society, business and informal state-level dialogue to a point where Armenia and Turkey will be able to establish relations and open the border with ease. The project is implemented by EPF in a consortium with three Armenian partners: Yerevan Press Club (YPC), International Center for Human Development (ICHD), and Union of Manufacturers and Businesspeople of Armenia (UMBA). These four organizations have been in the forefront of the Armenia-Turkey rapprochement process for many years and have played a major role in civil society, media, cultural dialogue, and track two and people's diplomacy efforts between Armenia and Turkey. The consortium also has strong partnerships with leading organizations in Turkey.

The project activities focus on three priority areas: business partnerships, civil society, and inter-governmental dialogue. The program will also support all three areas with research. The term of the project is from October 1, 2010 through October 1, 2012. The project will contribute to the formation of cross-border networks, will increase confidence and decrease stereotypes among the two societies, will create conditions for state actors to develop informal relations, and, in the long term, will help to address more controversial issues.

USAID and the Consortium Members support Armenia-Turkey rapprochement by facilitating engagement between civil society groups, establishment and development of business partnerships and regional professional networks, and enhanced understanding between the people, for peace and economic integration in the region.



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