Diplomatic History: the Turkey-Armenia Protocols

Phillips, David L.

The Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and the Protocol on the Development of Bilateral Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey (“The Protocols”) were signed on October 10, 2009. The Protocols represented an unprecedented advancement in relations between Turkey andArmenia. However, failure to ratify them was a significant bilateral, regional, and international setback.

This article is a diplomatic history of events leading up to signing of the Protocols.It assesses the work of Turkish and Armenian diplomats negotiating the Protocols and the role of Swiss mediation. The monograph evaluates ensuing problems, including conditions imposed on ratification, as well as the effect of domestic politics in Turkey and Armenia on normalization.

At present, Armenia is not a foreign policy priority for Ankara. The Protocols may be dormant, yet they still provide a roadmap to the way forward. Studying the history of Turkish-Armenian rapprochement serves as the basis for specific recommendations aimed at (i) intensifying civil society activities, (ii) expanding commercial cooperation, and (iii) stimulating intergovernmental contact.

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The Harriman Institute, Columbia University

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Harriman Institute
The Harriman Institute, Columbia University
The Harriman Review
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January 7, 2021