GeriGündem Turkish president faces a dilemma in accepting Armenia's invitation
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Turkish president faces a dilemma in accepting Armenia's invitation

Turkish president faces a dilemma in accepting Armenia's invitation
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Turkey's President Abdullah Gul faces a tough decision on whether to accept Armenia's invitation to watch a football game between the two countries' national teams in Yerevan. Gul is yet to make a decision, however his closest aides and the foreign ministry has divided over the issue.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has invited Gul to watch a football match between the two counties' national teams on Sep. 6 to mark "a new symbolic start in the two countries' relations".

Some of Gul's closest aides and advisors think he should accept the invitation and pay a visit to Yerevan, while some others think he should not. The other option before Gul is sending a lower level official instead of the president, while some others insist no one should go to the neighboring country.

Supporters of the acceptance of the invitation say such a visit by a Turkish president would send the world a message that Turkey favors compromise and dialogue.

The other camp, however, is concerned the Armenian diaspora could use this visit to promote its claims of so-called "Armenian genocide" instead of using this as a window of opportunity. Also it is feared that a protest of Gul by Armenian people at the match could worsen the relations.

Still Gul is expected to make his decision on the issue at the 11th hour due to the busy diplomacy calendar that Turkey faces. The dilemma that the Turkish president faces is a strong signal that the lack of confidence between the two sides emerges as one of the biggest challenges in the process to normalize relations.

Turkey is among the first countries that recognized Armenia when it declared its independency. However there is no diplomatic relations between two countries, as Armenia presses the international community to admit the so-called "genocide" claims instead of accepting Turkey's call to investigate the allegations, and its invasion of 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory despite U.N. Security Council resolutions on the issue.

A warming period had started between two neighboring countries after the presidents exchanged letters after Sargsyan's election victory.

 

 

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