YEREVAN (News.am)—An international conference spearheaded by the European Union entitled “Armenia-Turkey: Paving the Way for Dialogue and Reconciliation” began on Thursday at the Yerevan State University.
New Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement to be signed between Armenia and EU will contain strong component on political dialogue and reconciliation, and Armenia-Turkey relations will be on the agenda of our dialogue with Armenia, a member of the European Union delegation to Armenia said a member of the EU delegation to Armenia within the framework of the EU-funded Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process program.
Dirk Lorenz, the head of the political, press and information section of the EU delegation to Armenia, was one of the speakers.
The project takes place in a difficult environment, Lorenz said opening the conference. He cited the failed coup attempt in Turkey, the escalation of force between Armenia and Azerbaijan last April, and the hostage crisis in Yerevan.
“The political landscape is not an easy one, and is not that much conducive to normalization of relations,” he added.
Lorenz believes it is necessary to talk and to reach out to each other to have better understanding. He said he has an academic background and remembers how researchers were contributing to reconciliation between Germany and Poland, who used to be enemies.
“We have to be patient. Changes will not come over night, but we are ready to support and contribute to civil society,” he emphasized, adding that hundreds of youth, journalists, and entrepreneurs from Armenia and Turkey were brought together.
Member of the EU delegation once offered Armenia an association agreement that included deep and comprehensive free trade area, while Turkey was a member of customs union and had an obligation to open border, if Armenia had sign the deal.