On 29 August, the Regional Studies Center (RSC) issued a brief statement in defense of the decision by Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian to attend the 28 August inauguration ceremony of Turkish President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The statement, issued by RSC Director Richard Giragosian noted that “although I have been sometimes critical of the Armenian foreign minister in the past, I both welcome and defend his decision to attend the Turkish presidential inauguration.” The statement went on to say that “the presence of the Armenian foreign minister was significant, despite the fact that Turkey has yet to establish diplomatic relations or open the closed border with Armenia.” The statement then went on to specify several points illustrating the advantages of this decision and demonstrating how it strengthens Armenian diplomacy and foreign policy.
In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Armenian Service on 27 August, RSC Director Richard Giragosian commented on the latest developments regarding the “delays and deferrals” over the Armenian government’s stated goal to join the Russian-dominated Customs Union/Eurasian Union.
Georgia ratified its Association Agreement with the EU on July 18.
In an interview with the Georgian magazine “Investor.ge,” RSC Director Richard Giragosian analyzed the potential impact of Tbilisi’s move toward Europe on the rest of the region. According to Giragosian, “In a largely symbolic move, the Georgian parliament formally ratified its Association Agreement with the European Union (EU) on July 18. The agreement, which was signed on June 27 in Brussels, represented a crowning achievement for Georgia after several years of complex negotiations, and elevated Georgia one step closer to Europe.”
Regional Studies Center (RSC) Director Richard Giragosian participated in a roundtable discussion assessing the implications of the Turkish elections for the Armenian Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). The 16 August discussion was moderated by RFE/RL’s Armenian Service Director Hrair Tamrazian and including insightful analysis from Professor Vahram Ter-Matevosyan of the American University of Armenia.
Regional Studies Center (RSC) Analyst Dr. Mikayel Zolyan assessed recent developments in Armenian-Turkish relations in a roundtable discussion on 15 August for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)’s Armenian Service. Dr. Zolyan joined Giro Manoyan, the ARF Bureau’s Political Affairs Office Director, for the discussion, which was hosted by Anna Israelian.