The specific objectives of this initiative centers on the formulation and presentation of formal and informal policy ideas, initiatives and recommendations, aimed at both targeting decision-makers and helping shape public opinion through a process designed to facilitate a sharing and exchange of ideas and views.
This process is conducted through a series of closed meetings and seminars, as well as some public events, utilizing a select group of retired politicians and policy makers from Armenia and Turkey, as well as other interested third parties. These eminent figures contribute new ideas and policy recommendations based on their personal and professional experience, including a broader strategic vision for the future relations between both countries. The participants have helped us to formulate a set of policy recommendations that have been presented to Armenian and Turkish government officials.
This activity follows our past work in two main areas: efforts to engage prominent retired diplomats and officials, and other high-profile figures to solicit a range of new policy ideas and suggestions, and the focus on utilizing “alternative venues” where both countries have “unofficial” diplomatic relations, based on their interaction within international organizations (NATO, OSCE, Council of Europe, UN, etc.) and other third-party institutional forums (BSEC, or the Black Sea Economic organization, most notably).
The concrete outputs of these activities consist of the formulation and presentation of formal and informal policy ideas, initiatives and recommendations, including a set of policy recommendations. These were also supplemented by a high-level working session in September 2015 (for this event, organized with our Istanbul-based strategic partner Kadir Has University, the RSC secured its own independent funding). Future outputs, therefore will center on the results from these “brainstorming” sessions, and the subsequent release, dissemination and publication of the sets of new proposals and policy recommendations will be key outputs. Other key members of the ATNP Consortium will also be directly and actively involved, in order to maximize the efficacy of outputs and outcomes.
The overall outcome from this effort is to formulate and present formal and informal policy ideas, initiatives and recommendations, with the added benefits of increasing civil society support and providing more “political cover” for the governments to re-engage in the normalization process.
Ms. Arpine Aleksanyan and Ms. Sona Baloyan from Yerevan, from “Matenadaran” Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, were supported with the travel grant to visit Istanbul, Turkey for meetings with the Armenian Patriarchate, Armenian high schools, foundations and publishing houses to discuss possibilities of further collaboration on preserving the Armenian culture.