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Regional Studies Center (RSC)
Armenia | Regional Studies Center
As an integral component of our broader Turkey-related activities and research, the RSC implements the following specific projects within the ATNP programme:

I. Advocacy & Public Policy Education

 

Similar to the lack of information and limited awareness of developments in Turkey within Armenia, there is a related lack of objective analysis among both Armenian and Turkish professionals. In light of this pronounced lack of more serious and more sophisticated analytical content, RSC offers a series of public education events and a series of smaller, monthly “focus groups” (for a total series of 15 monthly focus groups) to provide more detailed information and analysis of Armenia-Turkey “normalization” process with the overall aim of strengthening public (and private) advocacy efforts to support normalization.

 

In accordance with our standard format of offering monthly briefings, this series of monthly events will feature an informal “off-the-record,” closed discussion for the diplomatic community and international organizations in Armenia, offering an alternative source of objective analysis and information on a regular basis. This will be supplemented by both smaller “focus groups” and a media outreach campaign as essential components of a broader advocacy campaign, however.

 

A detailed but concise policy brief, of between 3-5 pages, focusing on different and specific aspects of normalization will be prepared and distributed in advance of each “Focus Group” to serve as a guide for discussion, and for each month briefing, as a background guide to the analytical presentations. A similar “policy brief” of 4-5 pages will also be prepared based on the results of the discussion of both monthly activities.

 

The target group of the activity includes the diplomatic community and international organizations in Armenia (and beyond), and for the “focus groups,” young professionals, analysts and experts. RSC does its best to ensure that its initiatives comply with the principles of gender equality and inclusive participation of women. The activity-level objective is to broaden and widen the constituency in both countries supportive of the normalization process, and to contribute to a more conducive environment for the resumption of formal, state-level normalization process.

 

 

II. Policy Support

 

Given the lack of bold ideas and apparent absence of any sustained strategic vision to resume the official normalization process, the RSC has sought to contribute to the process by initiating a new effort to engage several prominent retired diplomats and officials, and other high-profile figures from Armenia and Turkey to solicit a range of new policy ideas and suggestions.

 

The specific objectives of this initiative centers on 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, and have helped us to formulate a set of specific policy recommendations.

 

Moreover, although Armenia and Turkey were unable to establish official diplomatic relations to date, as originally envisioned in the signed diplomatic Protocols, both countries are engaged in “unofficial” diplomatic relations, based on their interaction within international organizations and other third-party institutional forums. Such informal contacts and diplomatic interaction between Armenia and Turkey government officials need to be strengthened in order to encourage and better prepare for the subsequent return to more official diplomatic engagement. The outcome of this activity is to encourage the use of neutral international settings and institutional forums for diplomatic contact and collaboration between Armenia and Turkey in order to both prepare for the subsequent return to more official diplomatic engagement and to offer a set of policy recommendations for each side.

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