Airmail: Presidential Pen Pals

February 11, 2010 at 9:52 pm (Armenian-Turkish relations) (, , , , , )

Flying from Armenia to the United Kingdom on February 9th, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan penned the following for his counterpart, Turkish President Abdullah Gul:

Your Excellency,

I’m extending my greetings to You and the people of neighborly Turkey.

Our initiative of normalizing the Armenia-Turkey relations is in the spotlight of attention of the international community. This is truly a historic one, and the whole world realizes it. The efforts of the countries involved in the region are invaluable in the process of improvement of bilateral relations. I’m confident that it would be impossible to register progress without their mediation. At the same time I do believe that no matter how much the friendly states are interested in the positive outcome of the process, they cannot do what our peoples are able to do.

Mr. President,

I think you’ll agree that the authorities are to play a key role in breaking the stereotypes between our peoples and establishing an atmosphere of mutual trust. Only with trust in our work, resoluteness and adherence to our principles can we achieve results. Otherwise, when the words and deeds contradict each other, it brings about mistrust, thus opening a broad filed of action for those who oppose the process. We have to realize that in this case time does not contribute to the process.

If up to this moment we have managed to bring the bilateral contacts to a level, from where the future of normal relations between our countries becomes more visible and tangible, today it’s high time to demonstrate willingness to make a step forwards in order to leave and stable and secure region to the coming generations.

Accept, please, Your Excellency, the assurance of my respect.


On February 11th, Gul wrote back:

Your Excellency, Dear Friend,

I would like to thank you for the kind message that you have sent on the occasion of your flight over the Turkish territory. Please accept my reciprocal greetings to you and the people of neighboring Armenia.

I welcome the thoughts conveyed to us in your message. I do share the view that our bilateral efforts aimed at the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations attracted due attention world-wide by creating a new hope for peace in our conflict-ridden geography. Overcoming the long-established prejudices and nurturing mutual understanding and trust among our two neighboring peoples were indeed our main objectives when endorsing the process of normalization between our countries. You should have no doubt that our determination to take these objectives forward is intact, provided that this resolve and commitment remains reciprocal.

I also agree with you that responsible governance necessitates both standing behind words and supporting words with deeds. Hence, we will continue to work for taking our normalization process forward based upon the understanding reached between our two countries. We have to be aware that concluding this historic process will require honoring our commitments in their entirety as well as displaying adequate political courage and vision.

A future characterized by sustainable peace, security, prosperity and cooperation for all the people living in our region is our common goal and I will remain personally engaged in this process hoping to see it reach a satisfactory conclusion for both of our countries.

Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

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