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April 14 the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC) stated it has reached its main goal – the creation of opportunities for diverse contacts between the two nations – and ceases its activities. As reported by Liberty radio station, the decision was passed after the Commission held a three-day sitting in Moscow. The statement of the three Turkish and four Armenian members of the TARC notes: “The progress made in establishing contacts between the civil societies will build up and we are confident that official relations can develop without the participation of the Commission.” It should be noted that the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission was formed in 2001 with the support of the US State Department. At the final stage of its activities the TARC presented a range of proposals to the Governments of Armenia and Turkey, indicating the ways to ease the tension in relations between the two countries. The content of the proposals is not reported. As Russian political scientist Andranik Mihranian, former commission member and then participating in its activities as an observer, told Azg newspaper, in the course of the Commission sittings issues referring to the Armenian Genocide, indemnity to the Genocide victims and their descendants were discussed. In Mihranian’s words, “a brilliant achievement” for the Armenian party is the fact that after the New York Commission of the Center for Transitional Law was addressed, having investigated the issue, it arrived to a conclusion that what was committed against the Armenian people in Turkey in early 20th century was a Genocide. The TARC confirmed its support of the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border without preconditions. “The Armenian-Turkish border may open already this year,” A. Mihranian said. In the political scientist’s opinion, the issue of the Armenian-Turkish relations may be detached from the problem of Armenian-Azeri relations, specifically from the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. In autumn 2004 TARC intends to organize a forum on Armenian-Turkish reconciliation and rapprochement issues in the Harvard Center for Conflict Settlement.

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