After years of barred borders, and nearly a century of bitter enmity, relations between Turkey and Armenia have a sporting chance of resolution. Last week, the long-time foes announced plans for consultations leading to the restoration of diplomatic ties – ahead of an Oct. 14 soccer match between the two national sides in Turkey.
The news was hailed by Western leaders who have been urging the uneasy neighbors to reconcile.
“This isn’t the first time soccer diplomacy has been tried,” says George Shirinian of the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies. “A year ago the Turkish president came to Armenia (for a World Cup match) and there were closed-door talks, but the details were never released.”