It's not every day that two neighboring but not neighborly countries agree to overcome a century of deep hostility, especially states that sit at one of the world's most strategic – and volatile – crossroads.
In Zurich, diplomats from both countries – one a Christian nation and the other Muslim – signed an historic agreement Oct. 10 to normalize relations and open their border. Included was a provision for a historical commission to look at the deeply divisive issue of up to 1.5 million Armenians killed during the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.
Impoverished Armenia, the tiniest of the former Soviet countries, hugs the southern tip of the tinderbox Caucasus region that lies between the Caspian and Black seas. It shares a border to the north with Georgia – invaded by Russia in 2008 – and to the west with Turkey.
Turkey, a member of NATO, seeks to become an oil-and-gas corridor connecting energy-rich Russia and the Caspian with Europe and the Middle East. As part of this goal, it is pursuing an ambitious policy of "zero problems" on its borders.