BRUSSELS, April 14 (UPI) -- A plan to normalize the Turkish-Armenian relationship should move forward to help stabilize the region, a report from the International Crisis Group said.
The Belgium-based non-governmental organization released a report Tuesday that called on leaders in Turkey and Armenia to capitalize on years of work from academic and civil society leaders and move forward on a plan to normalize the countries' relations, the Crisis Group reported.
The report said that with the current favorable political climate, the two countries could bury long-held animosities over the Armenian genocide and move to open up their shared border and establish diplomatic relations.
Crisis Group officials also raised concerns that the stalemated Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh could derail forward progress on the diplomatic deal between Turkey and Armenia.
Sabine Freizer, Crisis Group's Europe program director, called on Turkish and Armenian officials not to sacrifice the chance for long-term stability in the region.
"Turkey and Armenia should finalize their agreement and thus create new momentum for peace and cooperation in the South Caucasus," Freizer said in a statement.
"They should not wait until the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is settled."