Newsletter from, date: 27-04-2004 to 04-05-2004

[01-05-2004 ‘Azerbaijan-Turkey’]
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Source : “Echo” newspaper (Azerbaijan)
Author: R. Orujev, N. Aliev

Turkey does not press Azerbaijan to solve the question urgently

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, the Vice Prime Minister
Abdullah Gul in the interview to Anadolu news agency made a statement
on the recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
(TRNC). According to him, there are positive trends in this regard.

Answering the question of whether there is any development of TRNC
recognition by Azerbaijan, Gul announced: `So far there has been no
development on this issue. But strategically, it is to be solved
gradually. We will be active ourselves, first, gaining supporting
promises, and the friendly countries have already done this. There are
positive steps on the problem, mostly coming from Europe”.

Gul was reminded about the statement of the EU expansion commissar
Gunter Ferheugen that until the UN recognized TRNC, European Union
will not do that. `This is normal. Certainly the work must be first
conducted at the UN Security Council. The rest will be done later’.

It is interesting to see how lengthy will the process of Northern
Cyprus recognition be and when the time will come for Azerbaijan to
make its point. The recognition of Turkish Cyprus by our state will
hardly occur as a separate act, political scientist Rasim Musabekov
thinks. “Suppose, Azerbaijan has recognized TRNC and waits for
someone else to do it. As far as I can judge from the last
press-conference of Ilham Aliev in Strasbourg, he made a more correct
statement, saying that when the recognition issue gains more
importance, Azerbaijan will be one of the first’.

Political scientist notes that it is as yet unknown whether the Cyprus
problem will be solved in this very direction, by establishing to
states, or the negotiations process will resume in a certain manner,
to keep the island a unified entity. “However, if the process does
evolve in the direction of dividing the island, and the Northern
Cyprus is firm in its determination to be independent, there will most
probably be an act produced, with the involvement of the superpowers’.

Musabekov quoted an example – `the fact that Taiwan as an independent
state is recognized by 20 or 30 countries of the world does not make
its status as an international subject confirmed. It has no place in
the UN, Taiwan has to limit its contacts with other countries to
economic ones, mostly with US and the same mainland China’.

“I want to say that as long as the super powers, namely, the USA, the
United Kingdom, France, Russia, China do not recognize Northern
Cyprus, its recognition by three, five or even ten Turkic, Islam
states will not change anything in the international status of TRNC’,
the scientist is positive. `Moreover, this process may result in a
situation, where the expected relief of economic embargo on Northern
Cyprus is not realized by the Greece (if it is supported by the
European partners). The sanctions in this case will get even tougher’.

For this reason Musabekov does not think there will be haste in the
issue of TRNC sovereignty, and `Azerbaijan will lead the haste’.

The Milli Meclis deputy Gultekin Gajieva also thinks Azerbaijan should
not haste. “The UN should be the first to react, as the plan of
unification of Northern and Southern Cyprus was presented by the
Secretary General Kofi Annan and is actively supported by the UN’.

Gultekin Gajieva believes that the President Aliev also voiced the
opinion that Azerbaijan should not hurry. “Conceptually we support the
idea of TRNC recognition, but the reaction of the UN Security Council
and the European Union. Azerbaijan has a problem of Mountainous
Karabagh and supporting the friendly TRNC we must naturally keep that
in mind, so that any step on behalf of Azerbaijan does not cause a
negative response”.

In the opinion of the deputy, the process of the recognition of the
TRNC by Azerbaijan will last `long enough at least because the EU
conditions its recognition by the position of the UN Security
Council. And the composition of the Security Council is heterogeneous,
it includes countries of quite differing orientations, such as the
USA, Russia, France, China. The process will not be as easy, as it is
expected now, by the results if the Cyprus referendum. Turkey will
have to make much effort to get Northern Cyprus in these
organizations, since it will be an original step that has no
precedents in the international law. And we must keep it in mind that
Greece will be opposing this step as an EU member’.

[30-04-2004 ‘Karabagh Conflict’]
Source : “PanARMENIAN.Net” portal (Armenia)
Author: “PanARMENIAN Network” analytical department

New impulse to Armenian-Azerbaijani dialogue.

Meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents taken place in
Warsaw is the main subject of discussions in both countries. The
statements pronounced in Warsaw allow hoping that a political solution
will be found for the problem; however, it is too early to speak about
a break in negotiations.

The Armenian party was not very willing to disclose the information
about the Warsaw meeting. However, it can be judged from the
statements of the Azerbaijani side that there is a certain
progress. Ilham Aliyev, who used to say that negotiations were in a
deadlock, now assures there were possibilities for finding ways to
settle the conflict.

Everything was more or less clear until the Armenian and Azerbaijani
Foreign Ministers started to do contradicting statements. Eldar
Mamedyarov, FM of Azerbaijan said the Presidents discussed ”concrete
ideas presented by the Minsk group co-chairs in Prague”. Thus, he
confirmed the information of the Russian mediator Yuri Merzlyakov that
the mediators had presented new proposals. Only two weeks ago
Mamedyarov was denying the existence of new initiatives. Vartan
Oskanyan continues to insist that ”no concrete ideas were discussed
during the Warsaw meeting”.

We shall note that after the Paris meeting the Russian co-chair of the
Minsk group made an almost sensational statements saying that the
mediators had presented new proposals that seemed optimistic even to
the FMs of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Oskanyan and Mamedyarov denied
this information while the two other co-chairmen were keeping
silence. So, if up to now there was an evident contradiction in the
statements of the mediators and Ministers, now the conflict parties
contradict themselves. It is difficult to explain it. In Baku they
think that the Armenian Minister does not want to publicize the fact
that there are new proposals because he doesn’t know yet how it will
affect the moods of the opposition.

We think that everything will be clarified at the meeting of the
Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan to be held on May 12-13 in
Strasburg with participation of the mediators. Informing about it,
Vartan Oskanyan noted that the Ministers would arrive at the meeting
having been instructed by their Presidents.

[29-04-2004 ‘Region’]
Source : “Zaman” newspaper (Turkey)
Author: Fikret Ertan

The United States are determined to strengthen their positions in the
Caucasus which results in a number of decisive steps. We do notice
some of them, when signing new agreements, and the other go unnoticed.

Among such quiet steps is the agreement on military cooperation signed
by our neighbor Armenia at the end of last week. The brief
announcement of it being signed was made immediately upon the arrival
of the Deputy Commander of ES forces in Europe Charles Wald to the
Armenian capital Yerevan on April 25. On Monday April 26 this
agreement – the first military agreement of the commandment of US
forces in Europe and Armenia was publicized by the head of the RA
General Headquarters of armed forces Colonel Genera Mikael

This agreement, prepared during the visit of General Charles Wald to
Armenia, has a logistical nature. According to the document, the US
military forces can enter Armenia, use the Armenian military
facilities, and the US air forces can use the air bases of Armenia.
The United States promise the same conditions to Armenia, but these
are naturally a purely technical detail: why would Armenian forces
enter the US territory?

The agreement has other provisions, too: the US pays for the use of
military facilities in Armenia, covers the expenses on sending and
accommodating an Armenian transportation company in Iraq. Thus,
Armenia plans to send a transportation company to Iraq to assist the
USA. By this Armenia attempts to strengthen its relations with the
USA, balancing the positions of its neighbors, Azerbaijan and Georgia,
that have already sent troops to Iraq (Azerbaijan – 150 soldiers,
Georgia – 180 soldiers).

This logistics agreement between the US and Armenia is one of the most
recent examples of American conquest of Caucasus. The United States,
in their effort to weaken the positions of Russia and Iran in the
Caucasus, signed a strategically important agreement last spring,
according to which the US is free to use the Georgian military
facilities, the American troops can enter and leave Georgia with no
impediments, use the Georgian land and air territory…

The military relations of the USA and Georgia are defined not only by
this agreement; under the recently completed program of military
assistance the USA trained the Georgian special troops. The contacts
with our friend Azerbaijan is nonetheless important, thus, the US
provided different military vessels to the Caspian navy.

Certainly, the recent attack on Armenia, having strong alliance with
Russia, was caused by the wish to gain its support and to weaken the
relations of Armenia with Russia and Iran. Moreover, the United
States now will have a chance to circle Iran, ensuring their military
presence in Armenia.

I hope that those who are to be interested in similar plans have taken
the developments into account.

Yerevan Press Club of Armenia, ‘Yeni Nesil’ Journalists’ Union of
Azerbaijan and Association of Diplomacy Correspondents of Turkey
present ‘Armenia-Azerbaijan-Turkey: Journalist Initiative-2002’
Project. As a part of the project web site has
been designed, featuring the most interesting publications from the
press of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey on issues of mutual
concern. The latest updates on the site are weekly delivered to the