Baku: Arasim Musabekov: "Turkey’s Support Is Important To Us, But Az


July 21 2008

Day.Az interview with famous political scientist Rasim Musabekov.

– High ranking representatives of Turkey and Armenia have had secret
talks on normalization of relations between the two countries…

– Frankly speaking, it is difficult to me to call the meeting even
as talks. There are numerous problems in the bilateral relations
between Armenia and Turkey. I do not see anything incredible in
it. The United States and Iran also support contacts on the level of
diplomatic relations.

Why can’t Turkey and Armenia maintain such contacts? Azerbaijan and
Armenia are also in a state of war, still we hold negotiations with

I think the said secret talks can not be effective, as Armenia does
not intend to disavow its territorial claims to Turkey and "genocide
of Armenians". Armenian diaspora organizations throughout the world
will continue works for recognition of the "genocide of Armenians".

– Do you think the soonest opening of borders between Turkey and
Armenia is possible?

– Even if Turkey opens borders with Armenia, it will not give
anything, for nothing will pass Armenia until Azerbaijan opens
its borders. Georgian road is closed due to the Abkhaz problem and
Azerbaijani section of the border is closed by the well-known reasons.

The talks about the soonest opening of borders by Turkey and Armenia’s
getting a window to the world are unfounded.

And finally, Turkish public opinion will not allow the government to
sign a cynical deal with Armenians, even if they attempt to settle
problems with Armenia at Azerbaijan’s cost.

I can not say that interests of Turkey and Azerbaijan fully coincide,
for example in the gas issue. Azerbaijan is interested in the
implementation of large scale gas projects, while Turkey wishes to
purchase Azerbaijani gas by law prices and sell it on the European

Anyway, our interests fully coincide in the strategic issues. And I
do not think that Ankara is ready to sacrifice strategic relations
with Azerbaijan in favor of concessions to Armenia, which would bring
no profit.

– As is known, the Armenian president invited his Turkish counterpart
to Yerevan to watch a football match between the combined teams of
Turkey and Armenia. Do you think the Turkish President will visit
Yerevan, taking into account the announcement of Turkish Foreign
Minister that this issue is being considered and all depends on the
processes, preceding the match?

– The invitation is connected with definite actions of the
Turkish side-opening of borders. In this sense, borders will not
opened. Acceptance of the invitation will not be useful for the
President and the ruling party of Turkey.

Even if Abdullah Gul visits Yerevan, it will not cause damage to
Azerbaijan. We have firm demands and they will not change depending
on whether the Turkish President will visit Yerevan or not.

Hypothetically, Abdullah Gul’s visit is possible. To visit a country
with which you have no diplomatic relation, would hardly be appropriate
for the Turkish president. Presidents do not tour the world much in
the practice, common in Turkey.

– Anyway, if borders between Turkey and Armenia open…

– I want to repeat-this will not be effective. We do not lose anything
from it. The most important is the opening of the Azerbaijani border. I
have read the versions, according to which Azerbaijan will surrender
its positions within almost a day, following the opening of the
Turkish border. This is a complete nonsense.

Turkey’s support is indeed important to us, but Azerbaijan does not
depend on Turkey so much in the issue of national interests protection.