Turkey Is More And More Hastily Leaving The Influence Zone Of EU And

Karine Ter-Sahakyan

14.02.2009 GMT+04:00

Any initiative by Ankara, if it is out of the scope of Azeri interests,
is treated rather painfully by Baku.

Last week’s central event was the historical visit of the Turkish
President to Moscow. The visit was expected still back in August 2008,
when because of the ‘feats’ of Georgia and South Ossetia Caucasus
hardly avoided a war that threatened to spread into Russia and the
Near East. The Russian-Turkish relations have never been strained,
even at the time of the USSR when Turkey, being a NATO member, was
on active trading terms with the Soviet Union.

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ And now when Turkey is trying to carry out
an independent foreign policy, not turning back to look at the
USA, it is fairly justified that Ankara and Moscow should sign a
contract on strategic cooperation. Moreover, it would be mutually
beneficial. During the talks there was even expressed an idea that
in mutual calculations Russia and Turkey should apply to ruble and
lira. It is rather difficult to estimate how realistic an offer it
is, but it’s a fact that Turkey is more and more hastily leaving the
influence zone of the EU and the USA. As Russian Premier Vladimir Putin
put it, Turkey is among their priorities in Russian foreign policy.

What consequences can this intimacy have for Armenia? Among the
possible scenarios is the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border and
Turkey’s indirect participation in the process of regulation of the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Though, the latter can hardly be realized
until Ankara refuses to lend support to Azerbaijan in this issue. By
the way, any initiative by Ankara, if it is out of the scope of Azeri
interests, is treated rather painfully by Baku. But how long is Turkey
going to listen to Baku’s opinion if there are more powerful and more
reasonable players that can help to get out of the crisis and of the
200-billion outer debt. In the words of Azeri political scientist
Rasim Musabekov, the current promotion of Russian-Turkish relations
will drive Moscow to the idea of getting rid of the Â"splinterÂ" –
the political position of Armenia in the region. It is quite natural,
because if the word "Armenia" sounds in any corner of the world,
Baku considers it her duty to respond to it, sometimes failing to
understand that all those comments and refutations are no more taken
seriously, be it in Moscow or Ankara, let alone Europe and the USA.

The second event of the week was the arrival of OSCE PA Special
Representative on Nagorno Karabakh and Special Envoy for Georgia
Goran Lennmarker. "The right of nations to self-determination and
the principle of territorial integrity fixed in the Helsinki Final
Act are equal for the OSCE. Neither dominates the international
law and resolution of the Karabakh conflict should base on this
postulate. The sides should strike a compromise. I would like to
repeat that the conflict has no military solution. The deplorable
outcome of the August war in South Ossetia proved inadmissibility of
the use of force. A peace agreement forms the basis of the fundamental
principles. It means that solution should be found with respect for
fundamental principles both in Armenia and Azerbaijan, through the
mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group," Mr. Lennmarker said in Yerevan and,
what is pretty important, repeated his words in Baku.

As usual, Mathew Bryza holds opposite views. In an interview with the
"Voice of America" Ambassador Bryza said resolution of the Karabakh
conflict is not far away and that it’s based on the principle of
territorial integrity. "The right of nations to self-determination and
inadmissibility of use of force should also be fixed in the agreement,"
he said.

The Israeli Parliamentary Elections are finally over, but it is
still indistinct who will be the country’s next premier – Netanyahu
or Livni. There is still a squabble going on, trying to make it more
precise who the murderer is – Turkey or Israel. As usual, the reference
point is the Armenian Genocide. The closer we are to the month of
April the oftener the Genocide of 1915 will be mentioned; it is a
yearly necessity. The US Armenian Community believes that this year
on April 24 Barack Obama will utter the word "genocide", thus putting
a full stop to the 35-year-old voting in the US Congress… Hardly
anything might change in the world, which could bring about a change
in the Turkish-Armenian relations. Turkey knows best that Armenia is
right in her insistence. And Armenians on their part realize that no
Turkish government would ever voluntarily recognize itself a criminal
administration. And recurring to Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s
visit to Moscow, let us once again mention that no one can press on
Turkey in this issue: neither Russia nor the United States.

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