Analyst: Factors That Contribute To Resolving Nagorno-Karabakh Confl

N. Abdullayeva

11 December 2009 [14:37]

Day.Az interview with Azerbaijani political expert Eldar Namazov.

How do you assess the outcomes of the recent Erdogan-Obama meeting?

Of course, the outcome Turkish prime minister’s U.S. trip and outcome
of his talks with Barack Obama will become clear later when the
agreements reached in Washington will be implemented. This visit was
crucial on backdrop of current situation in our region. This visit
was focus of attention not only in Azerbaijan and Turkey, but also
in Armenia and Russia and many other countries.

Was the Erdogan-Obama meeting fruitful in terms of resolving the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

Turkish prime minister kept his promise to Azerbaijan in the issue
that Azerbaijan was interested most of all, namely interdependence
between normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations and resolving the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

It is wrong to rush to extremes accusing Turkey almost of betrayal
or praising it. I think that this visit is not an end of some process.

None of the issues that were raised at the meeting was resolved right
there. The visit was part of a dynamic and very complex process.

I am sure that we all have to be patient, because in future we will
face numerous situations when public opinions will be different as
settlement of the Karabakh conflict is a very complicated process.

Despite all advances which the diplomats speak about, one needs
to bear in mind that such complex processes are easier to disrupt
rather to reach a final success. So, I’d still prefer to approach
all negotiations with pragmatism rather than emotion.

In your opinion, could Erdogan persuade Obama that Turkey-Armenia
border must not be opened until Azerbaijan’s occupied lands are

Ambiguity in this issue makes me to assess the visit with caution.

Turkish prime minister voiced the position which Azerbaijan expected
it to do. But all this does not mean a serious turning point in the
negotiations. In my estimation, we are most close to signing any
agreement first since the negotiation process was launched.

How do you assess the recent optimistic statements about resolution
of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

The situation in the region has now changed. There are certain
expectation in Yerevan regarding normalizing relations with Turkey
given difficult economic situation that Armenia faced due to closure
of the Russia-Georgia border, global economic crisis, decline in
country’s GDP with pessimistic forecasts for coming years.

It all makes the Armenian leadership to urgently seek a way out of
this situation. Cooperation between Russia and Turkey and Azerbaijan
and Russia has become much more significant in terms of regional
energy projects. In this regard, Russia’s positive attitude to the
Turkish-Armenian rapprochement, as well as Turkey’s mediation role in
resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is also not accidental. This
is due to serious economic and political reasons.

So, we can assume that in comparison with the situation of 10 years
ago now there are certain prerequisites to reach an agreement.

But Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s positions are still opposed. Therefore,
both countries have much work to do to coordinate the alleged
compromise with public opinion. The public always accepts something
very painful especially after years of official propaganda by their
country about intransigence and achieving maximum results.

And when it’s time to move toward compromise, what yesterday seemed
a winning political rhetoric leads to a serious obstacle to reaching
any agreement.

Therefore, we must be realistic. For the first time after many
years some geopolitical factors have appeared that contribute to the
settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict while the talks themselves
are quite complex.