Washington may support Turkey’s initiative resolving Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 16 / Trend , E.Rustamov /

Washington may support Turkey's initiative, which has all chances to reach success, as an important regional player, to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"Washington is more comfortable with Ankara taking the lead on this issue," American expert for the U.S. policy Brian Genchur said.

In recent years Ankara has stepped up efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. President of Turkey Abdullah Gul said this during the meeting with President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on Feb.13.

Here the Turkey's idea creating the Caucasian platform of safety must be considered. Turkey proposes to develop the regional cooperation within Russia-Turkey-Azerbaijan-Armenia-Georgia format and also to cooperate to solve frozen conflicts.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

According to experts, Turkey is the interested in resolving of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and may counts on U.S.'s support on the issue.

Presently, Turkey takes main initiative to resolve the Karabakh conflict. "The U.S. does not oppose Turkey's initiative and supports it," Turkish expert Sedat Lachiner said to Trend over phone.

The Novaya Gazeta military observer Pavel Felgengauer believes that Turkey, as a significant regional player, has all chance to reach success in resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

"Turkey plays a relevant role in the region," Felgengauer told Trend .

Turkey will play a key role and is interested in better relations with Armenia, German international relations expert Stefan Meister said.

Turkey is trying to normalize relations with Armenia. The relationship between Turkey and Armenia were suspended in 1993. The reasons for the gap were Erevan's anti campaign related to the claims of the Armenian side for the recognition of the so-called genocide, and occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul received the proposal of the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan to visit Armenia to attend the football match between Armenia and Turkey on Sep. 6, 2008. After this visit, diplomatic efforts to normalize relations between the two countries are still continuing.

"We should pay attention on Ankara's role that has interest in resolving the conflict," Meister said.

Azerbaijani political scientist Rasim Musabayov said that the transference of the initiative from the U.S to Ankara is a theoretical meditation.

"The U.S. may leave the negotiation process. This is a theory that the U.S. will deviate from the talks and will leave Turkey face to face with Russia," Musabayov said.

There is the Minsk Group, and the United States is the co-chair of this group in order to have leverage on Armenia, he said.

However, Turkey's support could create problems for Obama administration within the country.

Even if the new American administration will support Turkey's initiative, there is a question whether the Armenian lobby wants it, said Lachiner.

"It is not easy for Obama administration to establish policy on the Caucasus , because a large Armenian Diaspora seats in Congress, and this factor has an impact on government policy in this matter," Lachiner said

Resolution of the Karabakh conflict is a priority for the United States in this region. The United States, as Minsk Group co-chair, has worked diligently with the parties to develop basic principles that can form the foundation for a peaceful solution," Embassy Spokesman Terry Davidson said to Trend .

Many experts have a common view that the key to the Karabakh issue is Russia.

"Russia has the key for resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Always has been and always will be," Genchur said. 

Any negotiations that do not involve Russia in a coherent manner are therefore relatively insignificant.

Russia has more interest to solve conflicts in the post -Soviet space, Meister said.

"Moscow will hopefully not start the next conflict in a very sensible region," Meister added.

R.Agayev (Moscow) and B.Hasanov contributed in the article.

Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at: [email protected]

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