Normalization of relations with Ankara threatens with Yerevan's non-constructivity in Nagorno-Karabakh problems: experts

Normalization of relations with Ankara threatens with Yerevan's non-constructivity in Nagorno-Karabakh problems: experts

Azerbaijan, Baku, October 20 / Trend E. Tariverdiyeva /

Yerevan can hold non-constructive position in the talks over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict de to normalization of relations with Ankara, experts said.

"Armenia took certain coolness in relations between Baku and Ankara as a historic chance that would allow it to suffer settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within any pain. But Armenian politicians miss one detail. They will fail to avoid compromise, i.e. concessions as Baku as opposed to Yerevan is able to press on its mediators," Azerbaijani politician, Tofiq Abbasov, said.

"We can not speak about constructivism of the last meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in Chisinau," Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told Trend on Friday.  

He said that the last presidential meeting did not give ground for optimism as the Armenian side suddenly launched discussions of the issues have been agreed 2-3 years ago. Mammadyarov connects these actions with the last events in the region, namely, Turkey-Armenia rapprochement.

"The Armenian side is likely to think if this process is advanced in this direction, it is possible to freeze the other ones," Azerbaijani Foreign Minister said.

The meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan was held in Chisinau on October 9. These are the seventh talks between the presidents to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peacefully.

Experts said that Armenia can fully delay the process of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement by talking into account strong positions in relations with Turkey.

It seems clear from the point of view of the impact of the Armenian-Turkish diplomacy on the Karabakh issue that progress on Karabakh is unlikely to be achieved in the short-term prospect after a breakthrough in Armenian-Turkish relations, director of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies, Richard Giragosian, said.  

Successful normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey is likely to slow down and complicate the course of the negotiation process on Karabakh due to internal political considerations in Armenia, he said.

If the Armenian government has an agreement with Turkey, it will be politically harmful and even dangerous for the Armenian leadership to seek a compromise agreement with Azerbaijan over Karabakh, and to make concessions, such as delivery of territory and withdrawal of Armenian troops from the regions around Karabakh. Such actions will be too tough and too soon to be adopted by the Armenian community," Giragosian told Trend via E-mail.  

While signing the protocols Turkey entitled Armenia to consider Yerevan's positions as rather successful, MP of the Turkish Grand National Asembly, Onur Oymen, told Trend over phone from Ankara on Friday.

He said that Ankara needs to add the written agreement on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement in the protocols.

"The events occurring now will negatively affect settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," member of Republican People's Party, Oymen, said.

The normalisation of relations with Turkey has been a major victory for the current Armenian leadership, European expert on Caucasus, Licinia Simao, said.

"Even if there is constant opposition at home among more radical groups, most of the population in the Armenian Republic welcomes this change, hoping that open borders will improve life standards and economic performance, as well as it will allow a more independent stance, namely regarding Russia and the Diaspora," expert on South Caucasian countries, fellow of University of Coimbra, Simao, told Trend via E-mail.

Therefore, on the one hand the Armenian President Sargsyan has gathered some capital to push for compromises on the Nagorno Karabakh peace talks, and on the other has pushed some groups to a marginal position that could backfire, she said.

She said that it can lead to a perception that Armenia is giving in on the two most important issues for the nation: the recognition of the genocide by Turkey and the independence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

Regarding with normalization f relations between Yerevan and Ankara, one should not be flattered because Armenia with its economic problems is real burden, Azerbaijani politician Abbasov said.

Expert said that Ankara will not gain significant geopolitical and even commercial benefits by drawing outsider of South Caucasus to its side as an ally.

He said that only this factor testifies in favor of that Turkey will be able to gain little from rapprochement with yesterday's sworn opponent .

"Reconciliation is likely to take place in the form thought by Americans and EU. However, it will be the union as it is stated on the principle 'not because of but contrary to'," Abbasov said.

Armenian expert said that risk of negative impact on the Nagorno-Karabakh process can have negative result towards normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey.

Specifically, in the event that the protocols fail to pass the Turkish parliament, or if the delicate diplomacy between Armenia and Turkey collapses, the Armenian side may be pushed into adopting a new more assertive diplomatic position over Karabakh, Giragosian, said. 

"In that case, Armenia may reassess its official policy of offering to cede districts outside of Karabakh to Azerbaijan and may possibly confront both the OSCE Minsk Group mediators and Azerbaijani diplomats with a more hard-line approach toward the last remaining "frozen conflict" of the region," he said. 

Thus, the fate of the Armenian-Turkish diplomatic process may determine the course of the mediation of the Karabakh conflict for some time to come.  

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan lost all of Nagorno-Karabakh except for Shusha and Khojali in December 1991. In 1992-93, Armenian armed forces occupied Shusha, Khojali and 7 districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

Rufiz Hafizoglu contributed in the article.

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