Experts: Ankara- Moscow rapprochement will help to advance Azerbaijan's interests

Experts: Ankara- Moscow rapprochement will help to advance Azerbaijan's interests

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 13 / Trend E.Tariverdiyeva /

The Ankara- Moscow rapprochement will help to advance Azerbaijan's interests and, possibly, movements in solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, experts say.

"Even if Turkey's intervention in this matter does not guarantee a solution to the conflict, it can protect Azerbaijan's interests," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Adviser on Eurasia Geybulla Ramazanoglu told Trend.

Russia and Turkey are interested in strengthening stability in the Caucasus region and in resolving of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, President Dmitry Medvedev said at a press conference in Ankara, "Russia-24" television channel reported.

"We, I mean RF, will advance this issue and use all opportunities, Russia's prestige and influence to resolve this conflict," Medvedev said.

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.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.

Experts believes even if the convergence of Ankara and Moscow does not guarantee the resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the short term, Turkey will be able to lobby for Azerbaijan's interests in the region.

The Turkish-Russian rapprochement, mutual visits of the Presidents, and, moreover, the abolition of the visa regime will have a positive impact on resolving of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, strengthening of Azerbaijani position, political analyst Fikret Sadikhov told Trend today.

"Turkey is our close ally and Russia - our strategic partner, on which the solution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict depends, and recent events may give new impetus to the process of the peaceful negotiations," Sadikhov said.

All subsequent negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which will be held after the Russian and Turkish presidents meeting, should be successful,  Ramazanoglu said.

"However, the sides, who claim on an interest in settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, including members of the Minsk Group, in reality do not always support Azerbaijan, and now Turkey has a real chance to lobby for Azerbaijan," Ramazanoglu said.

The Russia-Turkey relation are at a high level for over the last few years and they are based exclusively on mutual interest and benefit, Armenian MP, Secretary of the Parliamentary Faction" Prosperous Armenia "Aram Safarian was quoted as saying by Regnum.

"Ankara will try to take advantage of its growing role in relations with Russia to increase its influence in the South Caucasus region," Safarian said. "I am sure that Turkey and Azerbaijan work together in this direction and will soon voice the single position."

Johns Hopkins University, Institute of Central Asia and Caucasus director, Svante Cornell believes it is still too early to talk about the implications of the president's meeting.

"Such meetings are not uncommon, as well as the statements that were made yesterday, but it did not lead to advances in solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. Nothing substantial is done to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Cornell told Trend over the telephone.

Experts disagreed regarding Turkey's possible participation in the OSCE Minsk Group.

If the OSCE Minsk Group continues to act in a successful direction for solving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, then Turkey also may consider participation in this negotiation process, Erdogan said in a joint press conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Ankara.

"The suggestion that Turkey can become a co-chair of the OSCE - insignificant words, as Armenia would never give its consent," he said.

Another Azerbaijani political analyst, Director of the Center for Political Technologies and Innovations Mubariz Ahmadoglu is skeptical regarding discussion of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem by the Presidents of Turkey and Russia.

"Russia voluntarily or forcibly will withdraw other co-chairmen of OSCE Minsk Group from the game, influence on them for its own interests", Ahmadoglu said.

He said that Russia will make every effort to prevent joining of other countries in the region, including Turkey and Iran, to the process.

"Medvedev's statements in Ankara were sounded to pay tribute to Turkey. The statements of the Turkish side are sincere. They want processes on resolving of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to intensify," Ahmadoglu said.

Drawing an analogy between the Turkish side's statements about the readiness to engage in mediation efforts in this matter and Russian Defense Minister's visit to Baku, which followed the participation of President Ilham Aliyev in Victory Day celebrations in Moscow, Sadikhov expressed his belief in the influence of these processes to accelerate resolving of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"Armenia has been driven into a corner. It should give a clear answer about the update Madrid principles. It rushes about and understands that this document will lead to de-occupation of Azerbaijani territories in any version," he said.

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