Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 6 / Trend E.Tariverdiyeva /
It is very much in the interest of landlocked and economically suffering Armenia to proceed with the treaties, which will open up the Turkey-Armenia border, U.S. expert on Turkey Michael Gunter believes.
"Both sides must make compromise to implement that they have already agreed," American expert and political science professor at the Tennessee Technological University Gunter told Trend . "However, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh are still a major obstacle to the parties."
Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers Ahmet Davutoglu and Edward Nalbandian signed the Ankara-Yerevan protocols in Zurich Oct. 10. Diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey have been broken due to Armenia's claims of an alleged genocide, and its occupation of Azerbaijani lands. The border between them has been broken since 1993.
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. General Assembly's resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.
According to the expert, in the case of normalization of relations with Armenia, Turkey will also benefit from the absence of problems with neighbors.
Recently, "soccer diplomacy" between the two ancient rivals has given further hope for much more cooperation on further issues, the expert believes.
"If both countries would ratify the treaties on the development of relations and establishment of diplomatic relations signed in Zurich in October 2009 it would facilitate further Turkish-Armenian rapprochement," Gunter added.
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