Experts disagree on results of Obama-Sargsyan meeting

Experts disagree on results of Obama-Sargsyan meeting

Azerbaijan, Baku, Apr. 7 /Trend E.Tariverdiyeva/

Experts had differing views on the results of the forthcoming meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama with his Armenian Counterpart Serzh Sargsyan, and in fact will the meeting significantly impact the process of the Ankara- Yerevan talks, including the issue of so-called "Armenian genocide".

"I am confident that no matter what the meeting is held, the U.S. administration will put pressure on Turkey, seeking progress in the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations," Turkish Political Analyst Celal Cem Oguz said. "In spite of this, Turkey will not change its attitude towards the Armenian-Turkish process."

"I think that the Turkish and Armenian presidents would not be coming to Washington unless an agreement is within close reach," U.S Expert on South Caucasus and Turkey Mark N. Katz said.

Obama is determined to achieve the ratification of the Armenian-Turkish protocols until Apr. 24 (Day of Remembrance for the so-called "Armenian genocide"), CNN Turk reported.

A timetable for ratification of the protocols will be set during the meetings in the framework of a global summit on nuclear security, CNN Turk reported. It is possible that the schedule will be kept in secret, the CNN Turk's source said.

Apr.12-13, Washington will host the Nuclear Safety Summit, which will be attended by the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Armenian president is expected to have bilateral meetings with Obama and Erdogan.

According to the Turkish and Azerbaijani observers the meetings are unlikely to change the situation with the Armenian-Turkish protocol.

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.

Azerbaijani political analyst Rasim Musabeyov believes, given that the meeting will take place at the large Summit, Obama is unlikely to give a lot of time negotiating with Sargsyan, while discussing issues on the Turkey- Armenian relations. According to him, if there is no hope for a sensational breakthrough in the Armenian-Turkish relation, one can expect the trilateral meeting and a special round of negotiations.

Obtaining Turkey's support in the Iranian agenda, the issue of Afghanistan and the Middle East is much more important for Obama, the expert said.

"I do not expect any kind of breakthrough in the Turkish-Armenian relations during the upcoming summit," he told trend. .

Director of the Turkish Center for Strategic Studies Oguz believes presently, Turkey can not agree on the further process of normalizing relations with Armenia, as neither the government nor the opposition wants it.

"After the Armenian Constitutional Court, which reviews all international agreements before entering the ratification in Parliament, amended the Armenian-Turkish protocols relating to the so-called" genocide "of Armenians and the point about the lost 'Armenian lands' under the Kars Treaty, no representative of the Turkish political elite, despite their belonging to a particular party, wants the continuation of the Armenian-Turkish dialogue, " he told Trend.

Jan.12, Armenia's Constitutional Court confirmed that obligations reflected in the Armenian-Turkish protocols correspond with the basic law of the country. However, there is no need for a joint commission that will investigate the events that occurred during the Ottoman Empire in 1915, and that Armenia would never back down the requirement of recognition of the so-called "genocide."

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned if the Armenian Constitutional Court does not reverse its decision on the protocols between the two countries, the relations between Ankara and Yerevan may be corrupted.

Oguz said that Armenia hopes that April will be a good month in terms of U.S. recognition of the so-called "genocide" of Armenians, or that the U.S. president will utter the word "genocide".

"But despite such pressure, Erdogan's government will not compromise on the reconciliation with Armenia, as this would lead to political suicide. Therefore, I do not expect any progress from the meetings in Washington April 12.

However, now as president of the United States Obama should take a closer look at the Turkish point of view regardless of his promises to the Armenian side during the campaign, U.S expert on Turkey Michael Gunter said.

During his election campaign, relying on the support of the influential Armenian lobby, president Obama promised to recognize the "genocide" if he is elected president.

The Armenian side does not expect significant progress after meetings in Washington either.

Former Armenian Foreign Minister, representative of the opposition Armenian National Congress, Alexander Arzumanyan said that "he does not expect any change in the position of Turkey. Today, it announced at the highest level that it is ready to ratify these protocols when there will be progress in the process of Karabakh settlement in its representation, " Armenia today said.

However, the agreement on the protocols and the normalization of relations without preconditions can be achieved between the Armenian and Turkish sides shortly after the upcoming summit, U.S experts said.

I hope that during the meeting of Turkish and Armenian presidents in the While House, President Obama will make efforts for the sides to agree to ratify the Protocols signed in Zurich, Tennessee Tech University, USA, professor, U.S expert Michael Gunter told Trend via e-mail.

It should be noted that he believes that Jan. 12, 2010 the Armenian Constitutional Court dealt a blow to the issue of normalizing relations with Turkey, making changes to the recommendations to the protocols of "genocide" of Armenians.

"I hope U.S President Obama to use his prestige and power to move this process along and normalize relations between Turkey and Armenia," Gunter said.

Katz said that the talks are senseless without Azerbaijan.

"I think that this process must be held with participation of both Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents from the very beginning. Azerbaijan is an interested party in these negotiations. Its opinion must be taken into account, Department of Public and International Affairs Professor of Government and Politics Mark N. Katz told Trend via e-mail.

"It will be impossible to avoid the topic 'genocide' of 1915 during the meetings in the United States. Perhaps the Obama Administration can help the Turkish and Armenian sides to find a way to discuss the issue, if not agree upon it. But if the United States begin to consider the sufferings of the Armenians in the early 20th century, the sufferings of the Azeris committed by the Armenians in the late 20th century must be also considered.

R. Hafizoglu, V. Zhavoronkova contributed to the article.

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