Thursday, April 23, 2009

Turkey-Armenia Framework

Shortly after Turkey tried to assuage Azerbaijan's concerns that it's concerns were being left out of the Turkey-Armenia rapprochement, the latter two states announced agreement on a framework for normalizing relations. They haven't, however, said what it contains, perhaps indicating a desire to try and appease nationalists on both sides who won't know what to be upset about. Richard Giragosian of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies had this to say:
"Giragosian says that if Turkey and Armenia normalize relations, the deal would come in several steps.

"There would be an agreement to open the border, followed by an agreement to move toward diplomatic relations, with the Turkish ambassador in Georgia most likely assuming the portfolio of representing Turkey in Armenia.

"He says there also would be an agreement to form a large, all-encompassing governmental commission to resolve several issues, most importantly including the 'Armenian genocide' issue.

"He says there are also signs that Turkey would unveil a new document or road map on Nagorno-Karabakh committing all sides to work within the OSCE Minsk Group mediation process and committing all sides to working hard to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"It is exactly the question of what form this commitment over Nagorno-Karabakh would take that is now becoming the potential deal-spoiler for the rapprochement process. This week’s road map may be as much a measure of the level of worry over that possibility as it is a progress report that all is going well on the road to a deal."

As he indicates, we're still back at Karabakh. However, active Turkish involvement in the negotiating process could help introduce new elements which break the logjam, and the AKP could tout more useful regional diplomacy.

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Blogger Steve S said...

Interesting. Tying Turkish-Armenian rapprochement to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue seems to give slightly better incentives to two of the three major players. That's a start.

Meanwhile, I've read that Azerbaijan is increasingly sending oil and gas up through Russia (can't dig up the link, sorry) in hopes that Russia will pressure Armenia into a deal on NK.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Brian Ulrich said...

I know Azerbaijan has been working with Russia more, but hadn't heard the Karabakh link. It makes sense, though, as Armenia's economy is heavily dependent on Russia. Of course, Russia may want to keep it that way.

9:15 PM  

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