New pressures in Turkey-Armenia rapprochement

On 28-29 January, in London on the sidelines of an international conference on Afghanistan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threw all her political weight behind an effort to counter Turkey’s threats to stall the ratification of the Armenian-Turkish protocols. In fact, the Armenian-Turkish rapprochement risks to be marred by a campaign of allegations launched in tandem by Turkish and Azerbaijani leadership.

 

It is noteworthy that the US and the Russian Federation have welcomed the latest developments around the process of ratification of the Armenian-Turkish protocols, namely the 15 January ruling of the Constitutional Court of Armenia confirming their constitutionality. On the contrary, this ruling has triggered a series of harsh statements and accusations by Turkish highest ranking officials. Unfortunately, they seem to be mere pretexts to derail the whole process.

 

Furthermore, on 31 January Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has harshly criticised the US, France and the Russian Federation, the co-chairs of the Minsk Group, for “serious neglect” in their dealing with the Nagorny-Karabagh conflict. While elaborating his statement, the Turkish Prime Minister went so far to blame the three co-chairs for failing to force Armenia into unilateral concessions to Azerbaijan, Turkeys closest regional ally. The remarks reflected Ankara’s continuing linkage between the normalization of its relations with Yerevan and a Karabakh settlement acceptable to Baku, RFE/RL reports.

 

In parallel, on 28 January, the Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev in an Interview with the World Street Journal, while renewing its frustration and adversity to the Armenia-Turkey normalisation process, has threatened the EU with its energy leverage. “Gazprom has said it will buy whatever we supply. If Nabucco is delayed, we will sell more to Gazprom, it is clear,” he said. (Nabucco is an EU sponsored ambitious gas pipeline project).

 

Below we provide you with an article from Azatutyun.

 

Clinton ‘Reassures’ Armenia On Turkey

(Source: Azatutyun, http://www.azatutyun.am/content/article/1943549.html)

 

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has reassured Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian that the United States will continue to seek a quick and unconditional normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations, official Yerevan said on Friday. The two met in London Thursday on the sidelines of an international conference on Afghanistan. Turkey’s threats to stall on the parliamentary ratification of the Turkish-Armenian agreements over a controversial ruling handed down by Armenia’s Constitutional Court were apparently high on the agenda.

 

“Hillary Clinton reaffirmed U.S. support for the process of normalizing relations between Armenia and Turkey and a speedy ratification and implementation of the signed protocols,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The ministry said Nalbandian reiterated for his part that the court ruling only testifies to the Armenian leadership’s commitment to the letter and spirit of the protocols. “He added that Armenia expects the same approach from Turkey,” it said. The Turkish government has denounced the ruling as an attempt to re-write key provisions of the protocols. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stood by this claim when he met Clinton in London on Wednesday. “I am of the opinion that the United States better understands Turkey’s concerns,” “Hurriyet Daily News” quoted him as telling journalists on Friday.

 

“We believe [the court ruling] brings restrictions to the protocols. We raised our expectation that the process should not be blurred,” Davutoglu said, commenting on his short conversation with Nalbandian on Thursday. “We have open-mindedly exchanged our views,” he added. While in London, Davutoglu also met with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Elmar Mammadyarov. He welcomed on Friday “progress” in the international efforts to broker a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “If some other concerns emerge from domestic politics, we will move further from the peace vision,” the Turkish minister noted without elaboration. According to the Armenian Foreign Ministry, Clinton and Nalbandian also discussed the Karabakh peace process. It said Nalbandian briefed Clinton on the results of this week’s meeting in Russia of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents.

 

More sources:
About Aliyev’s Wall Street Journal Europe Statements:

The Wall Street Journal: “Turkey-Armenia Pact Hits Snags”

azatutyun.com: “Nabucco at Center of Gas Politics”
About Erdogan’s criticisms to the Minsk Group:

azatutyun.com: “Turkish Leader Blasts Karabakh Mediators”
About the Armenian Constitutional Court Ruling:

azatutyun.com: “Clinton In Crisis Talks With Armenian, Turkish FMs”

The U.S. DEPARTMENT of STATE: “Briefing on Secretary Clinton’s Paris Speech on European Security”

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