TODAY.AZ / Analytics

Who is Who in Armenian-Turkish dialogue: Armenia’s miserable opportunities

10 March 2010 [10:00] - TODAY.AZ
Relations between the governments of Armenia and Turkey are today painfully reminiscent of the relations between an elephant and a lap-dog from the fable by Ivan Krylov, "The Elephant and the Lap-Dog.” I think you have guessed who is who.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, whose position is becoming more and more disastrous each day, has apparently decided to refrain from public statements both on domestic and foreign policy. Earlier the president used Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian for public statements who regularly suffered from a “slap across the face” intended for his boss. Today, MPs from  Sargsyan’s Republican Party are seemingly taking up the task.

Recently, Standing Commission on Human Rights and Public Affairs Deputy Chairman Rafik Petrosyan said at a press conference that if the process of normalizing Turkish-Armenian ties does not see progress until April 24, the anniversary of the so-called “Armenian Genocide," then Armenia will withdraw from the protocols.

It is not clear what results Sargsyan expects from such a statement. Does he expect Gul and Erdogan, plunged into panic, to press parliament to ratify the protocols with the subsequent opening of the border while forgetting about the Karabakh problem? Or, perhaps, Yerevan still believes that the bluff is the most effective weapon of foreign policy and does not realize that its trump card does not work any more? Perhaps Sargsyan has more weighty arguments to pursue his inadequate foreign policy. Who knows ...

However, there is something more interesting. For a moment, imagine that the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations will see no major progress before April 24. Armenia, being true to its word, will withdraw from the protocols leaving everything as it was earlier.

Will Turkey suffer from this? Not at all. It will continue to live without the headaches, which would necessarily appear after the opening of the border with Armenia.

Will Armenia suffer from this? You can guess yourself. After the withdrawal of signatures it will be clear that the border is not going to open soon. As a result, the Armenian government will utterly discredit itself in the eyes of not only Turkey and Russia, but, more importantly, in the eyes of Europe and the United States. They will lo longer believe in the sincerity of Armenia’s intentions. In economic terms, the closed borders will affect the already miserable situation in Armenia, causing even more discontent within the country, which may result in a very difficult domestic political situation.

I am confident that Yerevan understands this not less than we do. The threat of withdrawing signatures is just a threat. Not anymore. This is the country's last chance to tip the scales in its own favor. They have very poor chances.  And there will be no more…

H. Hamidov
Day.Az writer

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