interview with Prof. Dr. Kamer Kasim
, Vice President of USAK (International Strategic Reserach Organization) and Head of the Department of International Relations/Abant Izzet Baysal University, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Abant ?zzet Baysal University
- How would you explain American mediator on Karabakh James Warlick's Turkey visit in purpose, as he himself admitted, to know Turkish stance regarding the problem? Do Americans recognize the Karabakh resolution's link to Turkish-Armenian relations which they rejected before?
This is link to your second question that the US administration think that there is no connection between Turkey-Armenia relations and the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. This approach was unrealistic and during the protocols process, it became obvious that there are strong linkages between Turkey-Armenia relations and the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. Authorities in Turkey clearly stated that the opening of the Turkey-Armenia border depends on the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. It would be helpful and realistic if the US administration acts accordingly to this fact. Turkey’s opinion about Nagorno-Karabakh problem is important and Washington should give priority for the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem if the US wants normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations. -Turkey is an active participant of two trilateral cooperation format in our region - Ankara-Baku-Tbilisi and Ankara-Baku-Tehran. What are the interests of Turkey in this kind of cooperation?
The improvement of the relations between the West and Iran would reflect Turkey-Iran relations. If the improvement of the relations implicated on Turkey’s and Iran’s Caucasus policy, which may help for new regional integration projects and if Armenia continue its current foreign policy, it will continue to be outside of regional cooperation.- Could the aforementioned frames of the regional interaction between Turkey and Azerbaijan be serious competitor to Russian-Armenian format?
Turkey-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Iran cooperation would further isolate Armenia if this cooperation realized and Armenia continues the current policy.- Will the Customs Union membership of Armenia show up in the regional balance or just strengthen the status-quo?
Armenia’s even closer relations with Russia through Custom Union would strengthen the status quo and Armenia would be totally tighten up with Russia.- Could the prospects of economical recovery through regional cooperation in exchange for the end of occupation of Azerbaijani lands affect Armenia?
Armenia would only change its foreign policy if it really faced out side pressure and particularly the pressure from Russia.