TODAY.AZ / Politics

Armenia has informally agreed to leave Azerbaijan's occupied lands: Turkish MP

09 November 2009 [13:12] - TODAY.AZ
Day.Az interview with head of the Turkish delegation to OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and member of the Turkish parliament from ruling Justice and Development Party Aladdin Buyukkaya.
Day.Az: The discussions on Turkey’s possible mediation in the OSCE Minsk Group resumed soon after signing of the Turkey-Armenia protocols. How real are Turkey’s chances in this respect?

Aladdin Buyukkaya: I represent Turkey in the leadership of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and keep a close eye on the Minsk Group activities. I am aware of stance of the OSCE leadership and Minsk Group member countries regarding Turkey’s co-chairmanship.

They believe that Turkey faces no obstacles in this regard. The positive solution of this issue requires consent of the parties to the conflict. Azerbaijan has agrees to Turkey’s co-chairmanship while Armenia refuses. Until recently, Armenia stubbornly resisted this, but Armenia’s position has softened recently. If OSCE begins discussions on this issue, Armenia would not oppose Turkey's co-chairmanship in the Minsk Group.

Q: Can this softening be linked with confidence that Turkey will open borders with Armenia?

A: Turkey has stated that it will fulfill conditions of the protocols only after the occupied Azerbaijani territories are liberated. Armenia understands very well that Turkey's stance is very firm. In the most recent processes Armenia saw that despite the pressure from the United States and Europe, Turkey is going to make no concession in the issue of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.

On the other hand, the socio-economic condition is deplorable in Armenia. If nothing changes, Armenia will lose a lot. Based on background information and a general mood that prevails in the OSCE and other international organizations, I can say that there are certain achievements in resolution of the Karabakh problem. Armenia has informally agreed to withdraw from occupied Azerbaijani territories. It remains only to officially admit it.

Q: Then what prevents Armenia to officially admit it?

A: It depends not only on Armenia since Russia is the key player. If Russia wants, the problem will be solved within days. I had frequently been to Azerbaijan during active hostilities in Karabakh. Moscow clings onto the conflict to maintain presence in the Caucasus.

According to my observations, Azerbaijan has started to find common language with Russia in recent years. Azerbaijan needs to maintain friendly dialogue and understanding with Russia. If Azerbaijan agrees with Moscow, Russia itself will solve this problem. I am confident that Armenia will not be able to stand their pressure.

Q: How do you assess the stance of the United States and France, other Minsk Group co-chairs? Why their activities yield no result?

A: The United States and France perfectly understand Russia’s role in this conflict. Therefore, these countries want to take Armenia away from Russia's influence. For this reason, they call on Turkey to end its embargo against Armenia. Western countries believe that the resolution of the problem will become a matter of time once Armenia gets out of economic dependence on Russia.

Q: It is also believed that Armenia will refuse to make compromise on the Karabakh issue after Turkey lifts embargo…

A: It is for this reason that Turkey does not lift embargo. Turkey understands that opening of borders and establishment of economic relations would revive Armenian economy. After that Armenia, which will resolve its economic problems and access the European market via Turkey, will not leave a single inch of the Azerbaijani territories.

However, the U.S. and Europe are seriously concerned about the Caucasus following the August events in Georgia. They fear that Russia can militarily take control of the entire Caucasus. The only road connecting Russia with Armenia ran through Georgia. The road was closed after the August events and Armenia got into full blockade. Today the U.S. is trying to break through the blockade of Armenia with help of Turkey and thus win the trust of Yerevan.

Q: What do you think Turkey may undertake to facilitate resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

A: Turkey will fight for restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity to the end. Azerbaijan should also take real steps. It is impossible to achieve a just solution to the conflict waiting for help from Turkey and from other third parties. This problem will not be solved only by will of co-chairs. We call on our Azerbaijani brothers to fight. These lands were taken away by blood.

We are not saying that the military way is the only solution to the conflict. Azerbaijan’s increased military power will have a positive effect on the process. Azerbaijan must be strong in all spheres, as well as to demonstrate its military power to Armenia. I think the military men also face great challenges. Azerbaijan may follow example Turkey’s Armed Forces. Turkey is not at war with its neighbors, but neighbors admit and agree with its military might.

Day.Az
URL: http://www.today.az/news/politics/57316.html

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