TODAY.AZ / Analytics

Another loss for Armenian diplomacy or why Seyran Ohanian pursued Robert Gates in Brussels?

18 June 2010 [09:35] - TODAY.AZ
Armenian statesmen have taken a strong offence at Barack Obama and the entire American administration because U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who was on a visit to Azerbaijan a couple of days ago, did not pay a visit to Armenia for unknown reasons. Armenian rulers wonder why Gates failed to visit Armenia as they have always been respectful and polite towards Washington, as they claim. They have a strong diaspora in the United States that send them handouts and has promised to deal with Armenia’s neighbours Azerbaijan and Turkey at a first chance. Seems like Armenia overestimated strength of its diaspora.

While Armenian politicians and political experts were in search of best words to criticize American government and Gates for his, what they say, serious diplomatic mistake no to pay a visit to Armenia, the country’s government was striving to find out what actually U.S. Defense Secretary discussed in Baku. Wise men of the Armenian government could think nothing better but to send Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian to Brussels in pursuit of Minister Gates failing to take into account whether Robert Gates will be willing to meet his Armenian counterpart.

Armenia media reports that Armenian defense minister attended meeting of defense ministers of NATO member states’ and partners’ involved in NATO operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan in Brussels on June 10-11. Later he had a short conversation with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Georgian Defense Minister Bacho Akhalia to discuss security and bilateral relations, according to the Armenian Defense Ministry.

It is quire clear for everyone what is Armenia’s significance in the South Caucasus. Armenia does not even have friends, close allies or partners. There are only countries with rather neutral attitude towards Yerevan. One can say with great confidence that Robert Gates did not expect Seyran Ohanian to insist on a meeting with him since Pentagon chief had nothing to talk about with the Armenian minister.

Robert Gates perhaps could not grasp why on earth his Armenian counterpart traveled throughout Europe to find out why U.S. Defense Secretary did not visit Armenia and what he talked about in Baku. True, the American minister decided to act diplomatically, and agreed to a brief meeting with Ohanian. It is possible that the meeting took place during a break in the Brussels meeting of defense ministers. That's for sure that the meeting had almost no significance for Gates.

Having heard nothing from Robert Gates, who openly ping-ponged his Armenian counterpart, Seyran Ohanian decided to try to find out anything through the defence minister of Georgia, a country close to both Azerbaijan and the U.S.

Return to Yerevan surely was not a pleasant experience for Seyran Ohanian. The defense minister and the president certainly had a long discussion and could not understand what their mistake was. Another diplomatic letdown. After this, Yerevan will finally realize that the world will no longer turn a blond eye to its illogical position, primitive games and false promises.

Hamid Hamidov

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