Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shared sensational news with reporters at a press conference at Ataturk Airport before flying to the United States to participate in the 76th session of the UN General Assembly
It turns out that the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili conveyed to him the offer of the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan for a meeting. According to Erdogan, “if this meeting takes place, then Turkey will establish diplomatic relations (with Armenia – ST)”. However, Erdogan made the meeting conditional: Yerevan must open the so-called Zangezur corridor between Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan.
By the time this comment was prepared, the Armenian side had not officially reacted in any way to Erdogan’s words. Yerevan publications, in particular the Past newspaper, confirmed that Pashinyan recently paid an official visit to Georgia, which ended in the city of Batumi, and held there “an informal meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia.”
And then – information from the category of conspiracy theories.
“According to our Georgian sources, on that day, Pashinyan unexpectedly disappeared in Batumi for about 3-4 hours, and neither the Georgian side nor the staff of the Prime Minister’s protocol knew about his whereabouts”, Past writes.
“Who accompanied him at that time, or whether he was accompanied at all, we could not find out. It is also not known where Pashinyan was during this period”.
This is a hint that the prime minister in Batumi may have met with a certain Turkish emissary, which could only be organized with the participation and mediation of Georgia. But even that is not a sensation. Earlier, Tbilisi agreed to act as a mediator in the process of normalizing relations between Armenia and Turkey, which, according to Garibashvili, “would ensure stability in the region as a whole”.
The intrigue lies elsewhere. The fact is that after the parliamentary elections in Armenia, Pashinyan said that Yerevan received “positive signals from Turkey to establish peace in the region”.
According to him, “we will evaluate these signals, we will respond to positive signals with positive signals”. Moreover, the thesis about the need to normalize relations with Turkey was outlined in the program of the new Armenian government.
This policy methodically follows from the provisions of the peace agreement of November 9, 2020, which provides for the unblocking of communication corridors in the region, and this cannot be achieved without normalizing relations between Yerevan, Ankara and Baku. Of course, at the same time, it would be preferable for Armenian diplomacy not to link its relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan in one package. Moreover, Erdogan, in a conversation with foreign ambassadors, stated that “conditions for a long-term peace have been formed in the South Caucasus region”, and “these conditions have arisen after the end of the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
In this situation, “building bridges” between the two countries through open or closed diplomacy with the mediation of a third party is a natural process. Then the question arises about the reasons that prompted such an experienced politician as Erdogan to make the fact of Garibashvili’s mediation public. It seems that the Turkish leader had closed consultations with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev, who apparently initiated the initiative to set Pashinyan a condition to open the Zangezur corridor in order to prevent Yerevan from playing the “Turkish card”. But there is another point, which is connected with Washington’s pressure on Ankara in order to normalize its relations with Yerevan, which already puts Turkey at the opportunity to play the “Armenian card” in relations with the United States.
As reported by Turkish media, Turkish President’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin held secret talks with US President’s Security Advisor Jack Sullivan. There were reports of attempts by Paris to mediate between Ankara and Yerevan. So Erdogan’s informational stuffing is not accidental and suggests that something in the mediation mission of Georgia was thwarted and events began to develop according to an unplanned scenario.
If we talk about the situation in the region as a whole, then, according to the American publication Eurasianet, “the situation is dead-end.” There is no promised comprehensive peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia to end the Karabakh conflict, and accordingly, the border problem is not resolved, the OSCE Minsk Group is silent, since Baku and Yerevan adhere to mutually exclusive positions on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Now, apparently, Garibashvili’s mediation mission has also failed. Fariza Ismayilzade, vice-rector of ADA Baku University, believes that “at the moment” the preferred mediator for Baku is Russia. ” And for Yerevan?
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