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Azerbaijan Arranges “Zurich-2” – Operation

Turkish State Minister Ali Babacan made an intriguing declaration in Brussels: "I was one of the authors of Zurich protocols signed with Armenia and there we reached a clear agreement that the Parties will discuss within historic committees the issues over the events of 1915. And we were ready to any results of these commissions activity". By this Babacan underlined, that Azerbaijan and other states were informed in details about Armenian-Turkish negotiations in Zurich: "I’ll say more, after we agreed with Armenia in Munich to sign protocols, I went not to Ankara, but to Baku, where I specified the position of Turkey on these issues to the President Ilham Aliyev".

The kind of appealing to the events of recent history by Turkish Minister is not an accident, as exactly in Zurich they figured out that political-diplomatic combination, out of the labyrinth of which Turkey can’t get still.
 

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Let’s start with details. Ali Babacan in his statement uses the term “historic commission” which is called to study the events of 1915. However, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in his statement in Deir ez Zor specified, that “we shouldn’t refer to a some “commission of historians”, in case when Armenian-Turkish protocols suggest only the establishment of state-sub-commission on the issues of historic dimensions. I think that everybody perfectly knows what this means and what the difference is”. And really, what is it?

For example, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed “the organization by these states (Turkey and Armenia – S.T.) of historic commission, which would manage all the issues, connected with past”. Although according to her words “this commission is now in the process of establishment”. If this is so, then why American Administration that is so experienced in legal aspects, didn’t impede the adoption of the resolution on genocide by the Committee on Foreign Relations of the House of Representative, which soundly damaged its relations with the kind of evident ally like Turkey? Moreover, the Assembly of Turkish-American associations within the call to the US President Barak Obama pointed on “one of presupposed elements of these protocols – establishment of historic commission”. That is why there is a persistent feeling, that for the White House the resolution on genocide is just one of cards, which are played down against Turkey.

arman-kirakosyanAt the same time, according to the clarifying statement of the Deputy Head of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Armenia Arman Kirakosyan, made during the NATO seminar in Yerevan, the issue is about the establishment the same “historic sub-commission which…should study the issues of liquidation of the consequences of historic tragedy and the way of rapprochement of the two peoples”. These, as they say in Odessa in these cases, “are two big differences” of the principal property. The first: historic commission presupposes the study of the whole complex of historic material, on the ground of which it would be possible to qualify tragic events of 1915 in Ottoman Empire from historic point as well as from legal one. In this case, this doubts the procedure of the adoption of the resolution on genocide by parliaments of many countries. The second position: historic sub-commission is oriented on the assessment of political, moral, financial and other compensational measures, with the help of which it would be possible to get rid of the load of the hardest historic past. And it wasn’t an accident when the Head of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan in Deir ez Zor rhetorically exclaimed: " Today  I’m here, as the President of the Republic of Armenia – the motherland of the whole Armenian-hood and I should ask: "Where and when there will be Armenian Nuremberg?"..."

Any case, these two positions have a common denominator, which presupposes definite chronologic play, during the course of which the process of improvement of the relations between Turkey and Armenia could be finalized. But the Parties didn’t take the chance. Baku didn’t interrupt Ankara, as it thought that the process of improvement of the relations between Armenia and Turkey should be reasoned with Karabakh regulation. And who doesn’t let Armenia to ratify Zurich protocols? By this let’s note that without any bias due to different reasons the interests of Baku Armenian Western Diaspora and of some forces in Armenia itself coincide within non-recognition of Zurich protocols. In the result Turkey appeared to be under the press of resolution on genocide and instead of improvement of relations with Armenia gained the complex of problems within interrelations with West as well as with Azerbaijan.

Natik-AliyevAt the moment, for example, the negotiations between Ankara and Baku on gas transit to Europe were suspended because Ankara suggested Azerbaijan gas transit price lower than market ones. In this respect, in Turkey they started to talk about the failure of gas pipeline NABUCCO project, through which it is supposed to transport gas from Caspian region to European states. According to Minister of Industry and Energy Natik Aliyev, the accomplishment of NABUCCO “is possible in a few years, when the political situation with Iran and Iraq stabilizes”.

At the same time, this doesn’t interrupt Azerbaijan to deliver to Iran about a half of billion cubic meters of blue fuel a year. By this Iran expressed its readiness to buy from Azerbaijan any scopes of gas in prospect. From the other hand, the list of Azerbaijani gas consumers also includes Russia. In October last year GNKAR and Gazprom signed a contract on gas export to the Russian Federation on the price, which president Ilham Aliyev considers as “mutually beneficial”. Baku claimed also its readiness to sell to Russia any demanded scopes from those it intends to export. This means, that Azerbaijan is ready to change the vectors of its energy policy to the direction opposite to West.

Recently, Iran and Pakistan signed a treaty on construction of the pipeline of 2.1 thousand kilometers long, through which gas produced in Iran will be delivered to Pakistani provinces Beludzhistan and Sind.

This project will be commissioned in 2014. The capacity of the first order pipeline will cover 11 billion cubic meters a year and further will be doubled as the resource basis of the pipeline is Iranian field “Southern Pars” in Persian Gulf, which is considered to be one of the biggest in the world. In Pakistan the construction of the first terminal for the receipt of Iranian gas has been launched. This way they potentially are getting together the elements of the single system of regional pipelines: Russia - Azerbaijan (simultaneously - Turkmenistan) - Iran - Pakistan. In future China and India can join this project. As for Turkey, then together with the NABUCCO project it practically is getting out of Transcaucasia. In the best case it will be content with Iraqi gas and those resources that will come though the Russian “Blue Stream - 2”.

If Washington will manage to “push” Ankara and to achieve the ratification of Zurich protocols by Turkish Parliament, then Baku will start active diplomacy in Iranian direction to get Armenia out of there. Then in prospect there will be Zurich-2, but this time with the participation of Iran.
  
 

Translated by EurodialogueXXI from REGNUM Novosti

 

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02.04.2010