Turkey at the negotiating table – to be or not to be? Commentary
Turkey in the negotiations on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue: in Azerbaijan, they call it a precondition for the country, whereas Armenia deems the idea unacceptable.
The presence of Turkey at the negotiating table is a prerequisite for Azerbaijan, said the presidential aide Hikmet Hajiyev.
De facto or de jure, Turkey has to take part in the settlement of the problem, Azerbaijani head of state Ilham Aliyev emphasized several times in his interviews with foreign media.
In Turkey, this issue is treated almost the same way as official Baku sees it.
“The other day, somewhat unexpectedly, besides the parties to the conflict, there was only Moscow at the negotiating table. The negotiating table at which our brother is attacked is a matter of honor for us.
Even Canada, obeying pressure from Armenia, has suspended the arms trade with us. This makes clear that the West is ambivalent about the issue. Of course, there will be other negotiations. I warn you once again that Turkey must be next to our brothers from Azerbaijan. I urge the authorities to be very attentive in this matter. We must prove to the world that our cause is right,” said Meral Akshener, chairwoman of the Turkish opposition party Iyi.
The same opinion is shared by Azerbaijani MP Hikmet Babaoglu:
“Over the past years, Azerbaijan has managed to change the global public opinion in its favor. Today, with rare exceptions, the world community supports the just cause of our country. However, the latest statements by France, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, cause only regret. Today this country has started lobbying against Azerbaijan. At the same time, France is trying to get the co-chairs to make radical decisions. This is an unacceptable position. After the war, very serious negotiations await us. Undoubtedly, Turkey must be one of the co-chairs of the Minsk Group”.
The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs “must clearly understand that this is Armenia’s last chance,” says Azerbaijani political scientist Shabnam Hasanova:
“Decisive steps must be taken and the liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan from the Armenian armed forces must be achieved. Otherwise, hostilities may resume, and no one will be able to save Armenia. The negotiations should be based on the core principles of the UN Security Council resolutions and the Helsinki Final Act. Armenia must fulfill these requirements and submit a schedule for the withdrawal of its troops from the territories of Azerbaijan. The co-chairs should work in this direction.
As for Turkey, the brotherly country supports and will support the decisions made by Azerbaijan. As has been repeatedly noted by the Turkish side, it is ready to be with us both on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.”
The former plenipotentiary of the Russian president in Nagorno-Karabakh, the former OSCE Minsk Group co-chair from Russia, Vladimir Kazimirov, has a diametrically opposite opinion.
“Turkey is trying to assert the opinion that Russia is not an objective mediator in the negotiations, but a defender exclusively of Armenia and the Armenians of Karabakh, while Turkey is the defender of Azerbaijan’s interests,” he said.
“Moreover, if Turkey is involved, then why not involve Iran, which is located in this region, in the negotiations. In this case, the Turks think only of themselves, and not of the region as a whole. This is a completely untenable idea,” summed up Kazimirov.