Pashinyan may not hesitate to engage in positive dialogue with Ankara, to open up through it to Europe, and to help him support his position to take revenge on Moscow.
Turkish Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu surprised everyone when he talked about appointing a special representative for dialogue with Armenia after Yerevan took a similar step by appointing its representative for direct dialogue with Ankara “without the need for Russian mediation,” this is what Minister Cavusoglu said. This clearly reflects the intention of the Turkish and Armenian parties to normalize relations between them, away from the interference and influence of other parties, primarily Russia and then Iran.
After the defeat of Yerevan in the Karabakh region thanks to Turkish and Israeli support for Azerbaijan, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan did not hesitate to accuse Moscow of not helping Armenia in this war, which led to a chill and serious tension between the latter and Russia, Pashinyan took advantage of this tension in his election campaign, from which he emerged victorious, despite Moscow’s support for his opponents, both political and military.
Pashinyan’s victory in the June 20 elections prompted US President Joe Biden to exploit this in his psychological and political war against Russia. During his meeting with him in Rome on October 31 last, he recommended Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to talk With Pashinyan and to address all differences between the two countries, through direct dialogue between the two parties.
Biden’s recommendation undoubtedly met with President Erdogan’s calculations in the Caucasus, after he made Azerbaijan a strategic foothold in the region, with more comprehensive cooperation relations in all fields with Georgia, the other country in the Caucasus, whose relations with Moscow have also been tense, after the Russian army intervened in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, during the August 2008 war, they declared their independence from Georgia with Russian support, as is the case in Lugansk and Donetsk provinces in eastern Ukraine.
President Erdogan knows the many weaknesses of Pashinyan, whose country suffers from very difficult economic and financial problems, and wants to help him to overcome these problems, in return for direct and indirect support from him for his projects and strategic plans in the Caucasus. Everyone knows that these plans and projects target Russia in the first place, as is the case in Central Asia, where the Islamic republics are of Turkish origin.
Erdogan plans to help Yerevan open land and air borders with it, allow trade across the common border, and thus ease work and residency conditions for the roughly 50,000 Armenians, most of whom are women, now working in Turkey. Everyone knows that this simple aid, in addition to encouraging Turkish businessmen to work in Armenia, which lacks the most basic necessities of economic life (there is no industry, agriculture, or trade) will encourage the Armenians, in general, to forget their bad historical memories with the Turks regarding their accusation of the Ottoman Empire of exterminating one and a half million Armenians during the First World War. The Armenians, whose number does not exceed three million, and a large part of them work abroad, are living in very difficult economic and financial conditions, especially after the defeat of Karabakh and the placing of Azerbaijani obstacles in the way of Iranian trade with Armenia. Moreover, Armenia’s economic and military capabilities do not and will not allow it to confront Azerbaijan, after Turkey’s military support for it, through air and land bases there.
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Minister Cavusoglu’s statements are expected to bring many surprises after the opening of the borders between the two countries, and Pashinyan’s visit to Turkey may follow, like the visit of former President Abdullah Gul to Yerevan in September 2008 to attend the football match between the Turkish and Armenian national teams, amid the chants of some of the audience against him and against Turkey, with a reminder of the Armenian genocide, these chants did not prevent the Turkish and Armenian parties from signing on October 10, 2009, in Zurich a protocol for joint cooperation with Swiss mediation, but it did not achieve its goals, the most important of which was exchanging ambassadors, opening the common borders and launching flights. The main reason for the failure of this protocol was that the Armenian side did not back down from its position regarding the Armenian Genocide, and the Turkish side suggested at the time the formation of a joint academic committee that would prepare a comprehensive study on this subject, after reviewing all the official documents in the archives of the two countries and the archives of the countries concerned, the most important of which are France, Britain, Russia, Germany, and America.
Pashinyan, in turn, may not hesitate to engage in positive dialogue with Ankara, first to open up through it to Europe, and thus to help him support his position to take revenge on Moscow, which he blames for his defeat in the Karabakh War. And openness to Ankara will help him achieve great economic gains, especially if Erdogan succeeds in his plans to establish economic blocs in the Caucasus that include Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and even Russia and Iran, with Turkey being the main driver of such a bloc, as long as Azerbaijan’s gas and oil reach Turkey through the territory of Georgia, Russian gas also reaches Turkey and from there to Europe, provided that Iranian gas remains for Turkish internal consumption.
President Erdogan wants such an economic bloc to help him in making Turkey a major corridor for many railway projects with various names, which aim to connect Europe with Asia and even with China, which will only be achieved by passing through the territories of Armenia and Georgia together. Erdogan also hopes for these projects to support his national strategy in Central Asia, and it can only be achieved through superiority in the Caucasus, which requires winning Armenia and neighboring Georgia so that it can extend east towards Azerbaijan with its geographical, national, and historical depth in Iran. This explains the apathy and tension in the relationship between Azerbaijan and Iran during the Karabakh crisis after the pro-Erdogan media and nationalist circles launched a violent campaign against Tehran on the pretext that it supports the Armenians.
The bet remains on the position of Moscow, which no longer hides its annoyance with Ankara’s policies, but without being able to do anything after it lost many of the elements of bargaining with President Erdogan in Syria, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, now Armenia, and later in other locations and arenas, for which Erdogan is collecting as much strength as he could!
All he has to do in this case is to convince Pashinyan and the Armenian public opinion of the need to abandon their statements regarding the Armenian genocide, which will not be difficult in light of the internal Armenian reality and the current data (recalling the deal of the century between “Israel” and the Arab regimes) that collects the accounts of Ankara and Yerevan is in one trench, as long as the enemy is shared by Erdogan and Pashinyan, otherwise, why did he rush to such reconciliation after the defeat of Karabakh and President Biden’s recognition of the Armenian genocide last April?!