After two weeks’ silence, Turkish diplomatic circles have finally commented on Serzh Sargsyan’s decision to abandon the protocols signed between Armenia and Turkey in Zurich in 2009. “The decision is theirs. They have demonstrated unwillingness for settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during all these years. They demonstrated the same thing again,” Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey Ahmet Yildiz told the Azerbaijani APA agency.
It should be reminded that Turkey is a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, which, in addition to co-chair countries (France, the US, and Russia), also includes Belarus, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Finland.
It should be reminded that the reason for the failure of the Armenian-Turkish protocols were the preconditions imposed by the Turkish side for the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations. Though the protocols signed in October 2009 do not contain a provision related to the settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict, their ratification in the Turkish Parliament was put into question because of the disagreements between Armenia and Turkey over the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement. As a result, the process of ratification of the protocols and the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were put on the same level and became interconnected. This was already clear in fall 2009 from the statements made by Turkish executive and legislative authorities.
Member of the OSCE Minsk Group
Though the failure of the protocols has been repeatedly discussed in terms of Turkey-Armenia historical contradictions and the issue of the Genocide, now it is more urgent for Armenia to consider Turkey’s policy from the perspective of its membership in the Minsk Group. The OSCE Minsk Group’s position is peaceful settlement of the conflict on the basis of principles of territorial integrity and self-determination of the nations. In other words, the OSCE Minsk Group has a compromise solution to the conflict resolution synthesized from the approaches of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Hence, the additional pressure by Turkey on Armenia only contradicts the approach of the OSCE Minsk Group. Besides, as a mediator in talks, Turkey does not have the right to make the following statement regarding one of the sides, “Anyhow they have demonstrated unwillingness for settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during all these years.” This is true especially in light of the circumstance that this statement contradicts the official position of the OSCE Minsk Group and the opinions of international experts.
Finally, it should be noted that as a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, Turkey has committed to contribute to the conflict settlement within the format of the group, and, thus, Turkey does not have authority to remove the issue from the Minsk Group format and carry it to another political dimension.
We should also add that Turkey, being a mediator in Nagorno Karabakh conflict, supplies weapons to Azerbaijan, violating the gentlemen’s agreement between OSCE Minsk Group members, according to which Minsk Group members do not have the right to supply weapons to the conflict sides. This agreement is regularly violated by Minsk Group members Turkey, Belarus, and Russia.
“Union of Informed Citizens”