Review of the week: USA in the role of an overtaker

The U.S. seems to have accepted the fact that the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic exists and will continue existing, that the elections in Azerbaijan will be held the way they have always been, and that Armenia will try not to spoil its relations with the U.S. and Russia.

Last week the region, comprising the Middle East and the South Caucasus, registered developments, which to some extent will determine its future for 10-15 years. Turkey held a referendum on introducing amendments to the constitution and it can be considered the main event of the week. After summarizing the plebiscite, the United States and some EU countries immediately declared that the country is moving towards the European Union and, according to U.S. State Department, America favours Turkey’s EU membership.

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Obama administration did not go far from that of George Bush, pushing Turkey into Europe despite the fact that Ankara’s policy toward the U.S., to put it mildly, is not that of allies. However, it so happens that elections in any country of the world are treated by the United States as a step towards democracy, even if they result in strengthening of the authoritarian regime. This is exactly what happened in Turkey. According to State Department spokesman Philip Crowley, Washington believes that the plebiscite would give the people of Turkey an opportunity to speak in a loud voice about the future direction of its firm democracy. It is clear that what Crowley said is nothing but simple words, a mere statement of a fact. We can assume that exactly this way will be described the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan too. The other day Istanbul proved that these are just words, by trying not to let the Armenian journalists to the conference organized by Hrant Dink Foundation.

The laurels of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk would obviously be useful now for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and, admittedly, he makes an effective use of them. Though he is still far from the title “Father of the nation”, he has done much to turn Turkey into an Islamic country. And it’s just surprising how a state governed by sharia laws (though yet silently) can become a member of the EU. It was these laws that did not allow setting a cross on the dome of the church Holy Cross on Akhtamar. The most essential thing that the plebiscite gave was the exclusion of military coups that have occurred in Turkey since 1960. Incidentally, last time the constitution was changed after the coup on Sept. 12, 1980. In short, the Justice and Development Party is ready for next (or early) national elections.

At the end of the week Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Tina Kaidanow arrived in the South Caucasus. In general, it seems that the region has begun to act like an overtaker. Promotion of Russia makes the U.S. nervous, given the fact that the recent policy of Barack Obama has been indistinct. What price a ban on the construction in the West Bank of Jordan and Jerusalem? In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed an agreement with Russia on purchase of weapons. The U.S. position in the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is becoming increasingly incomprehensible. One wonders what the U.S. wants in the end: peace in the Middle East (what is impossible), reconciliation with Hamas (what seems improbable too), or something else? It is clear that behind all this lies the desire to retain influence in the Middle East, but Washington somehow missed the fact that while she was dealing with her reforms and the global crisis, the realities changed. Obviously Obama cannot make a second Carter; he has already failed to do that. It is much more difficult to make Israel and Palestine come to an agreement now than it was 30 years ago, since Hamas began to play an active and destructive role in Gaza. Here are free elections and democracy! Alas, here is the reality which the United States is unwilling to notice and which does not fit the American model of behavior in the world and in the region.

As for the visit of Tina Kaidanow, it is more focused on supporting the OSCE Minsk Group, rather than on anything else. The U.S. seems to have accepted the fact that the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic exists and will continue existing, that the elections in Azerbaijan will be held the way they have always been, and that Armenia will try not to spoil its relations with the U.S. and Russia. It turns out that the current status quo in the South Caucasus indeed suits everyone. And if that's the case, enough is as good as a feast.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan / PanARMENIAN News
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