How real is normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations without acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey?
I don’t think that Armenian-Turkish reconciliation is possible, with the Armenian Cause unsettled. To normalize relations with Armenia, Turkey should cease its anti-Armenian foreign policy and acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. Besides, it should take up a sustainable policy aimed at peaceful and neighborly relations. And last but not least, it should stop being a hostage to Azerbaijan’s interests.
To become a democracy, Turkey should come to terms with its history and resolve a number of pressing problems, including the Kurdish and Cyprus issues
Actually, Turkey has tied normalization of relations with Armenia to resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. But I believe that it's time for the sides to reconsider positions for the sake of their nations. Furthermore, U.S. President Barack Obama is impatient to announce a new diplomatic victory – reconciliation between Armenians and Turks after a century-old enmity.
The U.S. administration will spare no effort, including pressure on Turkey, to achieve normalization and promote partial opening of the Armenian-Turkish border.
Many speak about possibility of a new war. May and June are mentioned as a start. Do you think Ilham Aliyev will venture a new war?
I don’t think Aliyev will dare launch hostilities, fearing to lose the power in case of defeat. Moreover, starting a war, he will nullify the OSCE MG efforts, thus inflicting an irreparable damage to Azerbaijan’s international image.
During the years of ceasefire, Azerbaijan has enough time to train its troops for attacks, while Nagorno Karabakh used the period to fortify its defense. The people of Karabakh will never draw back. They will defend each meter of their land.
The 2008 clashes in South Ossetia showed that a war in the region may last no longer than a week. This time is too little for Azerbaijan to resolve the problem in its favor. But if it dares, a large number of countries will inevitably recognize independence of Nagorno Karabakh.
Nevertheless, Aliyev may launch some local operations to gain dividends for his election campaign.
How could you explain Baku’s anti-U.S. hysteria?
Discontent with the U.S. administration has considerably grown in Azerbaijan recently. Baku is irritated at the influence of the Armenian lobby and annual U.S. assistance to Nagorno Karabakh. After Turkey refused to open the border with Armenia unless the Karabakh conflict is resolved, Azerbaijan openly voices its indignation with the United States.
Baku is taking the course towards Moscow, singing a contract with Gazprom on the one hand, and speaks about possible joint project with the U.S., on the other hand. One thing is clear, Azerbaijan will not dare spoil relations with Washington.