Turkey’s Long Shot: Armenia responds to Ankara’s call for new contact group on Karabakh

Photo: www.mfa.am

After the April war between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkey continues active attempts to interfere in the conflict, looking for new grounds for penetration in the South Caucasus region.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has stated about the decision to establish, within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a contact group on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.

“The decision has already been made at the highest level. I suggest that all countries that are members of the OIC take part in it. One needs to settle this conflict as soon as possible on the basis of UN resolutions, taking into account the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. The occupation of Karabakh by Armenia increases the risk of military confrontation in the region,” Cavusoglu said, speaking at a meeting of the foreign ministers of the OIC member countries in Istanbul on April 12.

The heads of predominantly Moslem states that are also members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), in particular, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, also attended the meeting.

Earlier, Kazakhstan effectively thwarted a summit of EEU prime ministers that was to have taken place in Yerevan on April 8 by requesting that its venue be moved to Moscow.

The request made amid the Karabakh escalation was taken as Astana’s support for Azerbaijan. Despite initially mulling the possibility of skipping the summit, Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan eventually decided to go to the Russian capital and participate in the meeting.

It is obvious that any involvement of Ankara in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement process would only harm it, because of the biased position of Turkey and its tendency to support Azerbaijan at any cost, Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan stated.

“The April 2-5 events unleashed by Baku on the Line of Contact between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh and the provocative statements from Turkey are clear evidence of that,” said Kocharyan.

The senior Armenian diplomat also noted that Turkey “undertakes a dangerous attempt to artificially present Azerbaijan’s military operations against self-determined Nagorno-Karabakh through the prism of a religious conflict.”

“The policy of the current leadership of Turkey results in the spread of instability, terrorism and bloodshed both within Turkey and beyond its borders. By the above-mentioned provocative statement the Foreign Minister of Turkey, in fact, unveils the inclination to spread that wave towards the South Caucasus. We are sure that the Moslem countries that show a traditionally friendly attitude towards Armenia, being well aware of the real aims of Turkey, will not allow themselves to be misled by Turkey’s provocations,” Kocharyan underscored.

Remarkably, on the same day, Minister of Energy of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hamid Chitchian arrived in Yerevan to participate in a quadripartite meeting held within the framework of energy cooperation between Armenia-Iran-Russia-Georgia, which is scheduled for April 13. Cooperation in this format is aimed at creating a North-South electricity corridor. This format eliminates Turkey and Azerbaijan, and Baku and Ankara are actively working to disrupt it.