Results of Istanbul Declaration: Armenia remains isolated from processes in region
Armenia’s regional isolation continues to deepen further and further. The country suffers one defeat after another in the international political arena. It is enough to indicate the region in which Armenia is located. A clear example is that Turkey, Georgia and Iran once again declared that countries support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. So, Armenia continues to lose on all diplomatic fronts.
The 6th trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran was held in Istanbul on October 30. The meeting resulted in the signing of the Istanbul Declaration between the heads of the foreign affairs agencies of the three countries.
The most important point of the declaration is that it once again reflected the resolute and principled position of the parties on the basis of these points to achieve a settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani NagornoKarabakh conflict.
In the final declaration adopted following the Istanbul meeting between the leaders of the Foreign Ministries of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia on October 29, the parties also once again reaffirmed mutual respect and strong support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized state borders.
In these declarations, the countries of the region, in particular, Iran openly expressed support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan. A call was made to resolve the conflict on the basis of precisely these principles. Similar language by the Iranian Foreign Minister caused concern to the Armenian side. This fact was regarded as almost hostile.
The principles of territorial integrity and the inviolability of internationally recognized borders are a matter of world stability, going far beyond the interests of Azerbaijan alone. Of course, no less than other countries in the region, Iran is interested in the stability of its borders and the inviolability of sovereignty. The Islamic Republic is going through hard times now, and flirting with the Armenian occupiers that once took place can now cost them dearly.
Iranian position, approved following the Istanbul Declaration, may mean that this country is gradually moving away from its neutral attitude to the NagornoKarabakh conflict. Notable is another fact that Nikol Pashinyan was preparing a visit to Iran. However, for unknown reasons, this visit didn’t take place. It indicates again cooling of the ArmenianIranian relations.
Moreover, now there is a situation where Washington not only tightened sanctions against Iran, but also asks other countries to refrain from developing trade and economic cooperation with Iran. Yerevan has something to think about. After all, it is not known how Donald Trump will react to Yerevan’s participation in the communication and other logistics projects proposed by Tehran, which will allow Iran to withdraw its energy resources through Armenia and Georgia to the Black Sea ports. Therefore, Armenia will have to make a choice, because in this situation it is not possible to sit on two chairs.
Armenian authorities should not forget that shortly before the Istanbul meeting, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills stated the need for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Only after the fulfillment of this clause, beginning of the settlement of the conflict can be on discussion.
In the same connection, there was visit to Armenia of U.S. security adviser John Bolton. Being a realist, Bolton stated that if Armenia wants to achieve sustainable development, then it should be able, finally, to build normal relations with neighboring countries.
Armenia’s position does not find support even in neighboring Georgia. So, speaking at a meeting in Samtskhe-Javakheti, candidate Salome Zourabishvili (being the favorite of the presidential race) made a promise that, if elected, she would take on her team a representative of the Armenian population of the region. After this statement, her rating collapsed and now, she has to prepare for the second round of presidential elections.
All this is a clear indication that the countries of the region and the entire world community refuse to support the occupation policy of the Armenian authorities.
If the current leadership of Armenia cannot soberly assess regional and international realities and draw the appropriate lesson, then the fiasco of Armenia and, as a result, the deepening of its regional isolation will deepen further. The only way out of the current situation is to abandon the aggressive policy, the withdrawal of troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and the establishment of civilized normal good-neighborly relations with regional countries.