Re­sults of Is­tan­bul Dec­la­ra­tion: Ar­me­nia re­mains iso­lated from pro­cesses in re­gion

Azer News - - Karabakh Conflict - By Ab­dul Ker­imkhanov

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.

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