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Armenia-Turkey trade

By Messenger Staff
Friday, March 6
Azeri political analyst Vafa Guluzade thinks that the US will try to use the Russian economic hardship and encourage Turkey to assist the US to increase its presence in the South Caucasus.

Guluzade considers that the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border will not create problems for Azerbaijan, as Armeniaís blockade has not had a great effect. He says that in 2008 alone more than 11,000 Turkish trucks loaded with different goods entered Armenia and trade turnover between two countries, conducted mainly via Georgia, was about USD 185 million.

Guluzade considers that the possible opening of the Turkish-Armenian border will be undertaken with preliminary input from Baku as Turkey is Azerbaijanís strategic partner. Guluzade is sure that the US, Turkey and other NATO members understand Karabakh conflict resolution must take place within the framework of recognizing Azeri territorial integrity. He also is sure that NATO countries are very much interested in the prompt relaxation of tension in the South Caucasus.

Leader of the Azeri Democratic Party Sardar Jalaloglu also thinks that Turkey is Azerbaijanís devoted friend and would not take steps which would harm Azerbaijan. Jalaloglu says that the blockade has become obsolete, as Armenia has managed to establish communications though Iran and Georgia and can no longer be influenced by it. He also thinks that the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border will increase mutual confidence and facilitate the solution of problems.

It is Russia which provides Armenia with arms, not Turkey, Oglu says, adding that Western Governments should do as much as possible to reorient Armenia from Russia to the West. He also says that opening the border will make this much easier and decrease the confrontation level in the region.