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Frustration in Turkish-Armenian relations might deteriorate situation in the South Caucasus

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, February 10
On February 6 The Los Angeles Times published an article by Henri J. Barkey and Thomas de Waal dedicated to the issues of Armenian-Turkish relations and the Karabakh conflict. The article states that if the attempts of Armenia and Turkey to get closer are frustrated this could be followed by an increase of tension in the region and cause destabilisation there.

The article recommends that Armenia take more serious steps in the direction of Turkey. The authors think that Armenia’s current President Serzh Sarkisian cannot risk giving up the occupied territories around the Karabakh region as it would mean political suicide, but he could take steps to link the Nakhchevan region to Azerbaijan proper. The Nakhchevan region is separated from Azerbaijan by Armenia, and a railway connection there could be rebuilt as an expression of goodwill from the Armenian side. Turkey and Azerbaijan see that Armenia does not want to lift a finger to do this, and this causes the utmost irritation.

The authors consider that Turkey cannot solve problems with its neighbours while there is tension between Turkey and Armenia.