By Edmond Y. Azadian
During a recent trip to Armenia, President Vladimir Putin of Russia was met with hostile demonstrations by some groups who genuinely believe in Armenia’s adherence to Europe and by other groups acting as surrogates to the forces interested in undercutting Russia’s influence in the Caucasus region.
Now another political guest is on his way to Yerevan — the highly-controversial Foreign Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu. The latter is the author of two foreign policy theories much debated in the international circles: Turkey’s zero problem with its neighbors and its plans to counter Armenian efforts to bring worldwide recognition of the Armenian Genocide on its centennial. The commemoration or celebration of the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 seems to be the most potent weapon against the Armenian onslaught, per the foreign minister.
Mr. Davutoglu will be arriving in Yerevan on December 12 to participate in the Conference of Black Sea Economic Cooperation. His decision to visit Yerevan comes after much dilly-dallying.
At first Turkish news media close to the Erdogan administration floated some trial balloons stating that Mr. Davutoglu would refuse Armenia’s invitation to visit, unless the Armenian side transfers to Azerbaijan at least two districts outside Karabagh, currently under Armenian control. In return, Turkey may open borders with Armenia, they said.
To begin with, territorial concessions could not be bought against the arbitrary decision of lifting or instituting a blockade, because opening the border is an administrative decision which can be reversed under any pretext. By contrast, to reverse Artsakh’s territorial concessions, Armenians need to wage another costly war to recover them.