BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN
BAKU—What better way for two leaders to reinforce their alliance than by pledging to lie for one another on the international arena?
That’s what happened Tuesday when newly-minted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Baku and said that Turkish-Armenian relations would not be normalized until a resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that would be beneficial for Azerbaijan, further pledging to work toward the goal of pressuring Armenia to return territories it claims Armenia is occupying.
In turn, Erdogan’s Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev said that he would work with Turkey to counter “Armenian lies” regarding the Armenian Genocide.
“Turkey and Azerbaijan will jointly counter the lie about the genocide of Armenians,” Aliyev told journalists after his meeting with Erdogan. “We will be coordinating our efforts to expose the fictional Armenian genocide. Our non-governmental and Diaspora organizations will be acting together.”
Calling Turkey and Azerbaijan “two nations from one stem”—two peas in a pod—Erdogan stressed that Azerbaijan’s rights should be taken into consideration when discussing a resolution to the Karabakh conflict.
He reassured Aliyev that “if the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia is resolved, then the problems between Turkey and Armenia will also be solved.”
Erdogan said that “Turkey is ready to show determination on this issue” and promised to raise his perspectives on the Karabakh issue during the upcoming NATO summit in Wales.
This all comes a day after Turkey’s new prime-minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, put forth his government’s program, in which he reiterated the Erdogan’s statements about Karabakh and urged Armenians to not become “hostage to history.”
“We’ll also continue efforts to improve ties with Armenia in hopes that Yerevan will be guided by mutual interest for cooperation and search for ‘just memory,’ rather than historical hatred,” said Davutoglu.
This newly-cemented fraternalism between Turkey and Azerbaijan reinforces that both parties intend to continue their denial and hatred toward Armenians, and with one promising to do the other’s dirty work, it’s a sure bet that new “just” memories will be created.