Turkey Preparing Pro-Azerbaijani Document at NATO Summit
NEWPORT, Wales—President Serzh Sarkisian challenged NATO on Thursday during remarks at the summit of world leaders saying either peace will prevail in Karabakh or the continued threats of war will mar security in the region, as Turkey vowed to protect Azerbaijan’s interests at the Summit.
Saying that the Armenian people have felt threats to security on their skins and know the value of regional stability, Sarkisian that there were two options as NATO is scheduled to adopt of document Friday “that will be related to the security of my people and peace in our region.”
“There are two options. Either it [the NATO Summit] will adopt the language of the OSCE Minsk Group, which is the only specialized international structure dealing with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict–language that was proposed and supported by the Co-Chair countries that are represented here by France and the United States of America–or upon the lobbying of another member state it will pass again with an aim to save the face of our tyrant neighbor vis-a-vis his own people. Believe me that option will not lead to any positive results,” said Sarkisian.
“Either common sense and the desire for peace will have the upper hand, or the silent encouragement of xenophobia will deepen the war rhetoric and deadly provocations so easily brandished by Azerbaijan, which does not care about its soldiers’ lives and becomes encouraged with such statements, will continue,” added Sarkisian.
Sarkisian’s comments on Karabakh were an apparent reference to promises made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev while visiting the latter in Baku on Wednesday. Sources indicate that Turkey is preparing a pro-Azebraijani document that it hopes will be supported by other NATO member-states.
Erdogan told Aliyev in Baku that Turkey will demand the fulfillment of promises given to Azerbaijan regarding the region at the NATO summit. Erdogan stated that the fulfillment of the so-called promises is not a favor but a right for Azerbaijan.
Erdogan said that he would not abandon Azerbaijan and will use its influence in the international community to advance Baku’s agenda and show its “determination on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue at the [NATO] summit.
“Let our brotherhood walk to the future by becoming strong,” said Erdogan in Baku adding that relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey is the “legacy of these countries ancestors.”
In his remarks Sarkisian also discussed Armenia’s role and effort in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and thanked Germany for its cooperation on that front.
Sarkisian outlined that Armenia has tripled the number of its troops in Afghanistan in July 2011.
“Over the past years Armenia has gained invaluable experience. I would specially emphasize Armenia’s effective cooperation with Germany, which is the best example of cooperation between NATO member and partner countries,” added Sarkisian.
Sarkisian meets with France’s Hollande
On the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Wales, Sarkisian met with French President Francois Hollande on Thursday.
The two leaders touched on issues related to the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, ahead of proposed meeting by Hollande, which will bring Sarkisian and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev back to the negotiating table.
The date for that meeting has not been set, but Sarkisian and Aliyev met with US Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday in Newport.