Serzh Sargsyan’s address at the UN General Assembly may mark a new level in the foreign policy of Armenia and a new role for the country, or more exactly a clarification of the potential role that has become possible in the result of the developments of the past two years.
In his speech Serzh Sargsyan first clarified the post-April position of Armenia on Karabakh, which is the priority of solving the problem of strong guarantees for self-determination, status and security, considering the other issues auxiliary.
He then passed from the Karabakh issue to the destiny of the Armenian-Turkish protocols. In fact, Serzh Sargsyan made an ultimatum to Turkey, giving five months after which Armenia will withdraw its signature.
After pre-signing the protocols in October 2009 in Zurich Turkey put forth preconditions relating to the Karabakh issue on Azerbaijan’s demand, suspending the ratification of the protocols. Turkey thus became the “hostage” of Azerbaijan’s issues and missed opportunities which now it needs badly.
A lot has changed over the past two years. Though Turkey had declared zero problems with neighbors, it has problems with all its neighbors. Turkey is stuck in Syria where it has lost the support of the United States and its allies in NATO and is all alone with its problems. The developments in Syria and the Near East are a serious threat to Turkey, considering the upcoming referendum and proclamation of independence in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Experts say this event, despite Turkey’s efforts, will have an impact on domestic affairs in Turkey, and the best way out for Turkey is federalization. In the context of these developments, as well as the policy of Turkey’s international isolation, the Armenian factor is objectively growing in regard to the policy of Turkey’s international isolation in the context of both the hookup of Armenian issues and the traditional ties between Armenians and the other countries of the region, including the Arab countries and Iran. They have the potential for growth, which intensifies the positions of Armenia in the region.
Perhaps, Serzh Sargsyan took into consideration these circumstances when he made a speech from the most important floor of the world, sounding like an ultimatum to Turkey. Earlier, during the Armenia-Diaspora Conference he had criticized Turkey’s policy, actually calling the representatives of the Diaspora to work with the institutions of their countries like a claimant.
Is it possible that Armenia is enlarging the “all-Armenian” and international domain of its politics in the new setting, claiming to a certain role which is certainly in line with serious global interests and issues? In this sense, the Armenian issues, including the Karabakh issue, move to a different level where the layout of these problems and the logic and mechanisms of their normalization change.
The victory in the Karabakh war, as our Moscow-based compatriot political scientist notes, led to Zurich, while the April war has led to a “new Zurich”, the end of the centennial status quo in the region. Turkey’s one possible answer or another will not change the situation.
The game is complicated and has many layers, big opportunities and risks, with results that currently seem unrealistic. Is there an opportunity for an adequate policy to avoid the schemes of the past century?