Yerevan-Athens: Alliance with Jerusalem or Fighting in Jerusalem?

    • Comments - 12 December 2017, 23:48
The Armenian foreign minister Edward Nalbandyan has been invited to Greece by his counterpart on December 12-13. Nalbandyan’s visit to Athens follows the visit of the Turkish president to this country which was the first since the Cypriote crisis. In addition, Erdogan’s visit was taking place amid a scandal as he had announced that there is a need to revise the Treaty of Lausanne that regulates the Turkish-Greek relations and borders, as well as made several scandalous statements in Greece.

Official Athens announced that there is no need to revise the Treaty of Lausanne.

Why has Erdogan decided to go for intrigues in the relations with Greece? Is this a subject of trade with the West for the Turkish leader with an expectation that the West may listen to Turkey to prevent a new escalation in Europe or does he expect something important for himself? In this context, it should be noted that Erdogan made this statement alongside the developments around Jerusalem when Trump was expected to make a statement on recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the U.S. Embassy there.

This is a new situation in the Near East, especially considering that the United States was able to bring Russia to terms and achieve a so-called starting status quo in the Syrian issue. This status quo is unacceptable for Turkey because Ankara did not get what it wanted. In addition, Ankara did not get it due to the United States rather than Russia. Interestingly, after the statement by Trump and Putin on Syria Erdogan has had three meetings with Putin, including two of them in Russia.

At the latest meeting in Ankara Erdogan said thank you to Putin in Russia. It was obviously a gesture made to please Putin. Did Erdogan get from Putin what it wanted during the third meeting or was the agreement for not losing anything further?

Obviously, though Moscow did not welcome the U.S. decision on Jerusalem, it is at the same time reserved in expressing dissatisfaction, unlike Ankara.

While Russia and the United States left out Turkey from at least interim agreements on the Near East, Erdogan was called an enemy at the NATO drill.

Erdogan’s attempt to cause tension in the relations with Greece is the answer to the pressure by the Near East and the West, and the situation is complicated as Putin sold up the friendship with Turkey before Erdogan would manage to sell up his friendship with Putin.

In this situation, is the Armenian foreign minister leaving for Greece with a solution or does Athens have a solution to offer to Yerevan on a joint stance on Turkey? It is also interesting whether there will be an Israel-Greece visit or an interesting episode in the recent interesting process ongoing in the Armenia-Israel relations. Will Israel join an Athens-Yerevan initiative?

At the same time, Nalbandyan’s visit to Greece will not be limited to a joint stance on Turkey with regard to Jerusalem. After all, there is a problem for Armenians and Greeks in Jerusalem that occurs regularly around the right to enter the Holy Sepulchre Church when the Armenian and Greek clergy sometimes end up in a brawl.

The reaction of the Armenian foreign ministry to the status of Jerusalem underscored the right to presence of the Armenian Church which was a hint on the importance of the Armenian factor, potential for partnership of the Armenian factor in the status of Jerusalem and regional developments, and at the same time, its inevitability.

Apparently, the agenda of the visit of the Armenian foreign minister to Greece will include this issue as well, considering the possible conflicts determined by the presence of the Greek church.