Our Analytics 12 september — 18:03

Russia and Turkey are in Karabakh: USA is better to get busy with Afghanistan (Theses for Blinken and Tracy)

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BY AYDIN KARIMOV, AZERI DAILY AUTHOR

In the history of the 21st century, there are practically no major regional conflicts in the settlement of which the all-powerful American diplomacy did not take part. An exception, perhaps, is the Second Karabakh War, in which the Azerbaijani Army, having defeated the Armenian occupation forces, returned its sovereign territories, and the United States itself, having driven itself to the last ranks of the diplomatic 'gallery,' is watching from there at the actions of Russia and Turkey, which became the guarantors of the post-war system of regional security in the South Caucasus.

Conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The guarantors are Turkey and Russia in Aghdam. The third, that is, Washington, is superfluous

It is clear that the Karabakh 'offside,' which the American diplomacy got into, is a painful factor. And after fleeing Afghanistan (with all due respect to the US State Department and its reputation as a 'global resolver,' the deadly panic at Kabul airport can hardly be called a 'planned and coordinated withdrawal of troops'), it is also annoying. Hence is the desire of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to return the American presence to the South Caucasus region through the 'Karabakh gate.'

This was confirmed by yesterday's speech of the US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Armenia Lynne Tracy, who stated that the status of Nagorno-Karabakh has not yet been resolved.

'We are doing our best to return both sides to the negotiating table in the format of the OSCE Minsk Group,' Tracy emphasised at a meeting with representatives of the Armenian media in Yerevan. 'Since we believe that this issue should be resolved through negotiations...'

The American ambassador went too far... and not only on the section of the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia

Noting the unwillingness of the Armenian government to proceed to larger-scale discussions until Azerbaijan returns all Armenian prisoners, the US ambassador uttered a phrase that leaves no doubt about her country's intentions in the South Caucasus region:

'As you know, the United States has made certain efforts in this direction, Russian colleagues have also made efforts, and some successes have been achieved. We hope that we will reach the stage when all the prisoners will return...'

It is hard to imagine that Lynne Tracy, having decided to win the favour of Armenian journalists, made such provocative statements without the knowledge of Anthony Blinken (otherwise, this lady must be urgently withdrawn from Yerevan).

It is even more difficult to imagine that the chief of the US State Department -- an experienced diplomat and a prominent specialist on the Middle East and Central Asia -- does not understand the absurdity of the statements of his ambassador to Armenia.

Nevertheless, following the life principle of wise people, according to which it is better to underestimate the knowledge of an opponent than to overestimate it, I want to remind Ms Lynne Tracy, who represents the interests of the United States in Armenia, and not vice versa:

1) After the end of the 44-day war, for Azerbaijan there is neither the concept of 'Nagorno-Karabakh' (there is only Karabakh, whose belonging to the Republic of Azerbaijan is recognised by the world community, and therefore is not discussed), nor the diplomatic term 'OSCE Minsk Group.' From now on, the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan is not a subject of discussion under any circumstances. Moreover, at the site of such a rudiment and bankruptcy as the Minsk Group.

2) Ms Tracy should write in her notebook that all prisoners of war captured by the Azerbaijani Army during the 44-day war have been returned to Armenia. As for the Armenian soldiers who crossed the line of Azerbaijani defence after the war, the status of prisoners of war and, accordingly, the Geneva Convention do not apply to them.

3) Azerbaijan's position has been voiced more than once and at the highest level: the war is over, the conflict is resolved, it is necessary to sign a large political agreement in order to finally move on to a peaceful, constructive life. All conditions for this have been created and enshrined in the Trilateral Agreement of November 10, 2020. The guarantor of the existing system of regional security is the Russian Federation and, as far as is known, neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan have any serious claims against the guarantor.

As for the desire of American diplomacy to join the process of post-war settlement in the South Caucasus, it is somewhat belated. Russia and Turkey are doing an excellent job of playing the role of objective mediators interested in the final peace.

Is it worth involving in the process American diplomacy, which has not really recovered yet after Afghanistan?

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