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Stability in the Caucasus on Turkish Platform2008-12-29 17:30
It was reported on December 26 that in the coming year Georgia, Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia might sign a Treaty on Security and Cooperation Platform in the Caucasus. It was stated by Turkey's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Khulisi Kylydzh.
"In December there was a meeting of Foreign Ministers of 5 countries; - Regnum IA is quoting the speech of the Turkish Ambassador at the press conference in Baku. - The format of the future Treaty was discussed. The working group is now developing this project for its urgent approval".
It will be remembered that on August 13 due to aggravation of the conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to Moscow spoke about the possibility of creation of the so-called "Stability and Cooperation Platform in the Caucasus" involving Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as Turkey and Russia. "Primarily the platform must have a geographical reference", - Erdogan pointed out at that time - and pursue the objectives of resolution of territorial conflicts in the region, provision of economic partnership and energy security".
Russia backed Erdogan's initiative and Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the meeting with his colleague called Turkey "our reliable, steady partner and a good neighbor for many years". The following day Erdogan met with Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi. Summing up the meeting results for the journalists Turkey's Prime Minister stated: "With Georgia's president we have coordinated Georgia's participation in the Security Platform in the Caucasus. We advocate peace in Georgia as it is very important for our entire region".
The politologists' first reaction was rather reserved if not skeptical. In particular, on September 5 the director of "Ararat" center of strategic studies Armen Ayvazyan presented the following arguments at the press conference in Erevan: "It is impossible to discuss the creation of a security system that would involve belligerent countries. It is impossible to imagine Russia and Georgia being in the middle of hostilities together in this scheme. As well as Armenia and Azerbaijan where the latter threatens the former of the resumption of military actions".
Skepticism grew even worse as for a month after Erdogan's statement the world learned no principle details on the "Platform". What directions will it enhance, on what terms and what mechanisms will be used, what are staged tasks and their deadlines?
As if reacting to criticism on September 23 Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babadzhan wrote in the article published in "International Herald Tribune" repeating the arguments of his opponents and thus stressing the necessity of the realization of the set objective:
"We must admit serious deficiency of reciprocal trust between the countries of the region and get down to solving this problem. Russia and Georgia are at war. The relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan are just a bit different from the Georgian-Russian situation due to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and around it. There are also problems between Turkey and Armenia. Turkey suggests uniting the countries of the region within the frame of "Stability and Cooperation Platform".
Consequently the question remains unanswered - how can they be united? Probably for a start everybody should have said yes to the Platform idea and then gradually and in a balanced manner work out the "technology of its construction" together?