Noyan Tapan
29.11.2010 | 10:43


Pres. Aliyev: April 24th a "Sword of Damocles" over the
Turkey-Azerbaijan-Armenia Relations

WASHINGTON, DC , NOVEMBER 29, NOYAN TAPAN. The public disclosure today
by WikiLeaks of tens of thousands of US diplomatic cables included many
of special interest to Armenian Americans, most notably a "smoking
gun" revelation that Turkey has aggressively used the Turkey-Armenia
Protocols, particularly the prospect of its ratification, to pressure
American leaders against US recognition of the Armenian Genocide and in
favor of a pro-Azerbaijani settlement of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict,
reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

"These files are a smoking-gun," explained ANCA Executive Director
Aram Hamparian. "They reveal the remarkable candor with which Ankara
has, from day one, sought to pressure the United States to enforce it
preconditions for the Turkey-Armenia Protocols. It's painfully clear
from the words of Turkey's own leaders that, rather than seeking
peace, they instead sought to use the prospect of the ratification
of these accords to block the Armenian Genocide recognition and to
force a pro-Azerbaijani resolution of Nagorno Karabakh."

In a February 25, 2010, confidential cable from the U.S. Embassy in
Ankara, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffery noted that Turkey had
made it clear that its ratification of the Turkey-Armenia Protocols
was predicated on Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev's approval.

Specifically, in describing a February 18, 2010, meeting between U.S.

Under Secretary of State William Burns and Turkey's Undersecretary
of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Sinirlioglu,
Jeffery writes:

"Sinirlioglu appealed for 'simultaneity' between Armenian Protocols
ratification and the Minsk Process. He emphasized 'a strong
reaction' against the protocols among ruling party MPs had to be
overcome before the government would hazard a ratification effort. He
warned Congressional passage of an Armenian genocide resolution would
'complicate' his government's domestic political calculations regarding
ratification. He said if something acceptable to Azerbaijani President
Aliyev can found, then 'we can move' the protocols forward."

Read the complete cable at:

In a January 20, 2010, confidential cable, Amb. Jeffery provided his
analysis of Turkey's foreign policy, citing concerns about Turkey's
"inability to bring to conclusion foreign policy initiatives,"
specifically noting the Turkey-Armenia Protocols, and noting Foreign
Minister Davutoglu's "tendency to substitute rhetoric for long term
investment of diplomatic, military, and assistance capital." Amb.

Jeffery went on to note that:

"Turkey will have to stand and be counted on Iran, in the Security
Council, with MD, and in implementation of UN or US sanctions. This
will have a profound effect on relations second only to the fate of
the Armenian protocols over the next year."

Read the complete cable at:

Pres. Aliyev: Armenian Genocide Remembrance "Sword of Damocles"
Over Turkey-Azerbaijan-Armenia relations

In a confidential cable from the U.S. Embassy in Baku, senior diplomat
Donald Lu reported on a meeting between U.S. Under Secretary of State
Burns and President Ilham Aliyev, in which the Azerbaijani leader
advocated the combining of the Turkey-Armenia Protocols discussion
and the Nagorno Karabakh peace negotiations. He also urged the
postponement of any Protocols ratification until after April 24th,
Armenian Genocide remembrance day, describing this date as a "Sword of
Damocles" hanging over political initiatives in the region. Lu wrote:

"U/S Burns stressed that the U.S. believes that progress on the
Turkey-Armenia protocols could create political space for Sargsian to
be more flexible on NK. He continued that the reverse was also true,
that a failure of the Turkey-Armenia process would almost certainly
result in serious negative consequences for the NK process. Aliyev
said that NK progress would require a minimum of five or six months.

He suggested that the entire Turkey-Armenia protocol ratification
process be delayed until afterApril 24. He said that the 'Sword of
Damocles' of Armenian Remembrance Day is hanging unhelpfully not only
over the Turkey-Armenia process, but also now the NK progress. 'If
there were no deadline, maybe we could see how to combine our efforts
(to resolve NK).'"

According to the cable, President Aliyev urged Under Secretary Burns
to pressure Armenia to accept the most recently proposed OSCE Minsk
group settlement regarding Nagorno Karabakh, calling on the three
co-chair countries to "send a strong message that the independence
of NK is not under review," and urging "consequences in terms of
international isolation" if Armenia does not accept the measures.

Read the complete cable at:

Concerns over Armenia-Iran relations

A cable citing the text of a letter from U.S. Deputy Secretary of
State Negroponte to the Armenian Government expressed concern about
the reported sale of weapons to Iran, stating "Notwithstanding the
close relationship between our countries, neither the Administration
nor the U.S. Congress can overlook this case." The letter went on to
note that there would be consideration "whether there is a basis for
the imposition of U.S. sanctions."

"What this cable, and all that has transpired since it was written
in 2008, shows is that the U.S. government, having reviewed all the
relevant facts, concluded that Yerevan did not merit sanctions -
on assistance, on exports, or, for that matter, in any other area,"
commented Hamparian.

Read the complete cable at:

Additional Resources:

A complete listing of WikiLeaks cables related to Armenia, released
to date, may be viewed at:

A complete listing of WikiLeaks cables relating to Turkey, released
to date, may be viewed at:

A complete listing of WikiLeaks cables related to Azerbaijan, released
to date, may be viewed at:

From: A. Papazian