AZERBAIJANI POLITICAL SCIENTISTS AND POLITICIANS REACT TO ABDULLAH GUL'S VISIT TO YEREVAN - OPINION POLL

Azeri Press Agency
Sept 1 2008
Azerbaijan

Baku. Elnur Mammadli-APA. Turkish President Abdullah Gul's visit to
Armenia was specified. Azerbaijani politicians and political scientists
have different opinions on this issue.

"Abdullah Gul visits Armenia at the Russia's proposal because Armenia
is not independent and can't invite Gul to Armenia at his own. Russia
reached some agreements with Turkey and according to these agreements
Russia creates some opportunities for Turkey in Caucasus", said
Political Scientist Vafa Guluzadeh while commenting to APA on Turkish
President Abdullah Gul's planned visit to Armenia. He said Russia
intended to increase its influence on Turkey. "To tell the truth,
Russia wants to separate Turkey from the West and to establish new
block in the Caucasus and to lead it. Russia needs in the straits and
wants to cooperate with Turkey in this field. The Caucasian platform
has no other meanings".

Political Scientist Rasim Musabeyov said it was inexpedient to
confuse over this visit. He said Azerbaijani side made specifications
over this visit and Abdullah Gul's visit to Armenia was not able to
change anything. "It is not changing of Turkey's position. If their
any initiative doesn't succeed it will damage only Turkey's personal
image. Turkey's population, army and governing elite will never allow
to give away Azerbaijan's interests to the Armenian claims".

Political Scientist Ilgar Mammadov said new situation was created in
the region after Georgia's breaking off relations with Russia. Earlier
Georgia was the only gate for Armenia to Russia. Now when this
gate was shut Armenia sees its development only through the Iranian
border. "Therefore Turkish leadership wants to use this situation and
to force Armenian leaders to leave their territorial claims against
Azerbaijan and Turkey and instead of this to take advantage from the
wide regional cooperation. The main goal of Gul's visit is that".

Deputy Executive Secretary of New Azerbaijan Party and member of the
Parliament Mubariz Gurbanli said he had no authority to evaluate Gul's
visit and wouldn't like to answer this question. "Azerbaijan and Turkey
are fraternal and ally countries and we do not have to concern over
any visit of Turkish President, because our friendship and brotherhood
are perpetual". Gurbanli said it was impossible to say anything before
how Gul's visit will effect on Nagorno Karabakh problem.

Chairman of the All Azerbaijan Popular Front Party Gudrat Hasanguliyev
condemned Gul's visit to Yerevan. Hasanguliyev said Turkey might agree
this issue with Azerbaijan. "However in any case Turkey shouldn't
make such proposal because at first Armenians accuse Turkey in such
crime against mankind as genocide.

In exchange for it they invite to watch football together. It does not
become a friendly country to do it. I think Turkish people will express
their attitude towards this in the next elections. I am sure present
authorities of Turkey will face reproach for their acts," he said.

Chairman of Azerbaijan Popular Front Party Ali Karimli said Turkey
being an independent state determined its foreign policy itself. He
considers that Abdullah Gul's visit contradicted the principles
declared by Turkey before.

"Turkey always said the country's attitude towards Armenia will not
change unless Armenia takes off its hands from Nagorno Karabakh and
retracts its territorial and genocide claims against Turkey. Armenia
has not retracted its claims and I think Turkey's changing its policy
it not right," he said.

Chairman of Great Establishment Party Fazil Gazanfaroglu said Gul's
visit coincided with the tension in the region and it was difficult to
express unambiguous position. Despite this he underlined that Turkey
was a great state and had its own interests.

"Since Azerbaijan is at war with Armenia it is impossible and
undesirable for our country to establish relations with Armenia under
these circumstances. We should allow Turkey to achieve realization
of its initiatives and have influence on Armenia. The visit aims at
this," he said.

Chairman of Umid (Hope) Party Igbal Agazadeh also said that Turkey
determined its foreign policy itself. He said Azerbaijan and Turkey had
demonstrated unique policy against the background of Armenia-Azerbaijan
relations up to now.

"There were no sharp differences in the policy with respect to
Armenia. they always coordinated their policy. The reason of Abdullah
Gul's action should be clarified to Azerbaijan. It should be explained
how it complies with Azerbaijan's interests. Azerbaijani and Turkish
community may protest against it," he said.

Chairwoman of Azer-Turk Union Tenzile Rustemkhanli said after
Armenians' claims Turkish President's visit to Yerevan was not
right. Rustemkhanli said Turkey had great problems with Armenia and
added that the visit had been planned long before.

"The forces, who protested to it, are in prison now. This visit was not
a surprise. Armenia shows Turkey's lands on its map. The visit on the
presidential visit can not be considered right unless these problems
are solved. The state program of Turkey writes that no relations can be
established in Armenia unless Azerbaijani territories are liberated,"
she said.

Chairman of Musavat Party Isa Gambar did not take a stance on the
issue and advised to ask one of his assistants. Chairman of the party
assembly Sulheddin Akbar condemned Gul's visit to Yerevan. He said
Turkey's warming its relations with Russia and Armenia should be
regarded as giving a hand to an aggressor.

"This is a wrong step. Armenia's blockade has strengthened as Georgia
cut off diplomatic relations with Russia. Turkey takes contrary
position and gives a hand to Armenia when it is favorable time to
increase pressures on Armenia.This visit contradicts Azerbaijan's
interests," he said.

Director of Ataturk Center in Azerbaijan, head of Azerbaijan-Turkey
interparliamentary friendship group Nizami Jafarov did not want to
express severe attitude toward this at the moment.

"Turkey is a great state, it has its own state policy. I am sure that
Turkey will not change its strategic position and never renounce
its way of restoration of Azerbaijan's violated rights. Abdullah
Gul's any visit to Armenia will not contradict common position of
Turkey. Presidents of all states may meet one another. Turkey can
make tactical changes in these processes. The conflict has lasted
long and such efforts can be made to solve it," he said.

Jafarov said that the visit could also be regarded as Armenia's
getting out of crisis.

"But Dashnasutyun made a statement protesting against this meeting. I
regard this effort of Gul as quick solution of problems," he said.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress