Azerbaijan has picked a fight with the U.S. government. The simplest explanation for this may be that President Aliyev is as paranoid and isolated as their actions suggest. If United States want to maintain influence in Azerbaijan it should find messengers who can get through some thick palace walls.
The ceasefire, which halted the war over Nagorny Karabakh 20 years ago, has been broken with grim regularity. Ordinary soldiers and civilians are the ones who pay the price for a lack of agreement on the front line, which is called Karabakh’s Line of Contact.
For the first time in many years, the U.S. government made its own policy statement on the Nagorny Karabakh conflict on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the 1994 ceasefire. In his speech, the American co-chair of the Minsk Group of the OSCE issued an invitation to the governments in Baku and Yerevan to step up their commitment to the peace process.
Twenty years after the ceasefire of May 12, 1994 halted fighting between Armenians and Azerbaijanis over Nagorny Karabakh, a peaceful resolution of the conflict remains elusive.
Erdogan’s statement of condolences to the descendants of Armenians murdered by the Ottomans can let Turks feel freer and more comfortable to take a more critical look at their history, as well as reduce the tension between Turkey and Armenia.
The paranoia, intolerance of dissent, spy-mania, and anti-Western mood in Azerbaijan are all painfully reminiscent of Putin’s Russia.
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan takes the battle against the Gülen movement beyond the national borders, and it seems that his visit to Azerbaijan, to a large extent, was motivated by the omnipresence of Gülen followers whose activities in Azerbaijan are massive and successful.
The Black Sea region could do with some Turkish soft power, but it looks as though this is not a priority for Prime Minister Erdogan.
As soon as the Crimea crisis struck, both Armenia and Azerbaijan immediately hardened their positions on the Nagorny Karabakh conflict.
In the last few months the almost moribund peace process over Nagorny Karabakh has got back on its feet. This isn’t a resumption of full negotiations, but it is a start.