Turkey's proposal to create a stability pact in the Caucasus is helping improve Turkish-Armenian ties amid low-profile diplomatic contacts that have commenced between the two neighbors.
As questions linger over the fate of the Turkish-led proposal, due to conflicts between the potential members, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to communicate Turkey's proposal for a Caucasus stability pact with Armenia after a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Ali Babacan, this week.
On another front, the deputy undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ünal Çeviköz, is expected to hold talks with his Armenian counterparts regarding the Caucasus plan. Çeviköz was one of the Turkish diplomats who held secret talks with Armenian officials in Switzerland.
Turkey has prioritized Armenia's involvement in the regional cooperation mechanism. Diplomatic sources earlier told the Turkish Daily News that it was Armenia that was most negatively affected by the Georgian-Russian war in the region and highlighted the importance of Yerevan joining the platform. […]
Turkey continues practice to ease airspace quota
Ankara's move to relax its airspace quota for Armenia is also considered another positive gesture toward Yerevan, in addition to considerations of aid to civilians.
Turkey decided to loosen its airspace quota for Armenia to allow easier access for humanitarian aid to war-torn Georgia. The most visible aim is to contribute to aid efforts by facilitating the transfer of material via Armenia and to help civilians leave Georgia by using Yerevan as an alternative to Baku, which is already overcrowded.
European countries mostly used Georgian and Russian air space before the war. Charter flights from Istanbul and Trabzon to Yerevan were already available; now all planes flying to and from Yerevan are granted flight permission. The TDN learned that the practice is still ongoing and this liberal air space quota may be kept in place while progress in the betterment of Turkish-Armenian ties gets clearer in the upcoming period.
Saturday, 23 August 2008
Turkey – Armenia: “Positive gestures” amid activated diplomacy
Reports in Turkish press indicate that there is active behind the scene diplomacy going on (direct and indirect) between Armenian and Turkish counterparts under the framework of discussions for the ‘Caucasian Union’ Turkey-led initiative. While many rightfully doubt the viability of the proposal considering conflicts between member states, there are some indications that Georgia-Russia war led to the softening of rhetoric in Ankara and Baku. Moreover, as Turkish Daily News reports, “Turkey has prioritized Armenia's involvement in the regional cooperation mechanism.” (Perhaps, a sign of admission that their policy of imposing transport blockade to Armenia failed.) Whether this will remain a declaration or will get transformed into something more substantial remains to be seen. In any case, there are some “positive gestures” on the table, for now at least.