The Armenian Question: Why We Must Follow It Closely


By Scott Morgan

One of the most underreported regions of the world is the southern Caucuses region. It was one of the fronts during the First World War and the location of some of the worst atrocities to occur during the conflict. But some of the combatants are having ancient feuds reemerge in the 21st Century. The timing of these feuds are proving just how unstable the region really is.

Speaking on September 19th 2017, at the meeting of the UN General Assembly, the President of Armenia made a couple of statements that left analysts and strategists of the region very concerned. First of all, it is regarding the Zurich Protocols, signed in 2009: under the terms of this deal Armenia was to open up borders and to establish diplomatic relations with Turkey.

President Sargsyan told the General Assembly that:


We will enter the spring of 2018 without those as our experience has demonstrated Futile Protocols. The accords which were negotiated with the assistance of the United States, France and Russia was pulled back from a vote in the Armenian Parliament due to a lack of Political Will by Turkey.

This appears on the surface to show that the Turkish Government may be taking on a policy
that seems rooted back during the time of the Ottoman Empire. The heavy handed response to the proposed Independence Referendum in Kurdistan is another piece of evidence that points in that direction as well. We cannot forget their policies in Syria and their on again/ off again relations with the State of Israel either.

But lets digress back to Armenia. They have had tenuous relations with its neighbor Azerbaijan as well. Twenty years ago the point of contention was the Nogorno-Karabakh region within the Armenian borders. Currently, the source of tension just happens to be Artsakh.

This is the region where Armenian and Azeri forces fought a brief four day battle (or war) last April. President Sargsyan used the bully pulpit in New York to accuse the Azeris of committing serious War Crimes against both the general population and against prisoners of war, not only during the brief hostilities but also ever since the fighting ended.

This creates another flashpoint in a region that frankly doesn’t need one. The narrative of
Christians versus Muslims may play out yet again.We then may hear of another area where
ISIS may seek to set up a base of operations.

This is a scenario that we have seen one too many times in recent years….

(Image: President Sargsyan - 72th UNGA)

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]

Comments

  1. Hi Morgan,

    You make a very good point: if the situation in the region is not controlled, ISIS may take advantage of the crisis to set up shop there, like Global Jihadist groups usually do.
    But from what you are describing us, it seems to me that President Sargsyan also proclaimed a return to Power Politics and Realism. I see a pattern in this year's UNGA session, don't you?

    Cheers

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  2. I'd say there's a clear schism in world politics: globalism vs sovereignty, Institutional Liberalism vs Realism, Socialism vs Populism - in the true sense of the word. If I had to position myself in this conflict, I would side with Armenia; but I understand if America wishes to be cautious.

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  3. Armenia and Turkey, the eternal feud. Still a lot of wounds to heal!

    ReplyDelete

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