First positive result of Prague talks: Turkey-Azerbaijan tensions ended – ANALYSIS

First positive result of Prague talks: Turkey-Azerbaijan tensions ended – <font color=red>ANALYSIS </font>
# 14 May 2009 11:52 (UTC +04:00)
Baku. Vugar Masimoglu – APA. One more phase of the Turkish-Azerbaijani relations fell behind. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 24-hour visit to Azerbaijan was enough for the ending of Turkey-Azerbaijan tensions over the past two months.

The most important result of the visit is that the Nagorno Karabakh conflict became the main factor of the Turkey’s policy on Armenia again. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement in Azerbaijan that “borders with Armenia will not be opened before the solution of Nagorno Karabakh problem” restored the previous status-quo of the Ankara-Baku relations. Erdogan’s visit to Azerbaijan was the first high-ranking visit between the two countries over the past two months. If the visit took place, the statement satisfied Azerbaijan was expectable and the assumptions were proved.

Erdogan made his first satisfactory statement for Azerbaijan on the eve of his visit on May 10, after the presidents’ meeting in Prague. This meeting expected to be crucial moment in the recently intensified optimistic diplomatic talks, but despite all assumptions the talks in Prague didn’t give expected results. Turkey’s hopes for the meeting toward the settlement of the conflict were not proved and it changed the position of Ankara.

The stagnation is also observed in the multiple-vector negotiation process toward the settlement of relations of Turkey and Azerbaijan with Armenia after the Prague meeting. The negotiations became slower and Armenia’s refusal of the proposals on the table made the Turkey-Armenia and Azerbaijan-Armenia negotiations meaningless.

Armenia’s unconstructive position in the Prague talks made Recep Tayyip Erdogan say on May 10 and later during his visit to Baku that Nagorno Karabakh conflict was the main factor in establishing relations with Armenia. After this statement, Turkey-Armenia dialogue on roadmap may recede into the background for a while.
With this position Ankara also partially clarified how long the talks with Armenia will last. Erdogan’s statement and elimination of the problems emerged in Ankara-Baku relations with one visit were intended to it.
“Even though Turkey holds talks with Armenia, it will take serious steps to improve the relations with Yerevan unless Nagorno Karabakh is solved,” he said.
This position completely serves the interests of Azerbaijan and means pressure on Armenia having great hopes that the relations with Turkey will be normalized.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s one-day visit to Azerbaijan put an end to one more issue increasing tension between the two countries. The question is the increase of the price for gas delivered to Turkey. Following the one-on-one meeting, the statements of Prime Minister Erdogan and President Ilham Aliyev show that the sides reached an understanding on the price of the gas. Turkish Prime Minister said the price of the gas delivered by Azerbaijan was not fair and with this agreed to the grounds put forth by Azerbaijan for increasing the price. The statements show that political barrier to increase the price of the gas sold to Turkey has been overcome. The price of Azerbaijan’s gas sold to Turkey will be increased by stages. /APA-Analytics/