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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ANKARA6198
2003-10-02 13:19:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

MFA CAUCASUS OFFICIAL ON ARMENIA, GEORGIA,

Tags:   PREL  TU  GG  AJ  AM  RS 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 006198 

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/02/2013
TAGS: PREL TU GG AJ AM RS
SUBJECT: MFA CAUCASUS OFFICIAL ON ARMENIA, GEORGIA,
AZERBAIJAN: PLANS, FEARS, AND HOPES.

C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 006198

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/02/2013
TAGS: PREL TU GG AJ AM RS
SUBJECT: MFA CAUCASUS OFFICIAL ON ARMENIA, GEORGIA,
AZERBAIJAN: PLANS, FEARS, AND HOPES.


1. (C) Summary. In a September 23 conversation with poloff,
MFA Caucasus Department Head Murat Adali worried about
Russian influence in the Caucasus, particularly Georgia,
during a period when U.S. attention was turned to Iraq.
Adali expressed eagerness for the U.S. and Turkey to work
together to ensure the region focused west toward Europe.
Turkey sought Armenian movement on Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) in
exchange for opening the border. The Russian Embassy in
Ankara was helping Abkhazians smuggle arms and materiel from
Turkey to Abkhazia. In Azerbaijan, Adali thought Ilham
Aliyev would win and hoped he would emerge from elections
strong enough to sell a final NK solution domestically. End
Summary.



2. (C) Adali previewed what he said would be a long working
session at UNGA between Turkish FonMin Gul and Armenian
FonMin Oskanyan to discuss a "roadmap" for Turkish-Armenian
relations. The GOT would negotiate bilateral issues on a
"separate but parallel" track with NK. Adali recognized the
two issues were "apples and oranges." However, if the GOT
was going to open the border it would have to be able to fend
off domestic criticism that it was turning its back to the
plight of Azeris in NK. The GOT would be satisfied with
minimal GOAM concessions in areas such as return of
territory, an open corridor to Nakhichevan, or IDP returns.
The GOT would eventually like to host a
Azerbaijan/Armenia/Turkey conference on NK at which, Adali
said, the U.S. would be welcome as a "witness" to any
agreement reached.



3. (C) Adali expressed great concern about Russian influence
in Georgia. During a recent MFA trip to Moscow, Adali said
Russian officials openly expressed their dislike of President
Schevardnaze and their support for breakaway Abkhazia. Adali
said the Russian Embassy in Ankara was helping Abkhazians
residing in Turkey smuggle arms and materiel from Turkey,
along the Russian coast and into Abkhazia.



4. (C) Adlai was confident Ilham Aliyev would win
Azerbaijan's upcoming elections, and hoped he would emerge
strong enough to sell a final NK solution in the face of what
Adali recognized would be stiff domestic criticism. He said
Azeri opposition groups had tried, through him, to enlist the
MFA's support, but he was not going to get involved and said
he had not even returned their phone messages. Musavat Party
leader Isa Gambar claimed to be Turkey's best friend among
Azeri politicians, and was close to Turkey's nationalistic
National Action Party (MHP), but Adali did not trust his
expressions of friendship.




EDELMAN