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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ANKARA6398
2003-10-14 07:17:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

TURKEY HITCHES ARMENIA POLICY TO NAGORNO-KARABAKH

Tags:   PREL  TU  AM  AJ 
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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 SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 006398 

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/09/2013
TAGS: PREL TU AM AJ
SUBJECT: TURKEY HITCHES ARMENIA POLICY TO NAGORNO-KARABAKH

REF: A. ANKARA 6198

B. STATE 278584

C. STATE 286070


(U) Classified by DCM Robert Deutsch, E.O. 12958, reasons 1.5
(b) and (d).


C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 006398

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/09/2013
TAGS: PREL TU AM AJ
SUBJECT: TURKEY HITCHES ARMENIA POLICY TO NAGORNO-KARABAKH

REF: A. ANKARA 6198

B. STATE 278584

C. STATE 286070


(U) Classified by DCM Robert Deutsch, E.O. 12958, reasons 1.5
(b) and (d).



1. (C) Summary: In a October 8 discussion with poloff, MFA
Caucasus and Central Asia Director Ertan Tezgor confirmed
that the GOT clearly linked opening the Armenian border and
resuming diplomatic relations to Armenian concessions on
Nagorno-Karabakh (NK). Tezgor brushed off concerns this
would substantially delay bilateral progress, but predicted
no breakthroughs in bilateral relations until 2004. He was
unconcerned about the effect of a potential Armenian genocide
resolution by the U.S. Congress on bilateral relations and
said the GOT would consider a proposal to allow diplomatic
passport holders to cross the border freely. End Summary.




A Clear Link Between Bilateral Relations and NK



2. (C) Unlike previous statements by MFA officials that
bilateral relations and NK were "separate but parallel"
tracks (ref A), Tezgor confirmed what FM Oskanian reported to
U/S Grossman on September 25 (ref B): Turkey clearly linked
opening the border and resumption of diplomatic relations to
progress between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh
(NK). "Armenia cannot just approach Turkey," he said, it
also had to deal with Azerbaijan. Tezgor reiterated the GOT
proposal for the GOAM to withdraw from four NK cantons, which
he said would permit 350,000 IDPs to return, and to open rail
links.



3. (C) Tezgor brushed off the idea that linking bilateral
relations to NK would substantially delay progress between
Turkey and Armenia. He said Turkey and Armenia were "on a
good track." Armenia would have no incentive to deal on NK
if Turkey opened the border and resumed relations without any
NK link. He also worried about public criticism if Turkey
opened the border without any NK concessions from Armenia.



4. (C) Tezgor said Turkey also wanted Armenia to publicly
renounce territorial claims inside Turkey, which he claimed
were found in Art. 11 of Armenia's Declaration of
Independence (referring to "Western Armenia") and Art 13 of
the Constitution (referring to Mt. Ararat as one of Armenia's
national symbols), although he conceded Armenia posed no real
territorial threat to Turkey. The GOAM was prepared to make
such a pronouncement, but only upon the resumption of
diplomatic relations.


No Breakthrough Until Next Year



5. (C) Tezgor foresaw no breakthroughs in Turkish-Armenian
relations until spring 2004. He expected Ilham Aliyev would
win Azerbaijan's October 15 elections and would need time to
form a government before he could deal on NK. Tezgor said FM
Gul would next meet with FM Oskanian on the margins of the
December OSCE meeting, and he predicted progress in further
bilateral meetings in January and February. In the meantime,
the two countries would focus on expanded NGO contacts, joint
restoration of historical monuments, and expanded airline
service. Tezgor ruled out any other significant movement,
saying that it would have to come as part of a "package" that
included NK.


Not Concerned About Genocide Resolution



6. (C) Tezgor professed to be unconcerned about the prospect
that lack of movement with Armenia would fuel another push
for an Armenian genocide resolution in the U.S. Congress. He
was confident such a resolution would have no effect on
government-to-government relations and that the GOT could
manage Turkish public opinion. He claimed that France's
genocide resolution had no lasting effect and predicted a
similar only-temporary reaction to a U.S. resolution.


Diplomatic Passport Border Crossing Proposal



7. (C) Tezgor said the GOT would consider the proposal to
allow diplomatic passport holders from both nations to cross
the border (ref C). He added that the two governments had
not discussed including third-country diplomats in the
proposal, but had discussed including official delegations.

8. (C) Comment: We have observed a similar vacillation over
the last year. Speaking with the same officials we
alternatively hear a stronger or weaker link between
bilateral Armenian-Turkish relations and NK. Given the
transition in Azerbaijan, we are clearly in the swing to a
stronger link. Tezgor's seeming minimizing of the potential
impact of any Armenian resolution is not credible. Turkish
officials always emphasize the impact "anti-Turkish"
resolutions could have. The Turks have just canceled a Swiss
FM's visit because of the passage of a genocide resolution by
one canton, and our French colleagues say they still feel the
chill, particularly with the military, from their resolution
several years later. End Comment.
EDELMAN