Baku, February 9, AZERTAC
“Armenia must withdraw its troops from the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan, including the Region of Nagorno-Karabakh and its seven surrounding districts and should respect the International Laws and UN Security Council Resolutions. Yerevan must refrain from embracing the current status-quo and engage in a results oriented set of negotiations with the leadership of Azerbaijan,” said Peter Tase, a political analyst and international relations expert with the Marquette University in an exclusive interview to “Eurasia Diary”.
AZERTAC presents the interview.
Eurasia Diary: How can you predict foreign policy of Trump administration in South Caucasus and Eastern Europe?
Peter Tase: White House is expected to conduct an aggressive foreign policy in relation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, European Union and towards China and South East Asian Sea Region. However, during the last two weeks we have seen that Azerbaijan and other Caspian region countries are not gaining a well deserved attention in the Department of State. The historic partnership between Azerbaijan and the United States must be strengthened and further developed in many fields including, economy, trade, commerce, education and cultural initiative.
Eurasia Diary: From point of your view, what is different political position carried out by Republicans and Democrats that is related to the South Caucasian and Eastern European affairs?
Peter Tase: With a Republican in White House there are greater chances in order to have a peaceful solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh Armed Conflict, a solution that will be solved in support of the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan and defense of peace and stability in the Southern Caucasus Region. Perhaps later on during the mandate of President Trump we will see a more robust intervention from Washington towards the sustainable solution of Nagorno-Karabakh Armed Conflict. I am hopeful that President Trump will appoint a team of experts at the State Department that will address and bring concrete results in the decades’ long conflict that is succumbing the nation of Azerbaijan and is strengthening peace and stability in the Caucasus region.
Eurasia Diary: How should leaders of two powerful states cooperate in resolution of Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in South Caucasus?
Peter Tase: There are three items that must be addressed so that concrete results are seen in the horizon: First, Republic of Armenia must withdraw its troops from the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan, including the Region of Nagorno-Karabakh and its seven surrounding districts and should respect the International Laws and UN Security Council Resolutions. Second, Yerevan must refrain from embracing the current status-quo and engage in a results oriented set of negotiations with the leadership of Azerbaijan. The government of President Serzh Sargsyan must focus on combating corruption and organized crime, it should not use the conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh as a shield and as a tool that helps overshadow the endemic domestic problems that Armenian population has had to face over the last decade. Third, OSCE, European Union and other distinguished international players and organizations must play an active role towards bring peace and stability in the Caucasus region and these actors must defend the principles of international law and not keep sides (advocate the illegitimate requests of Armenia) during the negotiations process.
Eurasia Diary: Georgia is a strong partner of the USA in South Caucasus. What will Georgians expect from foreign policy of Trump administration?
Peter Tase: Economic cooperation and political dialogue will develop even further between Washington and Tbilisi. President Trump or the U. S. Vice President may very well visit Georgia in the near future. The Government of Georgia is a strong partner of United States and of the International Coalition of the War on Terrorism and Organized Crime. Georgia, just like Azerbaijan, has been a reliable partner of the United States; The USAID and other relevant US Institutions have established effective cooperation projects and set forth a partnership on many areas that mutually benefit both countries.
Eurasia Diary: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree allowing troops from the United States and other NATO countries to carry out training missions in Ukraine during 2017. Do you regard that it will invigorate Russia more to intervene in Eastern Ukraine militarily and politically?
Peter Tase: The presence of US and NATO Troops in Ukraine will encourage Russian Armed Forces to take a more aggressive strategy and engage in Military exercises in the neighboring areas of the Baltic Countries and in nearby the borders of Ukraine. President Poroshenko is encouraging the presence of NATO and US troops in the territory of Ukraine in order to engage in military exercises, indeed this is not the best move, knowing that Ukraine shares a border with Russian Federation and US Armed Forces are over stretched over many other conflicts worldwide, therefore a response by western allies to a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, would not be as swift as desired.