More than 3 weeks after the outbreak of armed battles between Armenian and Azeri forces around the Nagorno Karabakh region, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to meet in Washington, Friday morning, with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Jehun Piramov, shortly before Pompeo’s meeting with his Armenian counterpart Zohrab Mnatsakyanian at the Ministry headquarters as well.
According to “Politico” newspaper, it is not clear yet whether the US side will try to hold a direct tripartite meeting in which the foreign ministers of the two countries will meet, after the battles between them caused hundreds of fighters and civilians to die and thousands of others were injured.
During the past weeks, American circles did not pay much attention to the ongoing conflict, as Washington has no direct interests in this region, and after the outbreak of the ongoing violence between the two parties, Washington was the last important international party to issue a statement, indicating a decline in interest in this region.
Washington and the absence of interest
Paul Stronsky, a researcher specializing in Caucasus affairs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, believes that recent calls for the United States to intervene to stop the fighting are strange and outdated, against the backdrop of the decline of the American role around the world, which has accelerated over the course of The past four years.
Carnegie researcher Thomas de Waal believes that it can also be said that American neglect is an indication that “President Donald Trump – who sponsors the unfinished Trump Tower in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan – views Armenia and Azerbaijan from a commercial perspective only.”
In an interview with Al-Jazeera Net, expert Rauf Mamadov of the Central Asia Initiative at the Middle East Institute confirmed that Washington’s position at the beginning of the hostilities was primarily negative, and President Trump’s administration remained committed to the conflict resolution mechanism through the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. With Moscow being left to take the lead in the negotiation process.
“However, the White House could not remain completely oblivious to the negotiation process, especially after Vice President Joe Biden appealed to the administration to intervene, and Joe Biden called for active diplomacy toward the conflict,” Mamadov added to Al Jazeera Net.
Mamadov considered that the United States has political tools and influence that can be used if necessary, and added to Al-Jazeera Net, “The current and previous American administrations have not resorted to imposing sanctions or embargoes on countries with influence in some regions. But the crucial question: Is the United States ready to resort to these methods regarding Concerning the Nagorno Karabakh conflict?
“Unfortunately, it seems that the positions of the warring parties are far from each other at this stage. Consequently, it will be difficult for Washington to propose a sustainable mechanism to bridge that gap between the two parties, and the best offer Washington makes is its neutral role as co-chair of the Minsk Group, and its affirmation of maintaining the balance of power.” Mamadov says.
In his study, Stronsky said, “The Trump administration has never issued a clear strategy to deal with the South Caucasus region, and the administration’s preoccupation with the election campaign currently for Trump’s re-election overshadows Washington’s interest, and the Karabakh crisis is not of significance at the present time.” .
Washington and the modern history of the Karabakh crisis
Since 1997, Washington has been one of the three members participating, along with France and Russia, in the mediation efforts of the Minsk Group, between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
In 2001, Washington took a firm stand, and invited the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to the state of Florida, to attend a direct meeting between them under US mediation; But it did not result in a solution to the conflict.
De Waal believes that “Turkey’s participation, the proximity of the conflict to Iran, the ambiguous role of Russia, and the presence of major oil and gas pipelines, all may lead to the transformation of the fighting in this region into an international headache.”
The right supports Armenia
Some commentators belonging to right-wing think tanks hostile to Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, took hard-line positions towards Azerbaijan and Turkish support for it.
Michael Rubin, a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute, believes that “Congress was more clear. In 1992 it adopted a law known as the Freedom Support Act,” Article 907 of which prohibited American aid to Azerbaijan.
In October 2001, the Senate amended the Freedom Support Act and lifted restrictions imposed on Azerbaijan, as it began to be treated as an ally of the United States in the global war on terror.
Rubin demands that Washington apply the “Kosovo model” to the disputed region, and declare “its recognition of the independence of Nagorno Karabakh.”