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Twitter, Facebook look engaged in U.S. policy, Armenian blogger says

February 7, 2011 Comments off

The following article is reprinted with permission from PanARMENIAN.net, Yerevan.
 

Twitter, Facebook look engaged in U.S. policy, Armenian blogger says
©  PanARMENIAN
February 7, 2011

(PanARMENIAN.Net) – Twitter and Facebook social networks are likely to be directly engaged in the U.S. policy, according to an Armenian blogger.

“With their central servers located in the U.S., these companies have to be subordinate to American laws and operate in the interested of the United States,” information security expert Tigran Kocharyan said in a conversation with a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

“The recent events in Egypt evidence of these websites’ policy, obviously coordinated with the White House. Parallel to Obama’s calls on Mubarak to start a dialogue with the opposition, Twitter and Facebook launched a campaign to support the rioters. Moreover, these companies helped the Egyptian opposition reach internet bypassing the governmental ban,” he said.

Kocharyan noted that the processing of so-called “twitter revolutions” started in 2009 in Moldavia and was successfully continued in cases with Iran, Tunisia and Egypt.

“The example of Egypt proved that total internet cutoff could not suppress the ‘twitter revolution’, which can be counterbalanced through monitoring and control over social networks only,” he said.

[End.]

See also Inteltrends’ Special Report:
The role of social networking websites in global unrest
Inteltrends, 29.Jan.2011

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Categories: ARM, EGY, IRN, MOL, TUN, USA, WORLD

Azerbaijan president says his army is the region’s most powerful; but Turkish newspaper says Armenia’s army is the most competent

December 26, 2010 Comments off

The following article is reprinted with permission from PanARMENIAN.net, Yerevan.

Aliyev overestimates his army, threatens Armenia again
©  PanARMENIAN
December 26, 2010

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev believes his army to be the most efficient in the region.

“We assign huge sums to army building and have great military potential. Our army is the most powerful in the region,” Aliyev said, adding that, nevertheless, the sides [Azerbaijan and Armenia] are trying to resolve the Karabakh problem through talks.

“Negotiations have produced no result so far and we should be ready for all. We purchase armament and train our soldiers to settle the conflict by the use of force if the talks fail,” he said.

At that, Aliyev noted that as long as Azerbaijani lands “are occupied, Armenia lives in fear.”

Meanwhile, Turkish Zaman daily views the Armenian army as the most efficient in the South Caucasus.

“Despite small territory and population, Armenia’s army is considered to be the most professional, efficient and competent in the region. Armenia never stops at what has been accomplished, planning new steps, with a 5-year army modernization plan among them.”

Reforms are being implemented in the light of possible Armenia-Azerbaijan collision. Armenia is closely cooperating with Russia in the defense sector: Russian military base deployment contract was extended. Arming in the country is in progress, and the fact shouldn’t be neglected by Armenia’s enemies,” the newspaper said.

[End.]

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Categories: ARM, AZR, Caucasus

Kurds will not let Turkey join EU

December 11, 2010 Comments off

The following article is reprinted with permission from NEWS.am, Yerevan, Armenia.

Kurds will not let Turkey join EU
©  NEWS.am
December 11, 2010  18:12

The possibility of Turkey’s joining the European Union (EU) is, at best, 1%, Aleksander Khramchikhin, Head of the Analytical Department, Institute of Political and Military Analysis, told NEWS.am. He added that he said “1%” only not to say “0%”.

According to him, many of the EU member-states do not want to see Turkey among themselves. “And they have a lot of good excuse for that,” he said, pointing out the Armenian Genocide, Kurdish and Cyprus problems.

Specifically, the expert pointed out that Kurds’ behavior in Turkey is, to a great extent, dependent on Kurds’ behavior in Iraq. “Iraqi Kurdistan is actually independent and is only formally part of Iraq. When Americans leave Iraq – and they will certainly do – Iraq will start disintegrating, and Turkey will get a new neighbor,” Khramchikhin said. It is a “nightmare” for Turkey. According to him, it will even aggravate Turkish Kurds’ problem, as “their Iraqi nationals will not share the profits from oil with them and allow them to settle down in their territory, which is small as it is.” On the contrary, they will galvanize Turkish Kurds to create their own state in Turkey’s territory.

As to the possibility of Kurds’ success in Turkey, Khramchikhin said it is not high. Turkey is a great power with sufficient resources to prevent such developments. However, the problem will constantly attract attention and be made use of other states in the world political arena.

[End.]

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Categories: ARM, EUR, IRQ, KUR, TURKEY

The South Caucasus and the Russia-Turkey-Iran geopolitical triangle

September 7, 2010 Comments off

The following analysis is reprinted with permission from RIA Novosti, Moscow.

The South Caucasus and the Russia-Turkey-Iran geopolitical triangle
©  RIA Novosti
September 6, 2010

In connection with the recent visits of Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to Armenia and Azerbaijan political analyst Viktor Nadein-Rayevsky, a senior fellow of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy and International Relations assesses geopolitical situation in the region and gives his opinion on the ambitions of other regional powers – Turkey and Iran.

Samir Shahbaz:  What are Russia’s geopolitical interests in the South Caucasus?

Viktor Nadein-Rayevsky:  Russia views the Caucasus security as an important issue. Consequently, we display caution on Nagorno-Karabakh issues and try to relegate them to the concerned parties, without dictating anything to anyone. Of course, we would like to see equitable and well-balanced international cooperation here. External influence should not upset the current balance because disruption could lead to unpredictable consequences. And nobody needs a new war. At any rate, Russia does not need such a war.

Shahbaz:  Who would be interested in disrupting today’s relative stability in the region?

Nadein-Rayevsky:  To be honest, this question implies only those who are interested in strengthening their own positions and weakening the positions of the main regional powers, primarily Russia. I don’t want to directly accuse any Western governments of this. But, judging by the actions of some non-regional players, it appears that their policy was aimed at upsetting the balance. At any rate, this is true of the developments in Georgia. Similar attempts are possible with regard to Azerbaijan. It appears that perfidious and dangerous information bombs implying that Azerbaijan planned to provide bases for U.S. forces, including those for operations against Iran, were not “dropped” by sheer coincidence. Azerbaijan emphatically denies any actions or even attempted actions against Iran. This is a correct stance because the situation might otherwise get out of control.

Shahbaz:  What do you think about the actions of the two other important players bordering on the region, namely, Iran and Turkey?

Nadein-Rayevsky:  Both countries have recently become visibly active in their own way. Previously, the Turkish policy could be perceived as a continuation and sharp point on the NATO “sword” in the eastern Mediterranean region. But the situation has now changed. The Republic of Turkey has long been formulating its policy in line with its national interests. The West, which is not used to this, frequently disapproves of various Turkish actions. In some cases, they even mention a veritable Russian-Turkish alliance which, of course, amounts to idle talk. Naturally, any strategic military alliance is also out of the question. These countries have different interests and goals. Nevertheless, there are common venues of cooperation, including the stabilization of the Caucasus.

As far as Azerbaijanian-Turkish relations are concerned, both countries signed a strategically important treaty prior to Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Yerevan. They say Turkey voices an absolutely pro-Azerbaijanian stance on many issues, primarily Nagorno-Karabakh. To be fair, it should be noted that the Turkish Government does not go to extremes and acts in line with the real situation. Turkey, an influential regional player, hopes to obtain sizeable dividends from its active policy. Turkey wants to become a key energy hub for the transportation of energy resources to western, central, southern and even northern Europe. Some projects, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline, are currently being implemented.

Turkey also prioritizes relations with Iran because it receives natural gas from them. This does not always go smoothly, and acts of sabotage have taken place. Moreover, Turkey is seriously interested in developing Iranian mineral deposits. Although the United States reproaches and even threatens Turkey, Ankara invests in Iran. This is happening at a time when Washington has imposed serious sanctions on investment in Iran. Previously, it was forbidden to invest over $20 million in various energy projects in Iran. And now such restrictions have become even more strict. Western Europe is also involved in these sanctions. They are assuring us that such sanctions are not directed against the Iranian nation’s well-being. But an objective assessment of the situation shows that all this is empty talk. Of course, sanctions take their toll. By restricting gasoline exports to Iran, the West is dealing a serious blow against the everyday life of Iranians. Iran which lacks refineries has to import most of its petroleum. Just like Russian companies, Turkish companies have ignored the ban and trade with Iranians. Although Turkey is a NATO member, it has not joined the sanctions, continues to improve relations with Iran and maintains permanent bilateral contacts. However, Western conjecture about an Iranian-Turkish alliance and some kind of Islamic solidarity are groundless. Both countries preach Shia and Sunni Islam. However, Shia Muslims account for 8% of the Turkish population, Shia Islam is not popular in Turkey. So, any talk of Islamic unity is far-fetched. But economic interests are an important factor. And Turkey is willing to facilitate Iranian oil and gas transits via its territory, although much remains to be done in this respect.

Speaking of Iran’s interests in the Caucasus, Tehran has repeatedly offered its services in settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Iran is willing to act as a mediator in this area. Iran maintains a sufficiently cautious policy which is non-hostile toward Armenia. This could be expected in connection with good-neighborly Iranian-Azerbaijanian relations. Moreover, Iran trades with Armenia, supplying gas and building railroads together with transport monopoly Russian Railways.

[End.]

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Categories: ARM, AZR, Caucasus, GEO, IRN, NATO, RUS, TURKEY

On Turkey’s challenge to Russia’s “Caucasian triumph”

August 25, 2010 Comments off

The following article is reprinted with permission from NEWS.am, Yerevan, Armenia.

On Turkey’s challenge to Russia’s “Caucasian triumph”
©  NEWS.am
August 25, 2010

RF President Dmitry Medvedev’s state visit to Armenia overshadowed the earlier begum Turkish-Azerbaijani meetings. On August 16-17, Turkish President Abdullah Gul was on an official visit to Baku. A Turkish-Azerbaijani agreement on strategic partnership and mutual assistance was signed during the visit. The document provides for the deployment of Turkish military units in Azerbaijan or, in other words, the creation of military bases of Turkey, a NATO member, in the country.

Following the Russian leaders’ visit, Russian and Armenian experts, speaking of a new level of bilateral relations, addressed the possible enhancement of Turkey’s role in the region in the context of the latest Azerbaijani-Turkish agreements. Talking to NEWS.am, Head of the Russian Center of Military Forecasts Anatoly Tsyganok voiced the opinion that a Turkish military base might be deployed in Nakhichevan as well. “It can be supposed due to Gul’s gentle hints in Azerbaijan,” he said. Many other Russian experts, addressing the recent developments in Armenian-Russian relations, have spoken of Armenia’s increasing role in the region, Russia’s greater strategic role, pointing out closer Turkish-Azerbaijani military ties.

“Turkey’s latest actions, as well as possible deployment of a military base in Azerbaijan, are nothing but a challenge sent to Russia. It is surprising Russian experts are not frank about it,” the military expert Artsrun Hovhannisyan told NEWS.am.

President Gul’s visit to Azerbaijan on August 15-17 was not mere coincidence. It was planned in advance, as Turks knew Armenia and Russian were going to sign a document on military base #102. “Gul’s visit was ‘a counterblow’ to Medvedev’s Caucasian triumph, which made it clear Turkey laid as serious claims to the South Caucasus as Russia did,” the expert said. He stressed that the current Turkish administration is the author and bearer of Neo-Ottomanism.

Hovhannisyan believes Neo-Ottomanism is a political ideology aimed at extending Turkey’s influence over the borders of the former Ottoman Empire. This ideology also supports Pan-Turkism and lays claims to leadership in the entire Islamic and Turkic world. “Gul, Erdogan and Davutoglu told the whole world their foreign policy was aimed at restoring the once great influence of the Ottoman Empire. However, Russia is the first world power preventing this ideology from becoming reality. So it is really surprising that Russian experts hardly address the topic,” Hovhannisyan said. Delegating greater powers to the Russian military base or the Turkish-Azerbaijani agreement on strategic partnership can by no means be considered local factors. Turkey is making obvious moves to bring the South Caucasus from under Russia’s control. In response, Russia should make a bolder step, the expert said.

“Rumors about possible reopening of a Turkish military base in Nakhichevan are circulating at various levels. I think it is absurd, and Russia should properly respond at a state level. Under a Moscow Treaty of 1921, Russia and Turkey pledged to deal with any issue related to military presence in Nakhichevan. Even a soldier’s presence – to say nothing of a military base – is a matter of bilateral intergovernmental discussions,” the expert said. Abrogating or even revising the treaty poses a great risk to the region. “An explosive situation may develop, with potential hostilities of a much larger scale than the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict – Nakhichevan’s geographical location is of strategic importance for Pan-Turkism programs,” Hovhannisyan said.

The Armenian expert also commented on his Russian counterparts’ opinion that in making moves toward Nakhichevan Turkey would not damage its relations with Russia – Ankara and Moscow signed agreements on large-scale investment programs. “The needle for injecting Turkey is presently in Russia’s hands. It should be remembered, however, that Turkey has changed several doctors over the past several hundred years – France, Great Britain, Germany and the United States – and, after being strengthened, aimed its power at Russia,” Hovhannisyan said. Taking advantage of the fact of its getting out of the U.S. control, Turkey is strengthening its ties with Russia. On a large scale, it is one more step to get a new donor for economic development.

Turkey will remain Russia’s traditional rival, as it seeks to extend its influence over entire Central Asia, as far as Siberia, the entire Caucasus, as far as the Volga River and Tatarstan, as well as the Crimea and Ukraine. “As to the Russian needle, Turkey may replace it with a Chinese or Indian one tomorrow. Or it will continue on the Russian needle, ‘doing its business’,” Hovhannisyan said.

NEWS.am reminds readers that during the hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh the press circulated rumors about Turkish companies in Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan, which pledged to defend Nakhichevan. Indeed, Russians repeatedly faced big and little problems after ignoring or underestimating the Turkish factor. For example, the Turkish army has for a long time been implementing a re-equipment program worth hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars. Besides numerous types of modern weapons, it plans to purchase 100 U.S. fighters of the 5th generation, whereas Russia only recently started the relevant development work.

[End.]

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Categories: ARM, AZR, NATO, RUS, TURKEY

What did Turkey promise to Azerbaijan?

July 28, 2010 Comments off

The following article is reprinted with permission from NEWS.am, Yerevan, Armenia.

What did Turkey promise to Azerbaijan?
©  NEWS.am
July 28, 2010  17:10

The Turkish government promised that the Turkish-Armenian border will not be open until Armenians resolve the Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan’s General Consul in Kars Aykhan Suleymanov said in the course of his visit to the city of Igdir, Turkey.

He also noted that the Turkish government’s stance on the issue is unambiguous.

[End.]

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Categories: ARM, AZR, TURKEY

West seeks replacement for Turkey, expert says

July 21, 2010 Comments off

The following article is reprinted with permission from NEWS.am, Yerevan, Armenia.

West seeks replacement for Turkey, expert says
©  News.am
July 21, 2010  15:46

Turkey’s policy has become more independent and impudent, Head of the Modus Vivendi Center Ara Papyan told the reporters on Wednesday.

“Turkey has recently been trying to act independently in the political arena, frequently opposing U.S. and West. The evidence thereof is voting on Iran at the UN Security Council, where Ankara opposed sanctions against Tehran,” he said.

According to him, it is negatively perceived by U.S. and the West. The game is dangerous for Turkey, as it makes new enemies, opponents, which were earlier its allies.

“The vivid example is the Israeli-Turkish conflict, which aggravated due to the confrontation of Turkish and Israeli system of values. Based on this, U.S. and West are looking for a new ally to replace Turkey,” he said.

The West seeks to establish a new allied state, for instance Kurdistan or to make one of the existing states, for example Armenia, its ally if the latter pursues an adequate political course.

[End.]

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Categories: ARM, IRN, ISR, NATO, TURKEY, USA