Monday, December 6, 2010

Week 29 Nov. – 5 Dec.: Un-Diplomatic week

It doesn’t really matter…
This seems to be the key message from the South Caucasus diplomatic week, in the days of wikileaks&OSCE Astana summit.

If it’s not an earthquake so far, the wikileaks cables still do matter.
So far nothing really unthinkable came to the surface for the South Caucasus, and the worst part for diplomacy is to see made public reports meant to be secret. Diplomacy itself seems to have lost part of its sacral mystery and to have been degraded more or less to the level of the quality analysis of a decent newspaper, if not to gossips. Nevertheless, in the event that more conspicuous unpredictable pleasantness pops up from the cables, many interested parties are claiming that it’s hard to believe what’s written in them.
“[…] the text looks more like a fable and creates the impression that it is a provocative, which aims to damage relations[…]” thus a Baku official dismisses the info of a negotiation between the Azerbaijan Defense Ministry and the USA Ambassador.

Still, the same interested parties seem to be much more flexible in considering the contents as credible, whenever they can be used at their own purpose. So, no doubts on Armenian side for the liability of the info of the cable of February 25, 2010, when Ambassador Jeffery writes about his talk about the Armenian Protocols ratification with the Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary:
“He warned Congressional passage of an Armenian genocide resolution would ‘complicate’ his government's domestic political calculations regarding ratification. He said if something acceptable to Azerbaijani President Aliyev can found, then ‘we can move’ the protocols forward.”

Believable or not, exploitable or dangerous, the 1167 cables from the USA Embassy in Tbilisi, 1735 from Yerevan, 1569 from Baku, do matter.

The week saw also the first relevant OSCE summit in the last decade.
Not big expectations crowned by not big results, for the three South Caucasus countries. Notwithstanding the commitment of the Kazak Presidency in maximizing this year at the head of OSCE, the only relevant step onwards is the resuming of the IPRM in South Ossezia, which still is a Geneva Discussions’ success, mostly. Basically the Astana Summit gave the floor to everybody to re-confirm what’s been repeated from ages: territorial integrity AND self determination, for Armenia no future for Karabakh in Azerbaijan, for Azerbaijan an unconstructive Armenia approach which may lead to war. Well predictable also the words spoken for the conflict in Georgia.

The Astana summit was not for sure in charge of solving the conflicts, but at least it could have been a good chance to let few unpredictable words drop out of the sub-texts of the bilateral meetings, if any unpredictable word was indeed said… (and before it’s published by wikileaks…).
If not, it can be assumed that the EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy pronounced the following words in vain:

“We still face unresolved, protracted conflicts in the OSCE area. These conflicts remain a threat to our stability and security. In fact, by the very use of words like "unresolved" or "protracted", we risk putting these conflicts into a special "category", beyond hope as it were. We cannot allow that!”
(Full text available at

Another lost chance for a constructive meeting? It does matter.

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