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 Tuesday, October 3 2017 16:15
David Stepanyan

Avigdor Eskin: Due to referendums in Kurdistan and Catalonia, pressure on Armenia in Karabakh issue may weaken

Avigdor Eskin: Due to referendums in Kurdistan and Catalonia, pressure on Armenia in Karabakh issue may weaken

A well-known Israeli publicist, public figure, political scientist Avigdor Eskin in an interview with ArmInfo discusses the latest developments in world politics, analyzes them in the light of global trends. He also comments on the logic and goals of centrifugal processes in Iraq and Spain. 

 

What are the consequences and threats  of Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran, as countries with a compact Kurdish residence, implementing plans for gaining independence by the Iraqi Kurdistan? 

If these countries recognize Kurdistan and enter into serious negotiations with Erbil on peaceful coexistence, then this will bring universal benefit. Kurds of Turkey, Iran and Syria will have an opportunity to build their country. This can significantly defuse the situation. However, if these countries behave aggressively, this will lead to a war in which they will inevitably lose. Iraqi Kurdistan is de facto independent. They control their own borders and even carry out oil sales themselves. The independence of Kurdistan in the created conditions is simply inevitable. These people were victims of a brutal attack by the Islamic state, by the Arabs. And here is the picture - twenty-two Arab states in the Middle East, now there will be Kurdistan as well. 

 

Almost  all countries of the world, excluding French neutrality, opposed the recent referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan. All except Israel. What is the interest of independent Kurdistan to Jerusalem? 

 I can say that Russia has also taken a neutral and benevolent position. As for Israel, we have been cooperating with the Kurds since the sixties. These are our allies and friends. And Israel does not betray friends. From the first years of its existence, Israel sought to establish friendly contacts with non-Arab nations  of the Middle East. That is why the Kurds in Iraq and the Persians in Iran have become our natural allies. Israel was the first who came to their aid at a time when Saddam Hussein was poisoning them with chemical weapons. It was the Israeli pressure on the US that led to the help of the Kurds. Israel was also the first to assist them in the fight against the IG. And now our relationship looks natural. While Kurds are Kurds, Israel is Israel. Our way of life, of course, is different.

 

 

A few months ago, you expressed an opinion on Israel's interest in establishing relations with Iran, highlighting the changing geopolitical situation in the Greater Middle East as a justification. Is the situation continuing to develop in this vein, or is it already possible to ascertain the change in the vector of its development and, accordingly, the intentions of Jerusalem regarding Tehran? 

 Iran was our ally until 1979. I think there are no rational reasons for the existing hostility today. However, so far the Iranian side is not interested in detente. We expected that after Iran and the Syrian regime collided with Sunni terrorists, they would review their position.

Iran helped the Hamas movement and the Syrian regime too. However, we should not forget that the terrorists of "Hamas" in the course of the war shot in the back to their Syrian benefactors. They are in fact part of the structure of the Muslim Brotherhood. And how great was our surprise when we discovered that Iran had recently resumed financing these terrorists. In this light, while hatred for Israel for Iran is above its own interests, I have to remain pessimistic. 

 

The arrest and imprisonment of an Israeli citizen in the Baku prison showed the presence of certain underwater reefs in Israel-Azerbaijan relations. Describe the state of these relations for today, in your opinion. 

 Israel helped to liberate its citizen. This was an example of effective and noble behavior on the part of the state. Considering that the aforementioned citizen wrote many bad things about Israel. We do not have full diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan. There is no embassy in Israel. But there is wide cooperation between us: Israel sells weapons to Baku and buys oil. The position of Azerbaijan is unacceptable to me personally. They tell us that they are not ready to open the embassy until we create a Palestinian state. This is an unheard of insult! We do not demand from them urgently to create a state for Kurds, for Talysh or for Armenians ... But I understand the government of Israel. This is business, as with Turkey. Although friendship with them did not work. I think that they lose more from this than we do. 

 

After a recent visit to Transnistria, you proposed your own model of relations between this unrecognized republic and Moldova. Is this model, in your opinion, suitable for the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh? 

No, Transnistria and Karabakh are not alike. Transnistria has a quarter of a century as an independent entity. Karabakh aspires to become a part of Armenia. There is a completely different situation. After the solution of the Karabakh problem is found, part of Karabakh will join Armenia de jure. And Transnistria can in fact exist further as an independent entity. At the same time, I can assume that pressure on Armenia in the Karabakh issue may weaken due to referendums in Kurdistan and Catalonia. The principle of inviolability of borders becomes less significant. But legally and politically for Karabakh, unequivocally, there will be a different solution than for Transnistria.

 

 

Assess the reaction of the Spanish authorities to the Catalan referendum on secession from Spain. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has already stated that "there was no referendum on Catalonia's independence." Do not you think that ignoring the opinion of 90% of voted Catalans creates a threat to European liberalism? 

 

I hope  that the authorities in Madrid are doing everything today to make the separatist forces even stronger. We can already say that they lost both on the street and in the media space. And most importantly, while demonstrating unjustified rudeness and cruelty. In other words, they aroused a burning discontent, while not preventing a referendum. At a minimum, this indicates that in many European countries the existing system can withstand serious tests is practically incapable.

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