Is Britain Also a Third Party Interfering in Nagorno-Karabakh Crisis?
Oct. 3, 2020 (EIRNS)—The question has to be asked whether the British Empire is also a third party, along with Turkey, interfering in the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis. In its public statements, the British appear to be keeping an official distance from the crisis. On Sept. 28 the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne issued a short joint statement calling for an end to hostilities and a return to the negotiating table; later than evening British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In a short statement, London reported:
“The two leaders discussed the situation in Libya, and the Prime Minister emphasized the need for a political settlement to end the conflict. They also talked about recent violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh. The U.K. has called for urgent de-escalation in the region. The Prime Minister expressed his concern about recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean....”
Now it is reported that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko and British Ambassador to Moscow Deborah Bronnert met to discuss ways to resolve the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. “The parties discussed the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone and ways to resolve it, and exchanged views on some other pressing issues related to the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States],” a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said. However, this is a rather low level of interchange if the British were seriously engaged in trying to resolve the crisis.
By way of background, the British giant oil and gas company BP is one of the largest foreign oil and gas companies operating in Azerbaijan. The key troublemaker in the crisis is obviously Turkey, which is most likely enjoying the support of Britain. However, note that Boris Johnson is a founding member of the Conservative Friends of Turkey in the Tory Party. As is well known, Johnson's great-grandfather was a high Ottoman official named Ali Kemel, who married an Englishwoman. Kemel opposed Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s independence movement, because Kemel wanted Turkey to become a protectorate of Great Britain, a position for which he was killed as a traitor. (Johnson is the name adopted by his grandfather.) Johnson has often visited his relatives in Turkey. Both Johnson’s Turkish uncle and cousin were high-level Foreign Ministry officials in Ankara.
The current Chief of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) is Richard Moore. Fluent in Turkish, Moore was Ambassador to Turkey until his MI6 appointment this year. Moore earned fame in 2016 as one of the first Ambassadors in Ankara to give his support to President Erdogan during the attempted coup in July. Johnson at the time was British Foreign Secretary, and on the advice of Moore, made an official visit to Ankara in September 2016 as a demonstration of British support for Erdogan.
Looking ahead at the possibility that the current Nagorno-Karabakh crisis could lead to a destabilization of the Russian North Caucasus, or an even wider war, it should be noted that Akhmed Zakayev, a former Prime Minister of the unrecognized Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, has been living in exile in Great Britain since 2003, where he still styles himself as the Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in exile. He was also the Foreign Minister of the Ichkerian government, appointed by Aslan Maskhadov. Remember that Maskhadov was sponsored by a group of Tories in the 1990s, including Margret Thatcher and Lord McAlpine. In October 2019 Zakayev presented his new book on the Chechen wars, Subjugate or Exterminate!: A Memoir of Russia’s Wars in Chechnya, at a webinar sponsored by the London-based Henry Jackson Society.