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Will Baku be able to contain the influence of the Armenian diaspora?

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Message Kemran Mam

The recognition by US President Joe Biden of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire caused "regret" from the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry. "Those who politicize the so-called... Armenian genocide ... are silent about the massacres of more than 500 thousand people by Armenian armed formations, as well as about the massacres committed by Armenian Dashnaks in March 1918 in Baku and other regions of Azerbaijan," the foreign policy statement said.

The Armenian lobby actively promotes Yerevan's interests in countries such as the United States, Argentina, Ethiopia, Uruguay, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Syria, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Cyprus. In the United States, influential representatives of the Armenian diaspora own 23 newspapers and magazines, publishing houses, radio and TV channels. At the moment, Yerevan annually receives from the United States an average of about $200 million in gratuitous aid. France is the second country after the United States with the most powerful and influential Armenian diaspora. Armenian organizations operating in these countries openly conduct anti-Azerbaijani and anti-Turkish propaganda.

Relying on the support of Turkey, Azerbaijan is looking for a counterbalance to the Armenian lobby in the US and Europe, trying to enlist the support of interested circles to resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Meanwhile, the joint efforts of Ankara and Baku will hardly be enough to create a stable balance in regional politics in the Transcaucasia. Turkey, pursuing an independent policy and sometimes an aggressive policy, has already become a "half-rogue" in the eyes of the Western community, which sharply limits its influence on its NATO allies.

At the same time, despite a strategic alliance with Yerevan, Russia seeks to maintain balance and strengthens dialogue with Baku on the most pressing issues. This is perceived extremely jealously in Yerevan and, on the contrary, is welcomed in Baku. Here we can say with confidence that Moscow can help Baku to "nullify" the effect of Yerevan's lobbying campaigns in the West. In this regard, deepening bilateral relations between Moscow and Baku, while simultaneously strengthening cooperation with Ankara, seems to be the best option today.

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The Journal of Conflict Transformation is independent online publication, a forum to analyze conflicts and related issues in the South Caucasus and Turkey.

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