Taliban takeover of Afghanistan: Analyst weighs in on potential ramifications for Armenia

  • August 17, 2021
 Taliban takeover of Afghanistan: Analyst weighs in on potential ramifications for Armenia

YEREVAN, AUGUST 17, ARMENPRESS. A senior analyst of regional affairs is warning on the potential consequences and impacts the developments in Afghanistan could have on Armenia.

 “It is possible that the ongoing processes in Afghanistan also impact Armenia in some sense,” analyst Armen Petrosyan told ARMENPRESS.  Specifically, he mentioned that if the situation were to escalate at the Afghan-Tajik border (Tajikistan being a member of the CSTO), then the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) might have to initiate some actions. “And Armenia, being a CSTO member, would simply not be able to stay out of those actions,” Petrosyan said.

Another concerning scenario mentioned by Petrosyan is in case of the Taliban failing to establish a complete authority in the country, leading to a chaotic situation and subsequent civil war, which would then create serious threats and humanitarian issues for Afghanistan’s neighbors, including Armenia’s neighbor Iran, with all its consequences.

In addition, Petrosyan reminded that Turkey is displaying aspirations to have some role in Afghanistan. He reminded that if before the fall of Kabul Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had succeeded in making a deal with the United States and the then-government of Afghanistan around controlling the Kabul airport, now these aspirations of Erdogan are jeopardized because the Taliban has already ruled out Turkey’s involvement at the Kabul airport for several times. Petrosyan didn’t rule out neither a conflict nor a cooperation between Turkey and the Taliban at this moment.

“And next to Turkey, given the increased dependency of Azerbaijan from Ankara after the 2020 Artsakh War, definitely Erdogan will try to ensure also Azeri support for any of its initiatives in Afghanistan. Therefore, this would mean that two hostile countries of Armenia are getting involved in a new adventurism, with very suspicious consequences and results,” Petrosyan said. This is the very context in which the analyst sees the greatest threat for Armenia – whenthe international community would divert attention on Afghanistan, it could become an occasion for Azerbaijan – who regularly instigates military tensions – to take advantage of the situation in the Artsakh zone.

“This is certainly dangerous for us, because simultaneously both Iran and especially Russia would be more focused on another region, where developments are more unpredictable. And in this scenario naturally attention would be diverted from our region to some extent. And given the Azerbaijani government’s unpredictable behavior and indiscriminate conduct when it comes to achieving their own goals, we can’t rule out that Azerbaijan would try to take advantage of the situation by increasing the volume of provocations and even launching more substantial and large scale actions,” Petrosyan warned.

At the same time, as of this moment Petrosyan believes that the situation in Afghanistan doesn’t pose any primary or direct concerns for Armenia, because according to official data there are no Armenian nationals in Afghanistan, and the Armenian peacekeeping contingent completed its mission there back in March.

Interview by Aram Sargsyan

Editing and Translating by Stepan Kocharyan

 

 

 

https://armenpress.am/eng/news/1060928/

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