Point of view. Ruben Safrastyan: “New US-Turkey deal blocked passage of Genocide of the Armenians resolution by Senate”

Senator Lindsey Graham’s presence at the White House meeting between President Donald Trump and the Turkish leader was not absolutely accidental given that the US legislator himself later blocked the passage of an Armenian Genocide resolution by the upper house, according to Ruben Safrastyan, the director of the National Academy’s Institute of Oriental Studies.

″Also Turkey’s importance for the implementation of strategic US programs in the Middle East and Syria was taken into consideration. That’s practically yet another transaction between the United States and Turkey, which blocked further proceedings over this resolution anchored on historical justice and morality,″ he said at a news conference.

The expert also stressed the importance of a geopolitical understanding of the US-Turkey transactions, noting that they are not practically ever being reduced to the public domain.

″I think the first thing the two presidents have been able to agree on is that the most intense moment in the Turkey-US relations deals with the discussions over, and purchase and deployment of, the S400 anti-air [missile] system. And that was actually what the sides decided to set aside.″

As another problematic point, Safrastyan emphasized the sides’ ability to reach an agreement on the Kurdish factor, an issue which he said “deals inevitably also with the oil factor.”

Safrastyan further shared his analysis of the possible outcomes linked to the deal. “First, the Americans will maintain control over the oil wells on Syria’s territory. We are facing here also the Kurdish factor: the Turks and Americans have, in all probability, reached an agreement to maximum distance the Kurds from the Turkish-Syrian border (a longtime demand of Turkey) to concentrate them in an area where mines are practically located. The Americans back the plan as that would potentially enable them to create a US-controlled sovereign state through Kurds – after the real normalization process gets underway in Syria – to ensure access to those oil wells,” he said.

The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on October 29 to pass the resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide (H.Res.296). A subsequent resolution on the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire was vetoed by Mr Graham in the Senate.