"US influence in South Caucasus will be reduced" - Paul A. Goble evaluates the situation | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

26 June, Wednesday

"US influence in South Caucasus will be reduced" - Paul A. Goble evaluates the situation

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Paul A. Goble, an American political expert and co-author of the Goble plan for the Karabakh conflict, has made exclusive comments to Eurasia Diary about US policy and political processes in the South Caucasus region.

Commenting on the appointment of the new US ambassador to Azerbaijan, Goble noted that ambassadors have a small influence on the change of policy: "I do not believe in the change here, but of course, I think the new ambassador will add new relations to the two countries. While Lichtenberger was an advisor he had special views on Azerbaijan and South Caucasus. I consider that he will perform intensive activity in the intensification of military-political cooperation with Azerbaijan."

Touching on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the prospects of the talks, Goble considers the situation in this area "deadlocked": "Neither Baku nor Yerevan ready, willing or able to make the kind of dramatic changes in policy that might allow a breakthrough.The major outside players are either satisfied with where things are – Russia – or unwilling to invest any diplomatic muscle to change things – the EU and the US."
"What changes are expected in the South Caucasus policy of the United States," the expert replied, "Trump’s neglect of large parts of the world because of his focus on domestic affairs and only a handful of great powers means that he neglects many parts of the world, including the South Caucasus. That could change if he decides to do something against Iran."
Paul Goble also said that withdrawal of US troops from Syria would have an impact on the superpower's influence in the South Caucasus and other regions. "Any time a great power shows itself willing to back away from commitments, it reduces its influence not only in the situation closest at hand but elsewhere. Consequently, this will reduce US influence in the South Caucasus as well.".
He also commented on NATO's expansion towards the South Caucasus: "I would like to see NATO membership expand into the South Caucasus. I don’t expect it to happen on Trump’s watch. "


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