Turkey’s unrealistic dream of reestablishing its old Ottoman Empire hegemony, has been given a severe jolt by India. As the Erdogan-led administration continues to drift towards the Pakistani establishment, India has decided to alienate it through its neighbor Armenia, clobbering Turkey’s dream.
Chabahar port – a key connecting link between India and Armenia
India and Armenia are discussing to include Iran’s Chabahar port in the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). Speaking at the press meet after his meeting with his Armenian counterpart, Ararat Mirzoyan, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar described how the lack of proper connectivity between Armenia and India hampers the economic, commercial and people-to-people relationship between the two countries.
“Both India and Armenia are members of the International North-South Transport Corridor, which has the potential to bridge the connectivity barrier. Minister Mirzoyan and I discussed the interest which Armenia has shown in the utilization of Chabahar port in Iran which is being developed by India. We have also proposed that Chabahar port be included in the INSTC framework,” he said.
India-Armenia to exponentially develop their cooperation
The two ministers also discussed starting a direct flight between both countries. During his tour to Armenia, India’s foreign minister also held a one-on-one meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinya. Both countries agreed on developing an agenda for more cooperation, including the areas of tourism, hospitality, infrastructure, and other cultural exchanges.
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Explaining the recent development in cooperation between both countries, the EAM said, “An Indian business delegation had visited Armenia last month to participate in the 20th edition of Armenia Expo. This was the first business delegation to Armenia after the COVID pandemic and I am confident that there will be more frequent visits which will give further impetus to bilateral trade and commerce.”
Until now, India had to use Suez Canal to connect to the European part of the planet, which takes more than 40 days and entails hefty fee to the countries en route to the destination. After completion of the 7,200 km long multi-modal INSTC, the total time will be reduced to nearly 20 days, which will also translate into a 30 percent lower cost to transport goods.
INSTC – India’s reply to China’s BRI
INSTC is India’s counter to the Chinese Belt and Road initiative. To be more specific, India-Russia cooperation for INSTC stands as a counter to the China-Pakistan nexus in BRI. Through INSTC, India will get a route to bypass Pakistan and establish a direct connection with Iran, Russia, and other countries lying north of Iran. The significance of India’s geopolitical interest in the INSTC and Chabahar combination can be gauged from the fact that India convinced the United States to avoid imposing any sanctions on Indian investments in the Chabahar port.
Bloody history between Armenia and Turkey
Turkey never has been in a cordial relation with Armenia. In spite of being neighbors, Armenia and Turkey have always been in a diplomatic tussle due to their history. Armenia is fundamentally a Christian nation, while Turkey is an orthodox Muslim one. When the Ottoman Empire was at its peak, they slaughtered and butchered millions and millions of Christians in Armenia.
The Ottoman Empire collapsed during World War I, leaving the present-day Turkey as a last reminiscence of the empire. Later, Turkey changed into a liberal state during the 20th century. Even when the country was modern and liberal, Turkey never apologised for its Armenian genocide. Now, when Erdogan is trying to change Turkey into an Islamic fundamentalist state, Turkey has decided to double down on their anti-Armenian legacy.
Azerbaijan (Armenia’s neighbour), a Muslim majority country, has more than 100 years of bloodied history with Armenia. Recently, when war broke out between both the countries for the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkey provided arms and ammunition, as well as diplomatic support to Azerbaijan. Along with Turkey, Pakistan also sent their Mujahideens to fight with their Azerbaijani counterparts, against Armenia.
Inclusion of Chabahar port – a blow for Turkey
If Chabahar port and Armenian routes are included in the INSTC, it will come off as a severe blow to Turkey. Alarmed by the increasing Turkey-Pakistan nexus and Turkey’s support for the Kashmir issue, India decided to counter the Erdogan administration. For the last few years, India has been developing a strategic cooperative relationship with Turkey’s neighbors such as Armenia, Cyprus, and Greece. Greece and Cyprus have already extended their support to India, while Armenia is consolidating India’s presence in the region.
Armenia’s support for India can be derived from the fact that hundreds of Armenian citizens were waiting to welcome India’s External Affairs Minister – a rare sight in international diplomacy. Prime Minister Modi’s initial foreign tours during his first term have started to bear fruits now. A force comprising of India,Turkey’s neighbours and Arab nations supportive to India, is set to obliterate Turkey and Pakistan’s dream of destabilising India.