In order to become the sole Khalifa of Muslims, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made multiple anti-India comments against India. Not only ideological but logistical as well as organizational support is being provided by Erdogan to anti-India forces. From funding Islamist organizations in India to unite the Muslims of India and Pakistan, Erdogan runs a complete anti-India factory in Turkey.
Armenia to get military hardware from India
Armenia, a landlocked Christian country in Western Asia, has shown interest in buying Indian military hardware amid its war with Azerbaijan. Last June, a defence delegation from Armenia visited India with a range of military equipment shopping lists. Earlier in 2020, Armenians had concluded about USD 40 million worth of supply of indigenously built weapon-locating SWATHI radars developed by DRDO. Although, the details of military hardware in a buyout are still to be revealed but reports suggest drone procurement will be on the priority list.
One Nation – Two States
It is pertinent to understand that Armenia has a long conflict with Azerbaijan with regard to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. With about 90% Muslim population, Azerbaijan effectively is an Islamic country. Considering the religious alignment, Turkey-Azerbaijan relations are defined in terms of one nation, and two states. Consequently, in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War, Turkey supported Azerbaijan in every possible way and ensured its victory.
Historical conflict between Christianity and Islam has systematically created a faultline in relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. In modern times, Armenia had become a part of the USSR, and considering these relations, Russia was expected to help Armenians but due to certain geopolitical conditions, Russia’s support was limited. So, after learning a lesson from Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Armenians are searching for strategic partners to strengthen themselves to save their sovereignty.
Also Read: India takes out Armenia club to clobber Turkey
Convergence of India-Armenia relationship
Considering Erdogan’s anti-India activities and Turkey’s constant support to Azerbaijan, the relationship between India and Armenia was bound to fructify. In order to revive the ancient Islamic concept of Khalifa, Turkish president Erdogan has constantly raised anti-India stand on various international and regional forums. After the abrogation of Article 370 from Kashmir, Erdogan had vehemently taken the anti-India stand at the United Nations General Assembly. Not only this, Turkey runs various scholarship and organizational programs to unite the Muslims of India and Pakistan and Kashmir and the rest of India.
The other thing which forced the convergence of the relationship is the strategic location of Armenia. Armenia is strategically located on the border of Russia, Iran and Turkey. An Armenian North-South Road Corridor is being developed to connect the Black Sea with the rest of Europe. It can be connected with the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) which is being envisaged by India, Russia and Iran. The horizon of INSTC can be expanded to Europe bypassing the traditional Suez route.
In this geopolitical scenario, India’s military support to Armenia will give heartburns to Erdogan. Establishing strategic relations with Armenia will not only help in keeping in check, the ‘enlarged tongue’ of Erdogan but will increase India’s effort to establish the North-South Corridor bypassing the Suez canal.
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