It is common sense why Israel is opening ties with Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The South Caucasus energy sphere is an escalating international significance, a corridor of power and influence. Israel in not a hydrocarbon hub. Israel expects region wide blackouts this summer due to few electric reserves. Israel relies on diplomatic influence and military operations to secure offshore exploration sites in the contested waters of the Mediterranean[3,4,5,6]. The South Caucasus is a key transit route for natural resources which is key to Israels military machine.Israels diplomatic influence is evident by weapons and aircraft deals with Azerbaijan to gain a strategic foothold in the region .
Source: Vestnik Kavkaza
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union the world stepped into a new stage of confrontation, where the imperial policy of the US opposes potential integration projects. The states of the uneasy South Caucasus stepped into a new phase of conflict settlement. Defining its foreign policy course in 2003 as pro-European, Georgia became an actual guide for Western policy in the region, showing in its complete decision to separate from Russia. Being dependent on Moscow in the sphere of energy for a long time, Georgia had begun intensive search for new partners and revived demand for political coalitions in the region. At that moment Ankara, which was involved in many unresolved problems and aiming to fulfil its ambitious plans, began to concentrate its attention on plans in the South Caucasus through confrontation or partnership.
Maintaining a bilateral format of cooperation with Azerbaijan, Turkey began to improve its position through economic and energy cooperation with Georgia, which in its turn began to develop ties with Baku intensively. Armenia was involved in territorial conflicts with Azerbaijan and the historical-politicized conflict with Turkey defined its course as cooperation with Iran – one of the main regional rivals of Turkey. The conflict was developing within the planned parameters, until relationships between Washington and Tehran turned to a new level of disagreement, and this caused changes in the whole situation. Israel, interested in Caspian oil and in improving its position in the Iranian issue, stated its readiness to extend its presence in the South Caucasus.
Today the region is experiencing the establishment of a new coalition, whose outlines include the Turkey-Georgia-Azerbaijan-Israel bloc, as they have common interests in the geostrategic, economic and energy spheres. However, Washington continues to keep abreast of events and has appointed the special envoy of the US State Department on energy issues in Eurasia, Richard Morningstar, to the position of ambassador to Azerbaijan. The establishment of a new coalition might change the former format of relations in the South Caucasus and launch unresolved problems to a new level, primarily concerning territorial conflicts.
The results of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, in the absence of a direct military campaign, which contradicts the interests of the involved players, will be defined by political resiliency, ideological flexibility, a dynamic economy, acuteness and attraction of cultural values. These aspects will become a basic necessity for victory in the territorial Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the context of ongoing changes. Being an important link in the forming coalition chain, Baku is transforming its political role in bilateral relations with Turkey and potential union with Georgia and Israel. In case of the establishment of a union, Azerbaijan could reduce its spending on armaments, which will positively influence the economic growth of the country and the socio-political climate. In its turn, Georgia could shift to a new level of negotiations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as even if they are not ready to return under Tbilisi’s control, they need a regional union for improvement of the situation in the economic, political and social spheres.
Despite the fact that Israel has difficult relations with Turkey, it is interested in extension of its presence in the South Caucasus, as it would set up pressure on Tehran, promote its international role and might positively influence the Israeli position in the Middle East. Turkey would launch a long-term conflict with Armenia at a new level. At the same time, the ambitious policy by Ankara could be a threat to the establishment of the coalition, because Turkey would try to be the leader in the project, and that could lead to the withdrawal of Israel from the project, whose role is very important.
However, establishment of the coalition correlates with US interests, as America could extend its presence in the region through Georgia and Turkey, encouraging political resiliency and dynamic economies of the participant states.