Latest from the Region - Wednesday, December 1, 2010 0:03 - 0 Comments
Digest of Azerbaijani Media for Nov 13-29
by News Digest
RFEL Radio Liberty Azerbaijan Service
Commenting on the recent military trainings in Nagorno Karabakh, director of the press office of the Ministry of Securty Eldar Sabiroglu says, these trainings should only be perceived as an act to deviate attention from resistance in the army and tough social condition in the Armenia and nothing more.
The article publishes excerpts from Serj Sarkisan’s speech where he states “if required, we will not only repeat the events between 1992 and 1994 but close the situation once and for all”. The president said that the trainings are only a response to threats across the border and means to protect its soldiers.
Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Security on the other hand saw these trainings as child’s game, perceiving these trainings as unserious.
Director of the Center for Political Innovation and Technology Director and political analyst Mubariz Ahmedoglu makes conclusive statements on television marathons held by the Hayastan Fund, claiming that these marathons turning “NK into an even bigger money- laundering hub for criminal groups”.
Ahmedoglu claims that the “Hayastan Fund collects money for the separatist regime in Nagorno Karabakh by conducting such marathons annually” reminding of previous scams of Armenian gangs engaged in money laundering.
RFEL Radio Liberty Azerbaijan service
The article looks at statements of various Azerbaijani policy analysts to Serj Sarksyan statements on military trainings. Fikret Sadigov, political scientist believes that recent statements on Armenia’s behalf have led to paradoxical situation in the region. “Armenia on one hand holds military trainings on occupied territories and on the other comes forward with strong statements against Azerbaijan. In a way, this means that Armenia has its eyes on occupying more Azerbaijan territories.”
Another political scientist, Erestun Oruclu believes that Sarksyan’s position is a sign of further perseverance and that he won’t be taking any steps back. Oruclu also believes that these steps are the result of Russia’s decision- making hitting a wall.
Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijan’s Consul General in LA calls on the American authorities to do more in achieving resolution of the NK conflict. Suleymanov stressed his concern regarding the US and its not effortlessness in helping to bring peace to the conflict. “We believe the US can do more and should do more in pressuring Armenia to help us find a solution for the conflict” especially given cooperation ties existing between Azerbaijan and the US.
Says member of the scientific board at the Moscow Center of Carnegie, political scientist Alexei Malashenko. Treating NK conflict as a process rather than simple conflict, Malashenko argues, “it is impossible to settle it to meet all parties including Nagorno Karabakh in nearest future. Movement towards solution is important here and it must be based on mutual concessions. But now as we see mutual concessions are made and then taken away”.
Malashenko remains among those who believe Astana Summit wont have any feasible results on the resolution process of the conflict.
The Deputy Spokesman of the State Department Mark Toner calls on the sides to the NK conflict, “remain in dialogue” rather than fuel tensions. The statement was made during the press conference gathered as a result of recent statements made by the President of Armenia promising its people to solve NK “once and for all” through force.
RFEL Radio Liberty Azerbaijan Service
Importance attached to Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity was stressed once again during NATO’s meeting in Lisbon. The article lists a number of occasions where other countries supported return of territories and president Serj Sarksyan’s diplomatic efforts to tackle this issue.
Peter Semneby believes the difficult times are behind for Azerbaijan and Armenia coming to an agreement on Nagorno Karabakh conflict. EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, sees some progress that’s worth hailing.
[Arzu Geybullayeva’s comments: unfortunately that progress seems to be only visible to people like Semneby as the general rhetoric on the ground continues to be aggressive and full of negativity].
So says parliament member Bakhtiyar Aliyev while commenting on recent militaristic statements made by President Sargsyan.
There is no other way to characterize these statements says parliament member. “Armenia occupied Azerbaijani territories and it must return them. And now, international community understands that Azerbaijan is doing everything at its power to resolve this conflict by peaceful means, while Armenia as always holding destructive position”.
The article reports November 19th incident dismissing any statements of opponent’s involvement. The article notes that a criminal case has been initiated with preliminary investigation underway.
The article discloses the names of those killed in the incident.
RFEL Radio Liberty Azerbaijan Service
On November 22nd, ministers of foreign affairs of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia met in Moscow to discuss further plans on Nagorno Karabakh conflict. However, nothing joint come out of these meetings yet and its not surprising.
According to Sabina Fraser, director of the International Crisis Group Europe program, currently none of the presidents are ready to come up with a serious agreement. Fraser is not even hopefully for the outcomes of Astana Summit to be held between December 1st and 2nd.
It is simply not possible to come to an agreement at a time when the two countries have hostile attitudes towards each other extending as far as to war rhetoric says Fraser. And in order to reach any common ground first and most important step is for the presidents of both countries stop using negative rhetoric towards each other. The two are using stronger and tougher language towards each other , which is no way positive environment.
This article is a perfect example of negative rhetoric on the sides to the conflict. While commenting on recent military trainings on the occupied territories, director of the Center for Political Innovation and Technology Murabiz Ahmedoglu said that Armenia’s recent actions only confirm its commitment to resolve NK by military means.
Ahmedoglu goes further on stress Azerbaijan’s military strength and its readiness to go to war.
Analyzing Sargsyan’s decision not to attend NATO summit in Lisbon, AzerTaj reviewer Vugar Seyidov characterizes this as “absolutely ridiculous”. Seyidov notes that Sargsyan’s decision “not to go to Lisbon is the result of his desire to avoid shame inside the country and reluctance to attend an event that again discredits his diplomacy in the presence of world leaders”.
Seyidov sees adoption of the resolution on the Armenia- Azerbaijan conflict as practically done deal.
Samad Seyidov, head of the Azerbaijani Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, says that any feasible outcome at the Astana summit on Nagorno- Karabakh rests in Armenia’s hands.
Seyidov while questioning Armenia’s commitment, also questioned the country’s position, calling it far from being constructive especially given Azerbaijan’s on- going stand calling Armenia “for peaceful resolution of the NK Conflict under international law while observing territorial integrity”.
Unlike Seyidov who calls on Armenia to finally make up its mind and considers it as an important step in resolution of the conflict, Professor Yuri Borisenok, thinks Russia’s role is more important. Editod-in-Chief of Russian Rodina magazine and professor at the Moscow State University, Borisenok, considers Russia “closest to the conflict sides and if some progress is outlined, then it will be surely be with the involvement of Russian diplomacy”. And given existing situation around the conflict, Borisenok believes that little progress will be made unless some things change.
As if written to dismiss all negative comments and statements made by Azerbaijani representatives on Sargsyan’s recent militaristic statements this article summarizes thoughts of an Armenian parliament member while talking of peace and NK conflict.
The parliament member while stressing Armenia’s willingness to resolve NK conflict peacefully doesn’t dismiss the fact that “Baku must understand once and for all that Karabakh, a democratic state, has never been and will never be part of Azerbaijan” adding that while “the world has de fact recognized independence of NKR” it is only the matter of time before it recognizes it de jure.
The article stresses recent statements made by the Former Special Envoy of the OSCE PACE Goran Lennmarker on the resolution of the Nagorno- Karabakh conflict. According to Lennmarker a concept to resolve the conflict has been developed by the international community based on which, the two sides “must concentrate their political will to find a solution to the NK conflict” rather than coming up with technical nuances. Lennmarker called on both governments to let go of mutual accusations and focus on internal debates on willingness to resolve the conflict. Stressing the importance of public voice in the whole of the resolution process.
Armenia’s failure to show up at the summit in Astana will only demonstrate its unwillingness to solve NK conflict peacefully. Bayram Safarov who heads the Azerbaijan Community of Nagorno Karabakh believes this would be the message. If Armenia doesn’t come to the summit then it means that it is afraid to stand by its word.
It would be ideal to see “road map” developed at the end of the OSCE summit in Astana, however, there are doubts especially given that conflict ended in 1994 and 16 years later nothing has really changed. Talking realistically chances for such road map to come out is less than 50%.
The article states opinion of a Russian political scientist Maksim Shevchenko who believes that recent statements made by president Sargysan are most probably the result of the populist rhetoric within the country rather than his own creation and initiative.
It is most likely that his statements were made to simply calm Armenians living abroad. For instance they weren’t too happy when Armenian authorities returned bodies of soldiers to Azerbaijan and other instances.
If president of Armenia does not attend summit in Astana, this will only damage Armenia and show the rest of the world the true face of this country says conflict expert Parvin Darabadi in this article. It is highly likely that Armenia is going to be pressured at the upcoming summit in Astana for reaching some mutual ground towars the resolution of the NK conflict. It is really funny because if Sargsyan thinks that Astana summit will be cancelled because of him then he is mistaken. In fact, him not showing up will only benefit Azerbaijan.
During a press conference in Astana, OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut noted that the Nagorno Karabkh conflict requires constructive approach in order to achieve any peace.
Perrin calls on the two governments to resolve conflict and start living in friendship and cooperation. The article notes some of the remarks made by the Kazakhstan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Konstantin Zhigalov who hopes for achieving “certain attempts to make a positive contribution so that the Nagorno- Karabakh issue finds its true reflection in the summit documents”.
On November 29th, days before the Astana summit, OSCE Minks Group Co- chair Igor Popov, OSCE Chairman- in- office Kanat Saudabayev discussed the Karabakh conflict and means for its peaceful resolution. Popov voiced high hopes for the upcoming summit believing that the meeting will become “an important area for further dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan”.
The article reports on expected positive outcome at the summit in Astana especially following the meeting of the OSCE Minsk Group Co- chair and the OSCE Chairman- in- office. Unlike Sabine Fraser who believes Astana summit wont have any effect on Nagorno Karabakh peace process, Kazakhstan and the OSCE believe that some form of advancement will be achieved.
The OSCE Conflict Prevention Center, Ambassafor Herbert Salber sees upcoming Astana summit as in important step in achieving “positive atmosphere” that is needed to improve relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. It is unrealistic to expect any concrete resolution agreement however says Ambassafdor. Salber also noted that it is really up to Armenia and Azerbaijan to make a decision, while OSCE member states can only provide some form of help rather than a decision. “the sides should come to a decision on the basis of a compromoise” said Salber adding that the conflict cannot drag any longer.
In a cable leak disseminated by the WikiLeaks, President of Azerbaijan talks with the Deputy US State Secretary William Burns where he openly talks of the NK conflict, relations with Russia, Turkey and Iran and release of arrested activists Emin and Adnan. However, on November 29th, director of the public relations at the Presidential Administration Novruz Mamedov stated that he was present during this discussion and while NK and relations between US and Azerbaijan were discussed none of the other information disclosed is merely a lie.
“You can expect anything from Armenian leadership”, said political scientist Firket Sadikhov while commenting on Armenia’s President possibly refusing to come the summit in Astana.
While no official statement was made on behalf of the Armenian leadership regarding these speculations, much gossip is already circulating among various information agencies.
Sadikhov goes as far as to conclude that Armenian leadership could refuse adopted responsibilities and initiatives. It’s possible to expect complete dismissal of everything they have said.
If the president fails to attend this summit just like he failed to attend Lisbon summit then Armenia’s reputation will be seriously damaged in the eyes of the international community. It will finally become clear to the White House that it is time to make actual decisions regarding fair and just resolution of the NK conflict because it will no longer make sense to continue playing with Armenia’s caprice on the world scale.
In an interview with news.az Steven Pifer, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute talks of recent developments in Armenia- Azerbaijan relations, answers questions on the conflict, NATO relations with Russia, and Russia’s relations with the West overall.
If back in the Russia’s ‘sphere of influence’ policy was strong and valid, today, it has lost its value. And it is obvious that Moscow kept Nagorno Karabakh conflict on- going to pressure the two sides says Jim Nichol, American Specialist on Russian and Eurasian Affairs in the US Congressional Research Service’s last report.
The article is short summary of this report with much emphasis placed on Russia’s role in the region and its interest in on- going conflicts.
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