Monthly Review - Friday, April 15, 2011 0:02 - 0 Comments
Digest of Armenian Media for April 1- 14
by News Digest
Armenia’s Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan, according to this article, said that Armenia will spare no effort to ensure security in the air space in Nagorno Karabakh. “We will do our best so that Artsakh’s [Karabakh] air space will be clean,” Ohanyan said, asked to comment on statements by Azerbaijani aviation officials that Baku will shoot down the planes that will operate at the Stepanakert Airport. “If there is a second plane next, then I will be in the second plane, as I and the president of the republic are not allowed to be in the same place given our positions,” explained Ohanyan.
Former Foreign Minister of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno Karabakh Arman Melikyan said that Armenia must launch a process of recognizing Karabakh simultaneously with the OSCE Minsk Group process. “One thing will not hinder the other, especially since the Minsk process was doomed to reach a stalemate,” Melikyan said. One of the proposals is that Armenia might launch a process of recognizing the border between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. “Let the border run along the border of the former Armenian SSR. We stress thereby that Armenia has no territorial claims on any state north of it – neither Artsakh nor Azerbaijan – but remains within its borders, from the Araks River to the Murovdag,” Melikyan said.
Eduard Sharmazanov of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia said that Turkey should call on Azerbaijan “to liberate the occupied territories of Nagorno-Karabakh” so that to save its face before the international community. “It would be more logical if Turkey appealed to Azerbaijan with the request. It was Azerbaijan that started military hostilities in the conflict zone and occupied several regions of Nagorno-Karabakh. Now Ankara should call on Baku to liberate these territories to save its face before the international community, which currently views Azerbaijan as an occupying state,” Sharmazanov stressed.
According to this article Deputy Armenian Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said that “Armenia and Karabakh have spared no effort so that to solve the Karabakh conflict through compromises.” “And it would be fair if Azerbaijan returned the territories belonging to the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh it occupied,” said Kocharyan. Speaking about the OSCE Field Assessment Mission, Kocharyan said that such a mission is expected to be conducted also in those territories he mentioned.
The article says that Deputy Armenia Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said progress in the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict depends on the sides’ readiness for a constructive dialogue, but Azerbaijan, however, is not ready for that. According to Azerbaijan even tries to discredit the OSCE Minsk Group by saying on various occasions that other bodies should also be involved in the peace process over Karabakh.
“And if I point out one more fact, namely, Azerbaijan’s repeated attempts to discredit the OSCE Minsk Group and get other agencies to put the issue on their agenda, it is obvious that prospects depend on Azerbaijan’s constructive approach,” Kocharyan said.
The article says that Azerbaijani authorities have promised not to shoot down Armenian civilian planes. “Azerbaijan has never used and will never use force against civilian targets,” a spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, Elkhan Polukhov, was quoted as saying. It comes after the head of the Azerbaijani civil aviation agency Arif Mamedov promised earlier that all civilian planes heading towards the Nagorno Karabakh capital of Stepanakert would be shot down.
Bryza warned Azerbaijan [ARM]
According to the article US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza said that he considers statements by Azerbaijani officials to shoot down planes at the airport in Karabakh as unacceptable. He also said that currently the flights between Nakhichevan and Turkey are taking place via Armenia’s airspace. ”Though each of the parties considers itself to right shooting down planes is in any case unacceptable,” he said.
British analyst Jonathan Powell said that any conflict, even a protracted one, can be resolved, but it requires will, bold decisions and, perhaps, political sacrifice. Powell stressed that the Nagorno-Karabakh and Northern Ireland conflicts do not have much in common. According to him, the most important thing for the conflicting parties is to reject their desire for being a sure winner. Each of the sides must consider itself a winner. However acute and complicated the problem is, it can be resolved if it is fully and properly dealt with.
Former President of Northern Cyprus, Kutlay Erk, said in Yerevan that there are quite a number of similarities between the Nagorno-Karabakh and Cypriot conflicts: wars, bloodshed, tears, refugees and blockade in both cases. However, according to him, the principal similarity is the need for ways of resolving the conflicts. Kutlay Erk outlined the similarities between the Nagorno-Karabakh and Cypriot conflicts and stressed that even the hostilities did not put an end to the existence of the Greek or Turkish communities. Therefore, they need peaceful co-existence.
According to this news item, President of Greece Karolos Papoulias said after a meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev that his country stands for a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “The OSCE Minsk Group framework is more appropriate for the peaceful solution of the problem and we hope for a swift resolution of the conflict,” he said.
According to the article, the former head of the Armenian Centre for National and International Studies Richard Kirakosyan said that Armenia currently has far stronger position in the talks over the Karabakh conflict. Speaking about the current stage of negotiations over Karabakh, Kirakosyan said that the peace process returns to the 1993-1994 situation: there is no talk of the Madrid Principles and the status of Nagorno Karabakh, while the mediators are trying to keep Azerbaijan at the negotiations table and avoid any fresh war.
According to this news item, German expert Ingo Mannteufel said that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and strained relations with Turkey do not allow Armenia to be considered as a transit state for energy resource supply in the near future. In his words, both Armenia and Azerbaijan should, “first of all, create favorable conditions for the development of civil society and independent mass media” as “conflicts are impossible to resolve without democratic institutes”.
Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Vladimir Dorokhin said that Russia is most actively involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process as it feels special responsibility for the peace process and will therefore keep on showing it by concrete steps. “Of the three OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries it is only the Russian president that is personally dealing with the problem,” Dorokhin said. According to him, Moscow has a chance, special potential based on special relations with both parties to the conflict. “We consider it our moral and historical duty to take this chance,” he added.
The article says that Ganira Pashayeva, member of the Azerbaijani delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), said that the delegation is going to raise the issue of building of airport in Karabakh as well as the death of a boy reportedly killed by Armenian forces. “Because this action is against the international law, UN Security Council resolutions, as well as Armenia’s commitments before the PACE and PACE decisions,” she said
The article says that the new resolution adopted by the European Parliament provides for informal contacts and consultations with the societies and the de facto authorities of breakaway territories, including those in the South Caucasus. The resolution calls on the EU’s stronger engagement in security issues in the Eastern Neighborhood. It also calls to step up EU’s involvement in finding a solution to the protracted conflicts in Transnistria and the South Caucasus based on the principles of international law, through more active policy stances, more active participation and a more prominent role in permanent and ad hoc conflict resolution structures, including already existing negotiating formats, particularly those of the OSCE.
According to this article, MP of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, Eduard Sharmazanov, welcomes European Parliament’s call to establish informal contacts with Nagorno-Karabakh.
Sharmazanov stressed that resolution is a result of the work carried out by the Armenian diplomats with the European Parliament members.
This news item says that German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau wrote in an article that the “oil reserves of Azerbaijan have driven the world community, and especially the European Union, to silence on a possible war in Karabakh.
“A country triggering wars, Azerbaijan is a major Central Asian oil supplier for Europe, as well as a key partner in the Nabucco project,” the author motioned, adding that a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan would pose serious security threats to Europe as the regional powers – Russia and Turkey – may get involved in the military operations.
The article says that ahead of April 12 the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxemburg, where among other issues will be discussed also the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, RFE/RL correspondent in Brussels Rikard Jozwiak confirmed to the RFE/RL’s Armenian service that the EU is concerned about the situation in Nagorno Karabakh. He said he talked to a high-ranking Polish official (Poland will take up the EU presidency in July) who said they are concerned that the Karabakh conflict may during their EU presidency be similar to the conflict of South Ossetia.
Former Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian said in an interview that there is no document on Nagorno-Karabakh that the sides would accept as a basis for negotiations. Oskanian thinks it is difficult to say which of the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict benefits from the current balance in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. “An unclear or surprising thing for me is that it is the documents themselves rather than the contents of a document that the debate is over. At present, there is no agreement on the document on the negotiating table. What kind of document is it? The revised one? The one proposed in Saint Petersburg? Or is it the Madrid original? This is what the debate is over,” said Oskanian.
The head of the Armenian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), David Harutyunyan, accused the Chairman of the PACE Bureau of ignoring the opinion of the Armenian delegation in restoring the sub-committee on Karabakh. Speaking at a meeting of the PACE spring session, Harutyunyan said: “On 28 January your Bureau has taken a decision on the reconstitution of a so-called Ad hoc Committee on Nagorno Karabakh. The Bureau, however, has mysteriously lost track of the letter of the Armenian delegation and blatantly disregarded the position and objections of a directly concerned party. No one can seriously expect a positive outcome of a forcefully imposed process.”
This article says that Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan discussed Karabakh conflict with Great Britain’s Special Envoy to South Caucasus, Brian Fall. The parties discussed the current phase of the peace talks over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and stressed that there is no alternative to the peaceful settlement to it.
The article says that the OSCE co-chairs arrived in Armenia and held talks with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan. It also says that the co-chairs will further visit Karabakh. They will then cross the line of contact with Azerbaijan and visit Orta Garven village in Aghdam region to investigate the circumstance of the death of 9-year-old Azerbaijani boy allegedly killed by an Armenian sniper.
The article says that Hranush Kharatyan, the representative of Azerbaijani Armenians said at a press conference that it was a blow for Azerbaijan “when Armenia tried to re-settle the liberated territories in 2000s.”
“Unfortunately, the Armenian side could not fully re-settle those territories due to lack of relevant resources,” said she. “We definitely consider that the assessments by the Minsk Group are absolutely not adequate to the process,” she said, adding that those territories should have been re-settled from the very beginning they came under Armenian rule.
According to this article, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in an interview with Vesti-24 TV station that he considers the trilateral meetings among Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents as effective. He also highly appreciated the role Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has assumed in the peace talks. “Unfortunately, it is a long time the conflict cannot be resolved,” said Aliyev, expressing hope that it will be settled in the near future.
According to this news item, Armen Rustamyan, member of the Armenian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), said at a meeting in the PACE spring session, that the Armenian delegation must not take part in the works of the sub-committee on Nagorno Karabakh, if a representative of Karabakh is not included in the committee’s activities. Asked whether the Armenian delegation will boycott the works of the sub-committee, Rustamyan said: “I personally say yes. Armenia, must not participate in it without Karabakh.”
The article says that member of the opposition Armenian National Congress Vladimir Karapetyan expressed concerns over the Foreign Ministry’s statement detailing Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan’s meeting with the co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. Karapetyan said he was particularly concerned by the fact that Nalbandyan described the “Armenian-liberated lands bordering Nagorno Karabakh Republic” as territories surrounding the country. “Does the Foreign Ministry have the right to violate Karabakh’s territorial integrity? Why does Armenia use a pro-Azerbaijani wording in the statement? And why does not Nagorno Karabakh’s Foreign Ministry respond to such defeatist stance?” he asked.
According to this news item, expert in Turkic studies Vardan Voskanyan said that it is yet unclear whether the alleged WikiLeaks document on “secret ties” ties between Azerbaijan and Israel is true. “However, if the information is true, it affects directly two sides’ interests. Of course, Yerevan should be concerned over any additional armament of the country, holding an aggressive stance on Armenia,” Voskanyan stressed.
According to this article, senior Dashnaktsutyun official Giro Manoyan said that the visit of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs is not aimed at the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. This visit, according to him, does not pursue any goal to discuss new ideas over the settlement of the conflict. Instead, it pursues some general goals. “There is no word of the basic settlement at this moment. The statement released by our Foreign Ministry said that they spoke about the ceasefire violations across the border and control over them,” he said.
The article says that Bako Sahakyan, the de facto President of the unrecognized Republic of Naogorno Karabakh, received on April 12 co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group Robert Bradtke (USA), Igor Popov (Russian Federation) and Bernard Fassier (France) and discussed issues related to the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict settlement and regional processes. Sahakyan noted that “disregarding peaceful efforts of the mediators, Azerbaijan continues to pursue a policy, which hinders both the conflict settlement process and in general the formation of an atmosphere of mutual trust among the parties”. Sahakyan said that it includes the “cease-fire regime violation along the whole perimeter of the contact line, distortion of different events and intentional politicization of humanitarian issues”.
The articles says that on April 13, according to an agreement with the de facto authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh, the OSCE Mission monitored the Line of Contact of the Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijani armed forces on the Akna-Barda road, Askeran direction. From the positions of the NKR Defense Army, the monitoring group was led by Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk. Minsk Group Co-Chairs Igor Popov (Russia), Robert Bradtke (USA), and Bernard Fassier (France) participated in the monitoring. They crossed the Line of Contact in a section, which had been cleared of landmines beforehand, with the aim of supporting Ambassador Kasprzyk in fair investigation of the incident taken place in this section on 8 March 2011.
According to this article Slovenian Danilo Turk said at a meeting with the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan that his country supports the OSCE Minsk Group’s efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which he said is one of the most protracted conflicts in Europe.
The article says that the Foreign Ministry of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh issued a statement concerning the opposition by Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry against the visit of Cyprus experts to Karabakh to participate in a round table discussion. The statement said that the leadership of the International Alert British organization issued a press release, which said that the Karabakh conflict parties and regional authorities were informed of a series of round-table discussions and meetings.
“At the same time, the press release doesn’t specifically note that just the statement of the Azerbaijani Foreign Office became the reason for the unsound stir around the event, noting indefinitely “some publications in the mass media”, which forced the International Alert to make corresponding clarifications,” read the statement.
According to the article, Senor Hasratyan, the spokesperson for the Nagorno Karabakh de facto Defense ministry, said that Azerbaijani air forces have launched military drills which are conducted at a depth of 5-15 km from the Azerbaijani frontline. “There have been no border violations by fighters or military helicopters. The air forces of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) keep the situation under control,” he said.
The article says that the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group issued a statement, in which they said it’s high time for the conflicting paries to finalize and endorse the Basic Principles of the Karabakh conflict settlement. “In their meetings, the Co-Chairs discussed next steps for reaching agreement on the Basic Principles. It is the strong view of the Co-Chairs that the time has arrived to finalize and endorse the Basic Principles and move to the drafting of a peace agreement,” read the statement.
The article says that Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan criticized Azerbaijan and Turkey in his speech in Slovenia, accusing Azerbaijan of “war rhetoric”. Referring to European integration Sargsyan said that Azerbaijan has misunderstood the European values and is considering Europe as an energy consumption market only. “Our immediate neighbor misunderstood the European path, considering the European region as a suitable oil and gas market only. Undoubtedly, it is ridiculous that our neighbor that has adopted a European path, threatens to shoot down Armenian civil aircrafts, maintains propaganda on daily basis and threatens to solve the Karabakh conflict with war,” said Sargsyan.
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