Monthly Review - Saturday, January 1, 2011 0:02 - 2 Comments
Digest of Armenian Media for Dec 15-31
by News Digest
The Armenian authorities have adopted a very primitive stance on the recognition of Nagorno Karabakh, Larisa Alaverdyan of the opposition Heritage party said, as she spoke about the draft bill proposed by Heritage to recognize Karabakh.
“The authorities have very plainly stated that they cannot recognize Karabakh unless Azerbaijan launches an aggression. I regret to say that this is a very poor manifestation of political thought. Why shouldn’t we consider Artsakh a legitimate state?” she told a press conference.
No significant changes took place in 2010 when it comes to the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh issue. At the same time Azerbaijan’s expectations over Karabakh did not come true as the Armenian-Turkish normalization – which Azerbaijan expected to use exerting pressure at Armenia and using it the benefit of the resolution of the Karabakh conflict – were halted, according to political analyst Alexander Iskandaryan.
Euphemism over Karabakh (Arm)
Citing British conflict resolution expert Thomas de Waal, who said the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is a “sleeping” one Germany’s ambassador to Armenia Hans-Jochen Schmidt told a news conference that the word “frozen” is actually a euphemism for Karabakh. Further he said that the incidents that happen on the line of contact are supportive of the fact that the Nagorno Karabakh is not frozen.
The article says that Germany’s ambassador to Armenia, Hans-Jochen Schmidt, said at a press conference that he does accept Armenia’s viewpoint that the Karabakh issue should be resolved through the principle of peoples’ right to self-determination.
“I absolutely understand Armenia’s approach that all the three principles should be accentuated – territorial integrity, self-determination and non-use of force – and that they all should be applied together,” said he.
Caucasus Institute Director Alexander Iskandaryan says in this article that the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and the efforts made to resolve it are quite different concepts. He also points to Russia’s efforts in the conflict as an attempt aimed at stressing Moscow’s position, maintaining the status-quo and securing the ongoing activities of the Minsk Group.
“The Karabakh issue, in light of the settlement of the conflict, and that which is happening around Karabakh are two different concepts. I am referring to such a settlement process that has its logic which doesn’t coincide with the reality that currently exists in Karabakh.”
According to this article, the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks has unveiled another secret US diplomatic cable, according to which, US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Philip Gordon, said at a July 3, 2009 meeting with EU officials that the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the key to the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and would be an important step toward facilitating regional energy supplies.
“Resolving Nagorno-Karabakh is the key to unlocking Turkish-Armenian relations,” Gordon was quoted as saying.
The proposal to recognize Karabakh should have been discussed within the Heritage party before bringing it to a vote at the parliament, said Grigor Harutyunyan of the Armenian Peoples’ Party. According to him the move was a wrong one which was proved by the fact that the parliamentary majority just boycotted it, and the draft law was not adopted as a result. In such matters, Grigoryan went on to say, the initiators should first of all take into account how the international community’s reaction will be to that.
The article says that Armenia’s parliament introduced draft amendments to the Law on International Agreements which allow Armenia establishing legal relationship and signing agreements with unrecognized national entities. Further it says that Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said in parliament that the amendments were necessitated by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s statement at the OSCE Summit in Astana. Further Kocharyan said that the concept of “entity” stipulated in the document has a collective meaning of “republic, organization, state” and that it will facilitate the “international recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh as it makes Karabakh an international entity”.
According to this article, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan said at a meeting in Spain that “despite the statement made at the OSCE Summit in Astana and the declaration adopted after the summit, Azerbaijan continues its destructive policy.”
“At least it raises doubts that just hours after the five-party statement in Astana the Azerbaijani delegation would reject to include and even make a reference to it in the final document of the summit,” said Nalbandyan.
Speaking to the source, Polish Ambassador to Armenia Zdzislaw Raczynski said that the Astana declaration is not a new step and that repetition of certain rules and commitments under new circumstances is considered, however, something new in diplomacy. According to him, the declaration confirms the inviolability of the three principles for Karabakh conflict resolution is positive. “The declaration does not contain new elements, but it registered certain progress in the current situation,” the diplomat said.
The negotiations over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be more active next year, Giro Manoyan, a senior Dashnaktsutyun party official said, adding that the talks will however not ensure progress as long as Azerbaijan does not agree to the idea that Karabakh can be given a status not under Azerbaijani rule.
“The talks will be more active because the mediators do not want the conflict to turn into a war again. But there will be no progress in the negotiation process due to both Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s attitudes,” said he.
The US does not consider the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a priority for its foreign policy, but it will, however, review this approach in the near future, said Frederik Star, a US political analyst. He also criticized the OSCE Minsk Group, pointing to the fact that none of the Minsk Group states is deeply interested in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.
“But I think that next year the US will propose fresh ideas over the Caucasus, over the Karabakh issue in particular,” said he.
The article refers to a small debate between the deputy chief editor of Ekho Moskvy radio Sergei Buntman and journalist Matvey Ganapolsky sparked by a question by a Baku-based listener who asked whether any films were produced in the last 10 years on friendship between Armenians and Azerbaijanis or between Russians and Georgians.
Senior Heritage Foundation researcher Ariel Cohen said that only Armenia’s reorientation towards the US will make the settlement of the Karabakh conflict possible.
“It is obvious that Azerbaijan is ready for serious concessions to achieve progress. On the other hand, the historical ties between Armenia and Russia can not be shaken by the readiness of Azerbaijan to resolve the conflict. Nothing but a major reorientation of Armenia to the US, which incidentally is possible in the future, can change the balance of power,” concluded Cohen.
The article says that Tomash Poreba, an MP of the European Parliament, visited the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, and held meetings with senior Karabakhi officials. Meeting the members of Karabakh’s Union of Refugees, he said he was going to refer also to the issue of the Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan in his forthcoming report.
The article says that the website of Armenia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has launched a page that includes the materials of the criminal cases filed over the incidents in Sumgait in 1980 and in Karabakh in 1990. The page can be reached at www.genproc.am/sumgait.
Speaking to Azerbaijani journalists, Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II said that regional and ethnic confrontations in Azerbaijan and Georgia had much in common.
“I think this conflicts should be settled jointly and peacefully,” said he, adding that the conflict should be resolved in the nearest future, otherwise the situation could turn into a more serious and dangerous confrontation.
Following Armenia’s official acknowledgement that it has Russian-made S-300 defense systems, expert Ruben Mehrabyan, according to this article, said that it was a message addressed to Azerbaijan.
“Because this is the first time that it was officially spoken about their existence, I think, however, that there is a certain message, first of all addressed to Azerbaijan”
US Ambassador to Armenia Marie Yovanovitch said that the statement adopted at the OSCE Summit in Astana will positively affect the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents agreed on the importance of the peaceful settlement of the conflict.
“The current situation in the Karabakh conflict zone is obviously very serious, given the incidents that take place on the line of contact. But we think that the five-party statement adopted by presidents Sargsyan, Aliyev and by the representatives of the three co-chair countries at the OSCE Summit in Astana, will positively affect the settlement,” said she.
Deputy Chairman of Armenia’s National Assembly Samvel Nikoyan said that Armenia succeeded in maintaining peace in Karabakh, and that was a positive achievement for Armenia in 2010.
“We are more confident and more positively disposed in this matter because the international community realized that a settlement of the conflict is possible only through the maintenance of three principles … We didn’t simply beg peace; we demanded it,” Nikoyan said.
The lack of negotiations over Nagorno Karabakh testify to the fact that Azerbaijan and Armenia are getting ready for a fresh a war, Georgi Vanyan, the head of an Armenian NGO, said in an interview with Azerbaijan news website 1news.az. Further, he said the Karabakh conflict does not exists any more: it has instead turned into a Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict where the process referred to as “negotiations” is moving ahead itself.
Karabakh shouldn’t be made into a bargaining chip in order to mask the shortcomings in both Armenia and Azerbaijan when it comes to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, said Ara Sargsyan, Deputy Chair of Russian Academy for Geopolitical Affairs. If Karabakh is “left alone,” it will become clear who is “interested in fuelling the conflict.”
“In this case it might become clear that interested in this are the British, the United States of America and some Russian forces that are associated with Gazprom or the energy bloc, who always want tension in Karabakh so that Nabucco [gas pipeline project] would not be built,” said he.
The article says that Azerbaijan’s parliament ratified a treaty – signed yet in summer – with Turkey about strategic and military cooperation, which stipulates that should any of the two countries be attacked by a third one, the other country must come to help. Further, it says that the this agreement is meant to be a counter response to the agreement signed between Armenia and Russia this summer, which extended Russia’s lease of its military base in the Armenian city of Gyumri and widened the cooperation between the two countries.
Deputy Chairman of Azerbaijan’s parliament Ziafat Askarov said that the “day when Azerbaijan’s occupied territories will be returned is very close” as the political situation over Karabakh is changing in the world, but the bad thing about the Karabakh conflict is that “Russia continues to arm Armenia”.
“Unfortunately, Russia being an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, continues to arm Armenia, which is the number one obstacle to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict,” said he.
According to this article, Artak Zakaryan of the Republican Party, referring to the fact that Azerbaijan’s representative to UN Tofig Musayev sent a letter to UN secretary general over Karabakh, said that Armenia has for several times made it clear for Azerbaijan that it is the guarantor of the security of Karabakh’s population.
“Azerbaijan’s representative to US had better mention in his letter for whom exactly is Azerbaijan’s military budget – which is increasing year by year – meant for and to whose security and peace it will be posing a threat,” said Zakaryan.
Turkish president Abdullah Gul said that establishing stability in the Caucasus will not be possible unless the Karabakh conflict is settled, and Turkey attaches utmost importance to the normalization of ties with Armenia.
“We attach much importance to the normalization of ties with Armenia. In that sense, we have undertaken certain steps. We are hopeful such complicated issues will be resolved, and we will finally be able to consider the possibility of establishing peace in the Caucasus. And to achieve that, it is necessary to cease the occupation of the Azerbaijani areas,” Gul said.
Pointing to the statement signed by Armenia’s president at the OSCE Summit in Astana and the fact that the Armenian parliament voted against the bill by Heritage party proposing to recognize Nagorno Karabakh, a group of NGOs said in a statement that Armenia’s ruling authorities ignore Karabakhi people’s will. Further they said that Armenia has mistakenly considered it an achievement that Azerbaijan agreed to grant Nagorno Karabakh the former status of the Autonomous Region of Nagorno Karabakh.
Addressing a summit in Turkey Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran maintains good-friendly relations with both Armenia and Azerbaijan and that Iran is ready to assist with the resolution of the Karabakh conflict based on the law and justice.
“The good relations both with Azerbaijan and Armenia is a good chance to solve any conflict based on the principle of the law and justice,” said he.
Speaking at a summit in Istanbul, Turkey’s Foreign Minsiter Ahmed Davutoglu said that Ankara is in favour of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict only within Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. Asked whether Turkey could change its stance on Karabakh if pressured, Davutoglu said that would be impossible.
“Turkey is for the settlement of the Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity,” said he.
Armenia is authorized to ensure Artsakhi people’s security by its military doctrine as Armenia’s military doctrine clearly says that Armenia can be the guarantor of the Karabakhi people’s security, Armenian military psychologist David Jamalyan said.
“We have the doctrine, which predetermines the military policy, the defense policy of our country, and it also clearly stipulates that RA [the Republic of Armenia] can become the guarantor of Artsakhi people’s security,” said Jamalyan.
A group of Azerbaijani experts discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at a meeting in Baku’s Press Center. The participants discussed the possibilities of the resolution of the Karabakh conflict and the possible status of Karabakh, based on the international practice. Also a book written by Elhan Shahinoglu, the head of the research centre Atlas, and proposing 10 models of the Karabakh conflict, was presented to the participants.
Armen Kaprielyan, the head of the Armenian working group at the committee that deals with issues of prisoners, hostages and those considered lost, said that Azerbaijan does not cooperate at all when it comes to returning prisoners of war, hostages and the bodies of those killed, as well as exchanging information.
“Unfortunately, only the body of Manvel Saribekyan – kidnapped by the Azerbaijanis and allegedly having committed suicide – was returned to Armenia after the Astrakhan declaration,” said he, adding that Armenia is going to comply with the provisions of the Astrakhan declaration.
The unilateral recognition of Karabakh will pave the way for a fresh war, Stepan Grigoryan, an Armenian analyst, said in an interview with Vesti Kavkaza. Grigoryan, however, said that he sees clear and positive steps by Azerbaijan aimed at solving the Karabakh conflict peacefully. To prove his point, Grigoryan said that while visiting Baku recently he saw that an Armenian church located in the center of Baku is being renovated – something that makes him think that there is no risk of a fresh war.
Movses Hakobyan, the Defense Minister of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, said at a press conference that he is not waiting for provocations, but rather for a war. Hakobyan also said that Karabakh’s army was created to war and is ready and is waiting to do so any moment. Further he said that in 2010 Karabakh’s army was able to carry out its duties – to ensure the security of Karabakh’s population.
The articles says that a recent statement by Armenia’s president about Nagorno Karabakh caused serious concern among Azerbaijani authorities and it is for that reason that Azerbaijan’s temporary representative to UN Tofig Musayev has sent a letter to the UN Secretary General. In his letter Musayev particularly referred to a statement Serzh Sargsyan made at the end of military drills near the Azerbaijani border, where he said that “when time comes, we will be able to achieve more serious success than in 1992-1994, by resolving this issue once and for all”. Musayev said in the letter that such “rhetoric runs counter the international obligations Armenia has assumed”.
The UN Office in Armenia sent a letter to UN secretary general expressing concerns about the fact that “Azerbaijan violated the ceasefire accord on the contact line from November 1 and December 30 in 2010. The authors stated that “Azerbaijan continuously takes advantage of of being a UN member-state, not missing the occasion to compromise Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh”. The letter also said that “running counter the letter and spirit of the negotiations within the Minsk Group (MG) format, as well as the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act, the Azerbaijani leadership has launched a wide-range xenophobia campaign against Armenia and the Armenians worldwide, posing a serious threat to peace and stability in the region”.
According to a document on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website Russia’s mediating efforts aimed at the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, have been highly appreciated by the international community. The document also refers to the meetings that Moscow has brokered between Armenian and Azerbaijani and Russian presidents.
US President Barack Obama has bypassed the Senate and directly appointed four new U.S. ambassadors, including former chief Karabakh negotiator Matthew Bryza for Azerbaijan. Bryza’s appointment was opposed by Armenian-American community and his nomination was previously blocked by a specific senator.
According to this article the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was drawn into oblivion against the back the backdrop of the Armenia-Turkey normalization. But overall, the Karabakh issue was actively discussed and was in the international level. It also says that given the “Azerbaijan’s destructive policy in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, the international recognition of Karabakh becomes vital”.
Edward Nalbandyan: international community’s approaches over NK were in line with Armenia’s stance (Arm)
Speaking at program Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan said that the international community’s approach over the Karabakh conflict was in line with Armenia’s stance. Nalbandyan also said that in terms of the Nagorno Karabakh settlement “Azerbaijan’s destructive and Armenia’s constructive stance became crystal-clear for the international community”.“I can say once again that all these statements and approaches stipulated in them are in line with Armenia’s stance,” explained he.
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