Monthly Review - Sunday, January 15, 2012 0:01 - 0 Comments
Digest of Armenian Media for January 1- 14
by News Digest
According to this article, Hrayr Karapetyan from the Armenian Revolutinoary Federation party said that 2012 must become a year of the recognition of the de facto Republic of Nagorno Karabakh and for that to happen Armenia must what he called “tear a way through the wall”.
“Foreign states and international agencies should realize that Nagorno Karabakh Republic can never become part of Azerbaijan. There is a generation brought up in independence, without Azerbaijan. This generation realizes their future has nothing in common with Azerbaijan,” he said.
According to this news article, Armenian political analyst Yervand Bozoyan said that the year 2011 brought no considerable breakthrough in the Karabakh peace process. He also said that the the Karabakh issue is rather complicated and difficult to solve. “I am not among political scientists who are expecting speediest changes from year to year,” he said. Further, he said the most concerning issues, the expert believes, are speculations over changes in status quo.
“OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs repeatedly called to changes in status quo. However, in the context of tensed situation in the line of contact, such statements are provoking anxiety,” he noted.
According to this article, MP of the opposition Armenian party Heritage Larisa Alaverdyan said that given the upcoming parliamentary elections the issue of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement will somehow fade into oblivion. “Whether we want or not the international community will take into account the fact of elections and in all circumstances it will not like to seek solution to the conflict in instability,” she explained. The MP also said she expects Karabakh to be more involved in the settlement process.
According to this article, initiator of Sardarapat movement Zhirayr Sefilian said nothing should be expected in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the year of 2012. “Simply, Artsakh [Karabakh], being at the strategic centre, may appear at the centre of attention of the international community because of the situation around Iran,” he explained.
Armenian MP from the Prosperous Armenia party Aram Safaryan said 2011 was unprecedented for the settlement of the Karabakh conflict and in 2012 France will be more active in its mediating efforts. Safaryan also said that in 2011 Russia showed unprecedented activity in the framework of OSCE Minsk Group on Karabakh settlement and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in turn, tried to make some moves in finding a resolution to the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict.
MP from the Republican Party of Armenia, Lernik Aleksanyan said that in 2011 the situation was very tense in the contact line with a threat of escalation. According to him, it will, however, hardly change in 2012- the settlement of the Karabakh conflict won’t take place this year. “I exclude the war, however I do not see perspectives of soon settlement” Aleksanyan said.
According to this article, Michael Oke, a political advisor at the Helsinki Association at the US Congress said the territorial integrirty and nations’ right to self-administration run counter each other. He also said though the OSCE Minsk Group has been sparing efforts for the settlement of the Karabakh conflict for more than 15 years, it has yielded no result so far. “Territorial integrity and nations’ right to self-determination are principles that contradict each other,” adding that neither mediators nor the internationanl community “will be able to build bridges over that abyss”.
According to this article, Azerbaijani political analyst Mubariz Ahmedoglu said Nagorno Karabakh’s political resources have been exhausted. He also said the OSCE Minsk Group’s mission is on the brink of collapse, while statements suggestiing that the status quo should be changed or that that change is dangerous are merely statements. Ahmedoglu further noted that efforts to build bridges between the Armenian and Azerbaijani societies have not yileded results either as the “Armenians do not allow such a dialogue to take place”.
This article says that Azerbaijan’s Permanent Envoy to UN Agshi Mehdiyev sent a 12-page letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in which he attempted to draw attention at ceasefire violations on the Line of Contact in Karabakh. The letter stated the Armenian Armed Forces breached the ceasefire in October 2011 and killed five Azeri soldiers and one civilian. Mahdiyev also said the Armenian side makes efforts to confuse the UN over ceasefire violations.
Acording to this news article, a Washington Times article claimed that Iran apperently backs Armenia over the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “In fact, Iran has been threatening Azerbaijan for more than a decade,” read the article. “Iran has staunchly supported Armenia’s conquest of undisputed Azerbaijani territory in the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis to the point that Armenia regularly votes against sanctions on Iran in the United Nations”.
This article says that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will mediate on January 15 a meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The two presidents- Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev, are expected to hold the next round of talks over the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Armenian political analyst Alexander Iskandaryan said in case Vladimir Putin is elected as Russia’s president, no major shifts should be explected over the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “There will be statements over the NKR, there will be meetings, but do not expect drastic changes. Of course, if there is not a force majeure situation,” said he. Iskandaryan also said he was sure Russia will not change its foreign policy and will pay more attention to its domestic problems.
Fikret Sadykhov, an Azerbaijan-based political scientist, said the January meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents, through Russian mediation, will enable official Moscow to rehabilitate the OSCE Minsk Group. “Despite its, frankly speaking, failed activities over the past years, the Minsk Group is still alive. This [meeting] is a means of rehabilitating the Minsk Group and showing the local public, as well as the international community, that the structure is still operating and trying to achieve results in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process,” added expert.
The news of the upcoming meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijan presidents in Russia has not stirred up great enthousiasm in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani MP Rasim Musabekov said in an interview he does not expect anything from the Russia-mediated meeting and that it will be the next “diplomatic failure”. Zardusht Alizade, a Baku-based political analyst, agreed with the general expectation, adding the meeting scheduled to take place in Sochi is simply an attempt to make fake impressions as if the talks over Karabakh continue. “I personally, do not have any expectation from the meeting in Baku,” said he.
According to this news item, former Deputy Foreign Minister of the de facto Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, Masis Mailyan, said new approaches are needed for the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. He also said the meeting in January of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidetns is necessary even if it doe not yield any final settlement, it ensures stability in the region. “But I do not have any expectations as there are no grounds for any serious progress,” adding that progress cannot be expected unless the format of the talks and approaches to the conflict are not changed.
According to this artice, Armenian political analyst Levon Shirinyan said the de facto Republic of Nagorno Karabakh should not lose an inch of its territory. “The NKR entered 2012 with a strong potential. It is mighty, powerful and will not tolerate any mutual concession or the loss of a single inch. All the rest is a matter of time,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
This article notes the place of Karabakh in Kazakhi political sphere. The article quotes Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Armenia Ayimdos Bozzhigitov saying at a press conference in Yerevan that Kazakhstan continues to keep a neutral position over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Ex-ambassador also said though Azerbaijan is a “brotherly nation” for Kazakhstan, Armenia is on the other hand is an ally at the Collective Security Treaty Organization and therefore Kazakhstan has to have a neutral stance on the conflict.
According to this article, Armenian specialist of oriental studies Mher Baghdasaryan Azerbaijan will provoke tension in Nagorno Karabakh, should the West unleash a war agasint Iran over its controversial nuclear program. “It’s not excluded that the Karabakh conflict may become more active and Azerbaijan, by resorting to adventures, provoke a fresh war,” adding that Iran, in turn, has warned Azeraijan on various occasions that it will not think twice before striking Azerbaijan, should the latter host Western forces.
Incumbent OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Eamon Gilmore said during the year of its presidency in OSCE, Ireland will seek ways to make progress towards lasting settlement of protracted conflicts in the OSCE area, including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “We in Ireland know all too well the devastating cost of conflict. This experience may be of benefit in facilitating the efforts which are needed to resolve outstanding conflicts in the OSCE region, using the tools of peaceful negotiation and agreed formats and respecting fully the principles of international law”.
Chairperson of Iran’s parliament Alil Larijani, while commenting on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, said the OSCE Minsk Group is engaged in the peace process and that no side’s interests shold be harmed. He also said the Karabakh conflict has transformed into an international one. “The Karabakh conflict has transformed into an international problem but Iran is ready to make its contribution to the settlement of the conflict. No one’s interests should be damaged while tackling this problem, it is very important”.
According to this article, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon said during his visit to Berlin that the US will continue its commitment in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “US will continue its high-level involvement through the Minsk Group to help Azerbaijan and Armenia find a peaceful and long-term solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he said.
Head of the Assembly of Azerbaijani Armenians Vardan Ayvazyan considers that a new war over Nagorno-Karabakh may lead to catastrophic consequences for Azerbaijan. According to him, in case war breaks out ethnic minorities residing in the territory of Azerbaijan may stand against the incumbent authorities. Such uprising can lead to formation of new independent states of the Talish, Lezgin and other nations.
An article published in the Russian-language publication MediaFax said a possible US-Iran war has both advantages and disadvantages for Azerbaijan. In case of Iran’s defeat Armenia will lose its ally. While the secession of Southern Azerbaijan from Iran will lead to Armenia’s defeat in a fight with Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh will again come under Azerbaijani rule. The disadvantage is that a war in Iran will prompt Iranian citizens to flee to Azerbaijan which may undermine stability in Azerbaijan, with the risks of an “Arab spring” penetrating into the country running high.
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