Monthly Review - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 0:01 - 0 Comments

Digest of Armenian Media for January 15- 31



Commentary of the Nagorno-Karabakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs [ENG]

According to this article, presidential administration of Nagorno Karabakh said in a statement that Azerbaijan has opposed to proposals to enlarge the budget of the Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office (CiO) to ensure sufficient resources to investigate potential incidents on the Line of Contact between the armed forces of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan. “This confirms once again that Azerbaijan is not interested in the investigation of incidents on the Contact-Line, since it will be eventually established that it is the Azerbaijani party that periodically exercises provocations, thereby deepening the hostility and distrust of the parties towards each other and driving the negotiation process to a deadlock,” read the statement.


Nalbandian confirms news on Presidents’ meeting [ENG]

This news article says that Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian confirmed the news on Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents’ meeting, but has restrained from naming any place and date. Nalbandian noted at a press conference that more information will be available soon. Asked whether the format of the coming meeting will be similar to previous one, he said similar format meetings will continue.


Invite China, Iran, Turkey and Germany to mediate Karabakh conflict? [ENG]

Russian analyst Vitaly Zhuravlov said the OSCE Minsk Group set up for the mediation of the Nagarno-Karabakh conflict is the mechanism that reflects realpolitik. He said it is hard to imagine a change in the format of negotiations: “How can the current format be changed? Invite China, Iran, Turkey, Germany as a mediator? What is the position of the US and France? Ignore them?” said he, adding that in that case those countries would exert political pressure on Baku with all its consequences.


Bakos Sahakyan meets with Andrzej Kasprzyk [ARM]

This article says that the de facto President of Nagorno Karabakh Bako Sahakyan met with Andrzej Kasprzyk, Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. They discussed the situation on the Line of Contact in Nagorno Karabakh, as well as the latest development in the peace process over the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.

The main topic of Karabakh talks must be its resolution not prevention of war – Aliyev [ARM]

According to this article, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said Azerbaijan will not allow for the talks over the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict discussed within the prevention-of-another-war framework. Instead, they must be aimed at resolving the conflict. “If anyone thinks that the theme of the talks should be the prevention of the resumption of war, then I do not share that opinion,” said Aliyev. He also said that no one would start a fresh war, especially Azerbaijan.


Azerbaijan hampers arrangement to investigate incidents on the frontline – Armenian MFA [ARM]

According to this news item, Armenian Foreign Miniser Edward Nalbandian said that Azerbaijan hampers attempts to finalize the investigation arrangements regarding incidents across the line of contact. Recalling that the arrangement was reached during the last year meeting of presidents in Sochi, Nalbandian said the arrangement was supported by the international community. However, Azerbaijan is hampering its implementation and creation of investigation mechanisms, rejecting all the proposals of the mediators, he added.


Azerbaijan amassing arms for possible Karabakh war, Aliyev says [ENG]

According to this article, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said his country is storing up on  modern weaponry to be able to regain control of the Nagorno- Karabakh region quickly and with few losses should peace talks with neighboring Armenia fail. “It’s not a frozen conflict, and it’s not going to be one,” Aliyev was quoted by Bloomberg. He also said Azerbaijan’s defense spending will grow by 1.8 percent this year to $3.47 billion, which tops Armenia’s entire state budget.

Azerbaijan’s military potential fuels Armenia’s anxiety – Aliyev [ENG]

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said his country’s growing military potential fuels Armenia’s anxiety. Speaking at a cabinet meeting he slammed Armenia for what he called a “non-constructive approach to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, that led to a failure to achieve progress in the peace settlement talks”. “Azerbaijan is increasing its military potential. Our military expenses grew from $3.413 bn in 2010 to $3.474bn in 2011. Our army is now capable of doing a lot. We have the most powerful army in the region,” the president was quoted saying.



Sochi meeting new impetus to Karabakh settlement [ARM]

Washington-based analyst Alexander Markedonov said there should not be serious expectations from the planned meeting of the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents to be held in Sochi over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The utmost goal the sides can achieve with that meeting is the prevention of a fresh war. However, he said the Sochi meeting can provide a new impetus to the peace talks which according to the analyst, is in a standstill for the eighth month now after the meeting in Kazan.


There can be a change on the Line of Contact – expert [ARM]

Armenian analyst Manvel Sargsyan said it is possible that ahead of the meeting of the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents in Sochi there may be some progress in preventing the ceasefire violations on the Line of Contact. “This is a specific issue, and it would be better, if the parties could reach a consensus over it. The leaders of the three countries can reach an agreement in preventing borderline incidents,” said he. Sargsyan also said that the aim of the Sochi meeting is to demonstrate that Moscow has not lost its interest in the Karabakh confnlict.


Sargsyan, Medvedev and Aliyev to hold a farewell meeting in Sochi [ARM]

Russian political analyst Alexander Sotnichenko said no breakthrough is expected in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at the meeting of the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents in Sochi. Though the meetings over the conflict will continue, they will not yield significant results. He also said that the OSCE Minsk Group is making useless efforts, adding, that another international body needs to be involved in order to ensure success in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.


Karabakh authorities hope UK decision will positively impact Azerbaijan [ENG]

According to this article the de facto Foreign Ministry of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno Karabakh welcomed Great Britain’s readiness to hold a referendum on the future status of Scotland. London’s position proves once again that respect for human rights and nations’ rights for self-determination is the priority for democratic states, said the ministry. “Freedom and respect for these rights are, actually, the highest values in the modern world. We are convinced that any attempts to hamper the realization of fundamental human rights must be considered regardless of the political conjuncture and must be subject to resolute and strict assessment by the international community,” read the statement.


Putin never showed interest in Karabakh conflict [ARM]

According to this news item US analyst Alex Jackson, speaking of the Sochi meeting of the Armenian, Azeraijani and Russian presidents, said he is sceptical of any serious result in the talks over the Nagorno-Karabakhk conflict. He also said that given Armenia is holding parliamentary elections in May no one in the country will like to take such steps which can provoke widespread negative reaction. Secondly, he said Dmitry Medevev is completing his term in office and will be replaced by Vladimir Putin who has never shown interest in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.


Karabakh conflict not to settle through ultimatum but compromise – Russian MP [ENG]

According to this news article, Russian MP Kostantin Kosachev said the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement is possible not through ultimatum but compromise. “Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is one of the serious ones in post-Soviet area. Meanwhile, each state has its strong arguments for its own benefit,” he said. According to him, there are a few states enjoying trust of all conflicting sides, Russia is among them. There are states, which hold either pro-Armenian or pro-Azerbaijani position. Russia’s position is always to achieve a compromise which would satisfy all the conflicting sides, he addded.


Armenia is the only party to blame for failure in Karabakh talks – Mammadov [ARM]

According to this article, Novruz Mammadov, Head of the Foreign Relations Department at the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, said the Armenian side is the only party responsible for the thwarted Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. The reason, he claimed, is that official Yerevan is not ready for resolving the conflict. Speaking of the Armenian-Azerbaijani-Russian presidential meeting to be held in Sochi, Russia, Jan. 23, Mammadov said that much depends on that meeting.


E. Sharmazanov: Peaceful resolution even if imposed [ENG]

Eduard Sharmaznov, Deputy Chairman of Armenia’s National Assembly, referring to a statement made by Azerbaijani side accusing Armenia of failing the talks over the Nagorno-Karabakh, said, “Azerbaijan has adopted a state policy to blame other countries for their failed and unsuccessful activities”. He also said that if Mammadov “carefully read the Deauville statement, he would see particularly which party delays the process or makes destructive statements”. “That piece of document clearly highlights that nations should be prepared for peace, and not war; Azerbaijan’s senior officials have repeatedly approved their “commitment” to the statement,” Sharmazanov said.

Russia calls for reinforcing trust over Karabakh peace deal [ENG]

This article says that ahead of the Medvedev-Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting in the Russian resort town of Sochi, the Kremlin issued an official statement calling upon Armenia and Azerbaijan to strengthen trust over the Nagorno-Karabakh peace settlement talks. ”Russia is consistently talking the sides into strengthening confidence-building measures. The joint statement adopted by the Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in Sochi on March 5, 2011 is a measure towards achieving that,” read the statement issued by the Kremlin. Further it said that the agreement reflects the goal to resolve all disputable issues in a peaceful manner and investigate the incidents on the Contact Line between the armed forces under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group.

Azerbaijan, Armenia admit need for rejecting maximalist positions [ENG]

According to this article, the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents, Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev, admitted at a meeting in Sochi the need for “rejecting maximalist positions and exerting further efforts to bring the conflicting parties’ positions closer to each other”. “The sides came to terms on the need for, as the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents said, rejecting maximalist positions with Dmitri Medvedev’s assistance,” Russian FM Sergey Lavrov told journalists. He also said that the participants “expressed their willingness to speed up their work at the principles and pass on to legally binding peace agreement on their basis.”

Armenian, Azeri leaders ready to agree on fundamental principles [ENG]

This article says the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian Presidents, Serzh Sargsyan, Ilham Aliyev and Dmitri Medvedev held their 10th meeting in Sochi, Russia, and adopted a statement on the meeting results. In their statement they pointed that due to the intensive negotiations, they reached progress in agreeing on the principles of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. Considering the importance of passing on to drafting a peace agreement, the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents expressed their willingness to speed up the process in the context of the work done. The Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders also expressed their appreciation for the mediation by Russia, France and the US.


Has Aliyev agreed to status quo? [ARM]

This article says the statement adopted by the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents in Sochi was a regular one, though it does have a provision worth mentioning. It seems, the article claims, that in the statement, peace and stability in the region are not related to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. This according to the author suggests that the mediators themselves have come to the conclusion that peace and stability are not related to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict which means this format of the statement Azerbaijan has accepted the present status quo.

Azerbaijan can no longer threaten war – analyst [ENG]

According to this news article, Armenian political analyst Sergey Minasyan said the key outcome of the Medvedev-Aliyev-Sargsyan trilateral meeting in Sochi was the success in forcing Azerbaijan into maintaining the current negotiation format over Nagorno-Karabakh. ”The real context refers to the problem of war. That’s to say, the threat of war will no longer serve as a resource for Azerbaijan,” said Minasyan. He noted that though the meeting marked the final stage of the negotiation cycle initiated by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the country will not cease to be an active player in the process in future. ”The format will be maintained in some way,” he added.

Sochi meeting did not produce progress in NK settlement – ICG [ARM]

According to this news article, Lawrence Sheets, Caucasus Project Director at the International Crisis Group, said the meeting of the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents in Sochi did not produce significant results in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. “Any meeting of the presidents is itself positive, but the text of the statement testifies to the fact that no significant progress was regiestered for the achievement of comprehensive agreement,” said Sheets. He also said that tension over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict stirs a lot of concern.

Sochi statement good, but not the turning point Armenia was expecting: opinion [ENG]
Eduard Sharmazanov, Deputy Chairperson of Armenia’s National Assembly said the statement issued by the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Sochi on Jan. 23 corresponds to the position of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, since they are in support only of peaceful settlement. “This statement is important also for the reason that it confirmed resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is possible only through mediation of the Minsk Group,” said he.


OSCE Minsk Group the only format for Karabakh talks – Narek Galstyan [ENG]
Armenian political analyst Narek Galstyan said the tripartite meeting in Sochi once again proved that the OSCE Minsk Group is the only format for Karabakh talks. According to him, the Sochi meeting revealed that Russia has strengthened its role in settlement of the conflict. “Russia remains as the main guarantor of peace and the agreements reached between the sides. From this point of view, I think it is important that the joint statement contains a provision on prevention and investigation of border incidents and ceasefire violations,” said Galstyan.

OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs’ approaches are outdated – Masis Mailyan [ARM]

Masis Mailyan, President of the Foreign Policy and Public Security Council of Nagorno Karbakh said that the meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in Sochi was a positive step, but not much should be expected from that meeting. He also said that the statement adopted in Sochi proves that the Madrid Principles are still on the table of negotiations. Further, he said that the approches of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are not outdated, adding that recent international precedents should be applied to the Karabakh conflict.


Is Moscow pulling Tukey into the Karabakh conflict? [ARM]

This article says Turkish and Russian foreign ministers made a joint statement in which they mentioned their expectations from the OSCE Minsk Group, the inacceptability of the status quo in Karabakh, as well as the need for a peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict. But the most interesting part of this meeting and the statement is what role Turkey plays in the peace talks over Karabakh. Turkey is the only supporter of Azerbaijan in Karabakh issue, nothing more. Besides Turkey is not a mediator, and nor is it a co-chairing state in the OSCE Minsk Group, explains the article.


Kick France out of Karabakh conflict: don’t be more Catholic than the Pope: Azerbaijan MPs [ENG]

The law criminalizing genocide denial adopted by the French Senate puts an end to Paris’ mediation in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said chair of the unified Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (AXCP) Gudrat Hasanguliyev. In his opinion, Baku has to make an immediate decision to remove France as one of the co-chair countries in the OSCE Minsk Group. The MP also pointed out that adoption of this law will impact relations between not only France and Turkey but also France and Azerbaijan.


Armenian expert does not think decision of French Senate to affect Karabakh settlement conflict [ENG]

France’s decision on the bill criminalizing denial of genocide will not have any significant impact on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, said Armenian political analyst Alexander Iskandaryan. The expert mentioned, “the not so friendly relations between Armenia and Turkey is nothing new”. Talking about the meeting of the Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in Sochi on Monday he said that it was already the 10th meeting in that format, adding that no progress was expected during the meeting and was not achieved altogether. At the same time Iskandaryan stressed that Azerbaijan behaved sharply on the adoption of the bill criminalizing genocide denials by making statements on issues that do not concern Baku at all.


Sochi meeting failed to secure progress in Karabakh talks – Russia Profile [ENG]

This article by Russia Profile says that for the tenth time during his presidency Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met with the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict bu once again failed to secure a breakthrough in negotiations. It also says that as Russia turns inward to focus on recent political protests and Medvedev plans a speedy exit from the limelight, there is still no end in sight to what he called possibly the only conflict in the post-Soviet space that can be settled today.


France’s Minsk Group co-chairmanship must be discussed – Turkish FM [ENG]

According to this article, speaking about the French Senate’s passing of the bill that criminalizes the denial of genocides, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that France’s participation as a co-chairing country in the OSCE Minsk Group, which deals with the Karabakh issue, needs to be questioned. Davutoglu said Turkey understands Russia’s and Unites States’ roles in the Karabakh issue, but they do not understand France’s role. “The Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict’s consequences have impacted two countries: Russia and Turkey. [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy stayed in Armenia for two days, whereas for two hours, in Azerbaijan. It is impossible to conduct a normal mediation under such conditions. Either Turkey too must be among the co-chairs, or France should leave,” Turkish FM said.


Moscow has used the Karabakh conflict since the Czarist era – Legno Storto [ARM]

An article published in the Italian newspaper Legno Storto mentioned that Europe should pay attention to Russia’s ambitions in the former Soviet Union area which will be intensified in the coming years. It also said that the Karabakh is one of the numerous ethnic conflicts that Moscow has been using since the Czarist era to retain its power in the region.

Turkey’s inclusion in OSCE is absolutely logical [ENG]

According to this news article, Bahar Muradova, Deputy Chairperson of Azerbaijan’s parliament, said that Turkey’s inclusion in the OSCE Minsk Group is absolutely logical. She also said that France should be expelled from the OSCE Minsk Group. Speaking about Turkey’s inclusion in OSCE MG, she said that Turkey has a right to have its own position over the Karabakh conflict, adding that the Karabakh conflict should be resolved within OSCE MG format.


PACE moves to more rational policy suspending work of Karabakh subcommittee – MP [ENG]

MP of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, Artak Zakaryan, said International organizations fully understand that the mediator mission on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict has been assigned to OSCE Minsk Group. Any interference in the procedure might lead to undesirable results. “International organizations have their responsibilities and all organizations including NATO, UN understand that powers to mediate in the Karabakh process have been given to OSCE MG and the co-chairing countries. The effectiveness of their work is proven by the fact that during the last 18 years no military actions occurred in the region despite Azerbaijan’s provocations,” Zakaryan said.

Last version for Karabakh settlement has 14 points – Armenia’s Foreign Minister [ENG]

According to this news article, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said during televised interview that the most recent version of the settlement paper on Karabakh (introduced by the OSCE MG) includes 14 points. In his words, the Deauville statement had called for an agreement on this version, and the reason why no agreement was reached is obvious. “Because the Azerbaijani party, as it was in Sochi in March 2011 when it had brought forth more than a dozen changes and new proposals at the last second, did the same in Kazan, in June,” Nalbandian noted.

In Sochi, it was announced that Minsk Group worked effectively – Armenian FM [ENG]

This news item says that Edward Nalbandian, foreign minister of Armenia, said that although Azerbaijan is stating that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are, in fact, unsuccessful. According to him, the statement adopted as a result of the meeting in Sochi notes that the co-chairs have worked effectively. “The meeting in Sochi was important and productive, and this was reflected with that statement. The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan expressed hope that the three co-chairs would continue their efforts with the same format,” Nalbandian said.

If Turkey wishes to help Karabakh process, it should stay away – Armenia’s Foreign Minister [ENG]

Armenia’s Foreign Minsiter Edward Nalbandian said that if Turkey truly wishes to help the Karabakh peace process, it should stay as far away from that process as possible. “I do not think it is Turkey which decides the issue of formats. I should note that Azerbaijan’s president, together with Armenia’s president, said in Sochi [Russia] that the presidents expressed hope for France, Russia, and the United States continuing their mediation as [Minsk Group] Co-Chairs,” said Nalbandian.


It’s up to MG to strip France off mandate – Kobia [ENG]

According to this news article, head of the EU delegation to Azerbaijan Roland Kobia said the OSCE Minsk Group is the only competent body to recall France as a mediator in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal. Kobia made the statement in response to calls and proposals by Azerbaijani officials to suspend France’s membership in the Minsk Group. Kobia said the EU has no authority to intervene in the decision that was adopted on a national level.


What if France recognizes Karabakh? [ARM]

This article says that French Senators have collected signatures to appeal a decision by the Senate to criminalize the denial of genocides in France. The article claims that the French Senators have come with the move under Turkish pressure. It also says that Turkey is attempting to use the Karabakh factor in this issue and has already questioned France’s credibility as OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing country. The article also claims that Masis Mailyan, head of the public council on security and foreign politics of Nagorno Karabakh, said that France may withdraw from the OSCE Minsk Group but may at the same time take some steps to recognize Nagorno Karabakh.

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