Monthly Review - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 0:00 - 0 Comments
Digest of Armenian media for June 1- 14
by News Digest
According to this news item, Thomas de Waal, a senior associate for the Caucasus with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said in an article that the statement of Russian, US and French presidents from the G8 summit Deauville on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is the most serious international declaration for many years now. De Waal also said that the statement makes it clear that a moment of truth is approaching. “At Kazan in late June, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, backed by the French and US mediators, will make a strong push to have the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev respectively, finally cut a deal on the Document on Basic Principles that they have been discussing for more than five years now,” wrote Thomas de Waal.
MP of the ruling Republican Party Armenia Gagik Minasyan said that the “international community represented by the OSCE Minsk Group eventually is becoming more inclined to the position of the Armenian side on the Karabakh issue. According to him there two scenarios in Karabakh conflict: either Baku will continue its military rhetoric and make the country more vulnerable in the international arena, or it will accept calls of the Minsk co-chairs urging to peaceful resolution of the conflict. Speaking about the recent statement of OSCE Minsk Group, Minasyan called it “unprecedented,” given it “calls on Azerbaijan to stop aggression and prepare for peace, not war”.
This news article says that the UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon said in a meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov that the Karabakh conflict should be resolved as soon as possible. Ban ki-Moon also mentioned that the international community expects results over that issue. Further, it says that Elmar Mammadyarov briefed him on the current situation in Karabakh peace talks.
Russian political expert Andrei Areshev says in this article that expectations that after reaching an agreement with the opposition Armenian National Congress Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan will be able to make some concessions over the Karabakh conflict, are simply unrealistic. According to him, such concessions would be an explosion in Armenia’s domestic political life, while Sargsyan himself would be accused of treason. “I think that combination of public opinion and internal political forces will contribute to the enhancement of Armenia’s position in the NK negotiations process,” said he.
In this article, Russian political expert Andrei Areshev says that the Deauville statement on Nagorno Karabakh adopted by the US, Russian and French presidents has more “rough formulations” than is typical of this kinds of statements. This does now, however, mean that the conflicting parties agree with those formulations. According to him, the mediators – particularly the US and Russia – have some other issues to be concerned about, and the mediation process of the Karabakh conflict is somehow intertwined with some other global issues and is deemed as secondary against the backdrop of those issues.
Representative of the opposition bloc Armenian National Congress (HAK) David Shahnazaryan said that the Deauville statement is the consequence of the unprecedented global cooperation recently underway between Russia and the West. “I don’t remember such close, expansive cooperation. This is aimed at smoothing out the wrinkles in the Arab world and overcoming Israeli conflict. Never in the entire history of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have the positions of the [Minsk Group] co-chair countries been so close and their activities so agreed upon,” he said, adding that a “serious document” is in store for Armenian and Azerbaijani president in Kazan.
In this article Turkey’s envoy to Azerbaijan Hulusi Kilic says that Turkey waits for positive results from the meeting of Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in Kazan. “We are ready to make all efforts towards the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Ankara wants the decision to be made in Kazan on the conflict settlement. We express our gratitude to everyone, who supports this work, including [Russian President] Dmitry Medvedev,” said he. Further Kilic said that “if we solve this problem, the other problems in the region will also be settled and Turkey-Armenia borders will be opened”. “The first closed door must be opened first. We are ready to make all efforts for the settlement of the conflict,” he was quoted as saying.
Senior Dashnaktsutyun official Kiro Manoyan expressed doubts that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will step in a new stage with the adoption of the Deauville statement. According to him, this statement is merely a wish, and somehow a way to exert pressure, which will not, however, ensure real progress. “In fact, there are no grounds for optimism, as Azerbaijan continues to understand the main principles of settlement, the way it understands, contrary to the views of the Armenian sides and the mediators,” said Manoyan.
In this news article, Russian political expert Aleksey Vlasov says that irrespective who the Russian president will be, the Nagorno-Karabakh issue will remain on Moscow’s foreign political agenda. Speaking about rumors that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has promised US to resolve the Karabakh issue once he is elected as president, Vlasov said that in all probability those rumors are reflections of Russian foreign policy over the South Caucasus. Further, he says that there is message addressed to Armenia and Azerbaijan and it can be read differently.
According to this article, Russian military expert Anatoly Tsigankov said that regardless who will be in power in Russia, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will not be resolved now. “Irrespective who Russia’s president will be Medvedev or Putin, or what steps the Russians and the Americans will take, the NK issue will not be resolved at the moment,” said he. Further, Tsigankov said that the resolution of the Karabakh conflict is unrealistic, unless there is a new generation. “Regardless, the talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan, regardless whether a third party will take part in them, there will be no success,” said he.
According to this article Andrei Kelin, a senior official of the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia is ready to assist with the resolution of the Karabakh conflict and that currently works are underway to prepare the Kazan meeting of Armenian, Russian and Azerbaijani presidents. According to him, Russia is ready to spare all its efforts for the settlement of the issue, but for that to happen the parties should also demonstrate a will to do so. “We think that it is necessary now to make the most efforts for the peaceful settlement. It is necessary to work in that direction also after the Kazan meeting,” said he.
In this article US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza said he shares US president’s hopes over the upcoming trilateral meeting in Kazan where the Karabakh conflict will be high on the agenda. “I share President Barack Obama’s hopes concerning the achievement of agreement on basic principles in Kazan meeting”, said Bryza. Commenting on Kazan meeting of Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian presidents, the US diplomat said that Barack Obama noted the results expected by him from the meeting in Deauville statement. He also recalled that the Deauville statement says that “there is no alternative for peaceful settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict and calls upon Presidents [Ilham] Aliyev and [Serzh] Sargsyan to use this period in Kazan meeting to reach an agreement on basic principles”.
According to this article, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said he sees “positive signs of a breakthrough in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement”. “Signs [of a breakthrough] are positive. Statements made by the G-8 and [the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group] co-chairs are set to expedite the [peace] process. Let’s wait for the results of the Kazan meeting. We hope to see some positive steps,” Davutoglu said.
According to this article, American-Armenian political analyst Richard Kirakosian said that statements on Karabakh conflict are being made during almost all G8 summits and they should not be responded always. “But this recent statement is far more important, than the previous ones, and it is clear that the Minsk Group is working now under greater pressure, and the reason of that pressure in Azerbaijan,” said he. In his opinion, the OSCE Minsk Group will seek in Kazan to receive a one-page documents from each party and that document will refuse the use of force for the settlement of the conflict and will reaffirm the parties’ willingness to settle the issue peacefully.
According to this article, Russian expert Aleksey Vlasov said that the situation in the South Caucasus is changing quite dynamically, and the fact that Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev has been able to handle the political situation in the country, while Armenia is seeing now a political dialogue, does not necessarily mean that decisive steps can be taken over the Karabakh conflict. In his words, given the extensive foreign pressure on the political realities taking place in the countries in the South Caucasus, it is hard to make predictions over whether or not there will be any progress in the Karabakh conflict. “It would be very optimistic, but I think a lot will be known in fall this year, that will be very decisive,” said Vlasov.
Ahead of Kazan meeting, Azerbaijan trying to gain advantage-spokesman [ENG]
In this article the press secretary of Armenia’s Defense Ministry Davit Karapetyan said that by claiming that the Armenian troops have killed an Azerbaijani civilian Azerbaijan is attempting to gain advantages ahead of the Kazan meeting. Karapetyan said that the Karabakh army has already dismissed these reports, adding that if the Azerbaijani side has any proof, it should present it to international bodies for an investigation. “I believe this campaign is aimed at gaining advantage ahead of the meeting between the presidents, scheduled to be held in Kazan,” said Karapetyan in a statement.
This article says that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that Azerbaijan is of strategic importance to US and that it will continue to work with the OSCE Minsk Group to solve the Karabakh conflict. “We are very committed to broadening and deepening our relationship”, Clinton added. “We are also committed to continuing to work through the Minsk Group to try to resolve the longstanding conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Secretary Clinton.
According to this article, Newsru.com website reported that the head of the press office of Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry Eldar Sabiroglu said during a conference held at a front-line military unit that a fresh war in Karabakh is unavoidable. “Armenia’s leadership is always failing the process of the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, which will indispensably lead to a military solution to the issue,” said Sabiroglu. According to the report, he also said that Azerbaijani soldiers will eventually will justify the “hopes pinned on them by the Azerbaijani people and will liberate the occupied;” adding that “Azerbaijan is making preparations for that and the adversary should know about it”.
This news item says that former co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Vladimir Kazimirov wrote in an article published by Regnum that currently there are far more chances for the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict than ever. Speaking about the upcoming trilateral meeting in Kazan, he said that the talks are currently focused sometimes on the discussion of the ceasefire accord and sometimes on the formulations of the Madrid Principles. Should there be no progress in the negotiations, Kazimirov explains, the mediators will should give the preference to the first version, which means that the second version, i.e. the discussions on formulations of the Madrid Principles can be held only if talks on ceasefire accord succeed.
According to this article, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said he plans to discuss he settlement of the Karabakh conflict with his French counterpart Alain Juppe in Paris after the trilateral presidential meeting in Kazan on June 11. “The negotiations have more intensive character currently. After the Kazan meeting of the presidents, I plan to visit Paris and discuss the issue on settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict,” Mammadyarov said, adding that if the presidents accept the proposals in Kazan, “it will be considered as the step forward”.
This news item said that Spokesperson for Armenia’s Defense Ministry David Karapetyan dismissed the possibility of a fresh war in Nagorno Karabakh. Commented on a recent statement by the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry’s press secretary, Eldar Sabiroglu, who said that the war in Karabakh is inevitable, Karapetyan said: “What is inevitable is talkativeness, not war. Anyone familiar with that official’s statements knows that,” he said.
This news item says that Ariel Cohen, a Washington-based political expert commented on Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov’s visit to US, saying that “Mammadyarov met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is deeply involved in prodding the two sides, Armenia and Azerbaijan, to come up with basic principles for an agreement on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue settlement”. Cohen further said Hillary Clinton understands that Armenia may lose a chance to come to a settlement, similar to how Yasir Arafat of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, lost a chance for a deal with Israel in 2000.
According to this article, senior Dashnaktsutyun MP Vahan Hovhannisyan said that the Deauville statement should not be perceived unequivocally, as it presumes that the parties will have to work on a concrete document – which is the Madrid Principles – and that each modification of that document is not beneficial for the Armenian side. “I don’t know what results to expect from the Kazan meeting, but it is obvious that pressure has been intensified,” said he. Further, Hovhannisyan said that the Armenian side should not think that the Deauville document is addressed to Azerbaijan only as Azerbaijan “doesn’t care a bit” and clearly says “that in no case can Karabakh be independent”.
Results on Karabakh can be expected in near future, says Igor Popov [ENG]
In this article OSCE Minsk Group Russian Co-Chair Igor Popov said that the settlement process of the Karabakh conflict has become more active, and results can be expected in the near future. In turn, Robert Bradtke of US said that the OSCE Minsk Group seeks a peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Therefore, he has said, the co-chairs think that meetings between the conflicting parties should become more frequent. Further, the article says that French co-chair Bernard Fassier, in his turn, said that the “co-chairs are interested in the peaceful settlement of territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan and consider it necessary to make the negotiations more active”.
According to this article, Andrzej Kasprzyk, the special representative of the OSCE chairman-in-office, said that conflicting parties are closer today to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict than they were ten years ago. He said the sides now know what is impossible so they have brought their positions closer. Kasprzyk, also noted that over the years, all proposals made to the sides have been rejected; such proposals include options like Karabakh remains under Azerbaijan as a wide autonomy, Karabakh is separated from Azerbaijan, the option of a common state, or exchange of territories.
In this news article, Novruz Mamedov, the head of the Azerbaijani presidential administration’s Foreign Affairs Department, said that the recent statement adopted by the leaders of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries gives to expect progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. Novruzov also said that a key question for the co-chairs and the world community is the change of the status quo in the region.
This news item says that a Russian General Andrei Tretyak, the Chief of the Main Operations Directorate of Russia’s Defense Ministry, said Russia would support Armenia in case of a fresh war over Nagorno Karabakh. He agreed to a comment that the possibility of conflict in that region is high, but argued that it is gradually decreasing as a result of Russian efforts to reduce tension in the region. Andrei Tretyak further dismissed claim that Russia’s relationship with Armenia is eroding, adding that Russia will carry out its promises to Armenia.
Armenian-American political expert Richard Kirakosyan says in this article that peacekeepers might be deployed in Karabakh before a peace agreement is reached. “Under such scenario, when there is a possibility of unpredictable and casual resumption of military actions by the Azerbaijani side, it is possible that peacekeepers be engaged before the sides would sign a peace agreement,” said he. In this case, according to Kirakosyan, the only force that would be able to make a rapid response would be the Russian peacekeepers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
According to this article Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said that an agreement has been reached on deployment of peacekeeping forces in Nagorno Karabakh. Under the agreement forces will involve peacekeepers from regional states, not co-chairing countries, adding that the issue requires additional discussion. Mammadyarov further noted that the deployment of peacekeepers was included in the basic principles for resolution of the conflict.
“… First of all, the Armenian troops must be withdrawn from the occupied territories. All communications and roads must be opened. Then, the earlier occupied territories must be restored. The internally displaced people must return to their native land. The peacekeeping forces must be deployed,” said Mammadyarov.
Russian political analyst Andrei Areshev said that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are keen on showing they are stepping up efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “Perhaps it is a common diplomatic formula, aimed at demonstrating the efforts and expected results. However, the peace process still continues on incompatible basis,” Areshev said. According to him, envisaged progress is a consequence of the Deauville statement, in which the U.S., Russian and French presidents stressed they are waiting for progress in the negotiation process.
According to this article the de facto President of Nagorno Karabakh Bako Sahakyan ruled out the possibility of progress in the Karabakh conflict settlement process without Karabakh’s involvement in the current peace talks. At a meeting with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group Sahakyan reiterated his country’s stance on the issue, stressing importance of Karabakh’s direct participation in all the stages of the peace process. The article also says that Sahakyan mentioned that the removal of snipers from the Contact Line between Karabakh and Azerbaijan would serve as a key component of mutual trust, producing a positive impact on the peace process.
The article says that Grigori Ayvazyan, the head of the Assembly of Azerbaijani Armenians, said at a conference on Nagorno Karabakh held in Armenia’s city of Gyumri, that the current situation over Nagorno Karabakh testifies to the fact that there is a high probability of a fresh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. According to him, Azerbaijan pursues “eliminating the population of both Nagorno Karabakh and the Republic of Armenia.” “Only the intervention of superpowers may bring about certain positive results,” said he.
According to this article, OSCE Minsk Group US Co-Chair Robert Bradtke said that currently Armenia and Azerbaijan have a chance to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and that they should not miss this opportunity. He also said that a new war will lead to the settlement of the conflict and return of refugees. Robert Bradtke further reiterated that all the co-chairs are in favor of a peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict.
The article says that following a statement by Azerbaijani Foreign Minsiter Elmar Mammadyarov about the deployment of peacekeepers in Nagorno Karabakh, Armenian experts have expressed their concerns about it. Arman Melikyan, who was the de facto Foreign Minister of Karabakh from 2004-2005, said the deployment of peacekeepers in Karabakh means Karabakh’s forces will be pulled out. Armenian political expert Ruben Mehrabyan, in turn, said that Mammadyarov’s statement leaves the impression that “Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry made a haste by making that statement” as the OSCE co-chairs did not respond to it.
This news item says that Russian Co-Chair Igor Popov, speaking about the Karabakh conflict, said that the OSCE mediators expect that the parties will show constructive approach at the meeting in Kazan. Further, it says that speaking about the forthcoming meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani FMs; the mediators noted that the focus of the meeting will be the discussion of final wordings which will be proposed at the next summit in Kazan. “I would not adhere to the term ‘reviewed Madrid Principles’. Suggestions and adjustments are made during each meeting. To date, there is a draft project. Number of issues should be finalized. The ministers will be engaged in finalizing them and the work on final variant, if it is agreed, will be probably completed in Kazan,” Popov said.
Gagik Melikyan of Republican Party of Armenia said that a “positive breakthrough will be achieved during the meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents in Kazan. Melikyan stressed that the progress in the peace process will be acceptable both to the international community and the people of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. “Any step ensuring a breakthrough in the negotiation process should be agreed with Karabakh authorities. Nagorno-Karabakh should soon sit at the negotiating table,” Melikyan added.
Russian expert Andrei Areshev said that the deployment of peacekeepers in Nagorno Karabakh is not among the main and priority issues in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. “I think that the reason such statements are made is that the situation is intensifying ahead of the meeting in Kazan, and the parties, interested in this or that outcome of negotiations, are sending signals to mediators,” said he. Further, he said that the deployment of peacekeepers is a very complex issue, and it would be illogical to expect that it would be high on the agenda in Kazan when other, most sensitive issues are yet to be agreed on.
According to this article, Alexander Lukashevich, a Russian Foreign Ministry official, called on the parties of the Karabakh conflict not to postpone the coordination of principles on the settlement. “It would be ineffective to postpone the coordination of the principles on the settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict,” said he, adding that there are great hopes that progress will be achieved in the process of settlement of the conflict. “The Deauville statement of the presidents showed the sides to where the process of political settlement has reached. After that the coordination of the basic principles remains as a concrete goal,” he added.
In this news item, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan said at a meeting with OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs that progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement talks will be possible, if Azerbaijan accepts the co-chairs’ proposals. Further, he said Armenia has given a clear answer to the final version of the Basic Principles, adding that progress will be possible in case Azerbaijan expresses its consent too. Nalbandyan also said “Azerbaijani officials’ distorted statements” on the peace-keeping forces and other issues “testify to Baku’s willingness to agree to the co-chairs’ call for accepting the proposals without any changes”.
In this article Armenia’s Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said at a forum in Vienna that the OSCE Minsk Group mediating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement is close to success.
He said the recent statement adopted by the US, French and Russian co-chairs of the Minsk Group in the French city of Deauville, signals positive developments. Sargsyan added that Armenia is committed to display a political will to achieve an agreement in a speedy manner.
“From our angle, there are all the objective prerequisites for that. It is necessary for our Azerbaijani partners to demonstrate political will to sign an agreement that would serve as a basis for future talks,” he said.
The author of this article predicts that nothing will change in Karabakh conflict at the Kazan meeting by the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents as there is high probability that still some people will die as a result of the ceasefire violation on the Line of Contact. Further, it says that usually Azerbaijan displays some activeness before and after such trilateral meetings either in the form of sniper shootings or commando style attacks. The article concludes Armenia’s president should boycott the Kazan meeting, should there be any ceasefire violation by the Azerbaijani side ahead of that meeting and should the Armenian side suffer human lives.
Foreign relations officers of opposition Armenian National Congress Vladimir Karapetyan said that Karabakh’s signature is a must for any document concerning to Karabakh’s territorial integrity. Speaking about a statement by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, who expressed hope that there would be progress at the Kazan meeting, Karapetyan said that: “I think they didn’t say anything new but simply reiterated or reaffirmed the statement made by the presidents of their countries a few days ago.” Further, he said that the co-chairs have paid several visits to Karabakh, but the position of Karabakhi authorities is unknown.
OSCE mediators on Karabakh issue statement [ENG]
The article says that OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs issued a statement, summing up their visit to the region. In the statement they said that in preparation for the upcoming meeting of Armenia, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents they discussed with the sides “steps to finalize and endorse the Basic Principles as a framework for a comprehensive peace settlement, as urged by Presidents [Dmitry] Medvedev, [Barack] Obama, and [Nicola] Sarkozy in their May 26 joint statement in Deauville, France”. The Co-Chairs called upon the parties to avoid any provocative actions or statements that might undermine the negotiating process during this critical period,” reads the statement available on the OSCE website.
Political analyst Richard Giragosian said that the statement by Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov that an agreement on deployment of peacekeepers in the Karabakh zone has already reached is an “original interpretation of reality by Baku”. According to him, the statement aims to put pressure on the Armenian side prior to the meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents in Kazan. Giragosian further stressed that the Armenian side was absolutely right not to respond to this statement, “Since official Yerevan’s response could lead to even greater spark of Baku’s imagination”.
Armenian political analyst Hmayak Hovhannisyan says in this article says Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents will not sign a peaceful agreement during the Kazan meeting. Even if certain document is signed, according to him, it will not differ from previous ones. It will welcome Deauville statement of the presidents and efforts of the mediators.
“After the Deauville statement it is clear that Russia has received an indirect mandate for independent mediatory efforts. We have just to wait for results,” he said.
According to this article, Chairman of the Armenian National Assembly Hovik Abrahamyan said that the “Nagorno Karabakh Republic will sooner or later become an independent subject of international law”. “Over the short period of its history, the Nagorno Karabakh Republic has managed to prove that it is more accomplished and democratic compared to other countries, including those in our region. It is therefore entitled to have the de facto and de jure status of a separate unit, especially considering that the world community is developing a more comprehensible attitude to stereotypes,” he said. Abrahamyan further the Armenian legislators have undertaken a commitment to represent Karabakh which is what he called a “temporary function”. “As I am confident that Nagorno Karabakh will sooner or later become an independent recognized subject of international law.”
Vahram Atanesyan, an MP at the de fact parliament of Nagorno Karabakh, said at a parliamentary meeting in Armenia, that no details are being discussed at the talks over Karabakh, adding that Andrjzei Kasprzyk, the personal representative of the OSCE chairman-in-office, is trying to what he called “look original when speaking about interim status of Karabakh”. “Kasprzyk is an outgoing diplomat who is trying to look original; he does not convey a united opinion,” Atanesyan added, expressing doubts that “no agreement would be reached on the [Madrid] Principles because Azerbaijan would not sign any document containing commitment to non-use force.”
This article says that the only result of the four-day visit of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to the region was that they made their forth on-foot crossing of the Line of Contact during the recent two years. Recalling a June 9 statement by the co-chairs, in which they called on the conflicting parties to refrain from provocative actions or statements, the author, says that the co-chairs confess that the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents are under domestic pressure not to allow the signing of the Madrid Principles. “Probably, the co-chairs are better informed of the existence of such pressure than the Armenian society, part of which believes that the current situation must be changed and the price for that must be territorial and security concessions,” explains the author.
The article says that, speaking to journalists in Yerevan, the Chairman of the de facto National Assembly of Nagorno Karabakh ,Ashot Ghulyan, did not rule out the adoption of some agreement at the Kazan round of peace talks. However, according to him, there may also be a deadlock situation. Further, he said that they have some reservations to the Madrid Principles. “We have reservations related to the Madrid Principles, but given that document and its elements are being changed often, today it is very hard to say how they look like and to what extent are they acceptable,” said Ghulyan.
This article says that the Foreign Minister of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno Karabakh Georgi Petrosyan said that there will be nothing significant after the trilateral meeting of the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents in Kazan. “It’s a dynamic process. The situation then was different, it is different now, and will be so tomorrow,” said he adding that in each situation one can adopt a beneficial position depending on what and how one does it.
Gagik Minasyan of the Republican Party of Armenia said that “Azerbaijan’s behavior does not give hopes that a document will be signed following the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian Presidents’ meeting in Kazan. According to him, Azerbaijani mass media did not make any comments on the recent interview by Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, “which proceeded from Nagorno Karabakh’s interests”. “If Azerbaijan again fails to sign an agreement due to its non-constructive stance, the international community should denounce it,” said he.
Chairman of the National Assembly of the de fact Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, Ashot Ghulyan, said that following the meeting of Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian Presidents in Kazan, a joint statement may be adopted, as the Minsk Group co-chairing countries are making every possible effort to achieve progress in the Karabakh negotiation process. According to him, Karabakh authorities are not so much optimistic about the presidents’ upcoming meeting, as Azerbaijan goes on pursuing its policy, “particularly introducing news elements in the conflict resolution and issuing warlike statements”. “An agreement may be reached at Kazan meeting, however, a stalemate is not ruled out either. If the process reaches an impasse, the negotiations will be underway and discussions will enter a new stage in autumn,” Ghulyan noted.
The article says that the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian foreign ministers held a working meeting in Moscow as part of peace talks over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. After the meeting, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement which said that during the meeting the foreign ministers succeeded in approximating the positions of the sides over some key issues related to the fundamental principles. It also said that the document under discussion will be discussed at the trilateral meeting the three countries’ presidents in Kazan.
This article republished by the New York Times, says that the meeting scheduled for June 25 in Kazan, Russia, by the Armenia, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents is the best opportunity in years to end the stalemate over the Nagorno Karabakh. The author further comments that the “momentum has been driven in large part by President Dmitry A. Medvedev, who has invested his time and prestige in resolving the dispute”. The article also says that Russia’s goal for the Kazan meeting is “to persuade the sides to agree to the set of ‘basic principles’ negotiated more than five years ago”.
According to this article Manvel Yeghiazaryan, a former participant of the Karabakh war, said that no document will be signed by the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents in the Russian city of Kazan in late June. “I know that no document will be signed, because the leader of the homeland is not living for just one day,” said he. Further, he explained that if the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents sign any document, they will lose power in their countries respectively.
The article says that Davit Babayan, the spokesperson of the de facto president of Nagorno Karabakh, said that no breakthrough is expected at the trilateral meeting to be held in Kazan on June 25. “No document, no agreement will be signed in Kazan. Even if something is signed, it will be a general statement on principles,” said he. The article further says that MP of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, Gagik Melikyan, said that no decision unacceptable for Karabakh can be adopted in Kazan. “If the people of the Nagorno Karabakh are not satisfied with it, then that decision will be unacceptable for us too,” Melikyan added.
In this article political analyst Alexander Iskandaryan says that if the presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia sign a document over the Karabakh conflict in Kazan, it may be used for Armenia-Turkey normalization. Speaking about the Kazan meeting, Iskandaryan says that “first of all this is the continuation of those attempts aimed at preserving the status quo” so that the conflict will continue to remain in the format it is now. “I can’t say if the mediators will succeed in doing what they attempt to. I see there is pressure and that pressure is rather consolidated,” explained he.
According to this news article, Edik Balayan, the head of the Shahumyan-Getashen Patriotic Union, said at a press conference that he demands inclusion of what he called “Northern Artsakh restoration issue” into negotiation agenda. He stressed that “without restoring Northern Artsakh and addressing the issue of half a million Armenian refugees from Shahumyan and Getashen regions, final settlement to the Karabakh conflict is impossible”. Further, he called the “OSCE Minsk Group’s denial to carry out monitoring on the territory of Northern Artsakh a bias that allows Azerbaijan to continue destroying the cultural heritage of Armenians and implementing policies for resettlement”.
This news item says, that Lithuania’s envoy to Armenia Giedrius Apuokas said that making predictions about the meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in the Russian city of Kazan is a thankless job. He hailed holding such meetings, noting that the most important thing is to avoid a military conflict.
According to this news article, political analyst Alexander Margarov said that the most probable issues to be discussed at the trilateral meeting in Kazan are the status of Nagorno Karabakh, the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the territories around Karabakh and the ensuing referendum. According to him, in Kazan the parties may sign a document that will “strengthen the sides’ decisiveness to continue the negotiation process.” “As a maximum result of the negotiations process may be a final agreement over the basic principles which I don’t believe much,” explained he.
According to this article, Armenian Foreign Minsiter Edward Nalbandyan said that Armenia and Azerbaijan managed bringing their positions on some key issues closer at the Moscow meeting of the foreign ministers, and if this positive trend continues “we will see progress at the Kazan summit of the presidents”. Referring to a statement by the de facto president of Nagorno Karabakh about Karabakh’s participation in the talks, Nalbandyan said he totally agrees with Bako Sahakyan. “It will be impossible to pass to the second phase without Karabakh agreeing on the basis principles. The second phase will involve working out a settlement agreement, and Nagorno Karabakh should take part in that process,” he added.
This article says that Foreign Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to use any opportunity to achieve progress in the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “We consider there is no alternative to peaceful resolution to the Karabakh conflict. Peaceful settlement requires compromise,” he said at a joint press conference with his Armenian counterpart in Yerevan.
In this article Armenian Foreign Minsiter Edward Nalbandyan says that no agreement has been reached on deployment of peacekeepers in the Karabakh conflict zone, as the issue has not been discussed. Nalbandyan made the statement in response to a statement by his Azerbaijani counterpart regarding deployment of peacekeepers. “This is to some extent incorrect comment. You know that statements made in L’Aquila and Muskoka by Presidents of U.S., Russia and France contained six provisions mentioning peacekeeping mission over Karabakh. However, the issue was not discussed over the recent three years. I believe statements about reaching an agreement on the issue which was not even discussed are strange,” he said.
According to this article, political expert Giro Manoyan said that a positive statement at the upcoming meeting of Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents in Kazan will be successful for the parties since it will mean that negotiations are continuing. “The failure of negotiations also doesn’t stem from Azerbaijan’s interests for the reason that Azerbaijan is not able to win a war in such conditions,” he said. Further, he said that Azerbaijan’s former president Heydar Aliyev at one time was able to tell his people that “ten years these people have lived independent of us, now let’s liberate, as they say, the adjacent areas,” while Ilham Aliyev doesn’t have that boldness”.
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