Monthly Review - Thursday, March 15, 2012 0:00 - 0 Comments

Digest of Armenian Media for March 1- 15


EU ready to assist in Karabakh settlement, says commissioner [ENG]
According to this news article, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule said that the EU is ready to assist in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement. “The EU is ready to strengthen its support. We are ready to contribute to concrete initiatives to support the Minsk Group. We have set a number of confidence building projects,” he was quoted as saying. Fule stressed the importance of reaching a final solution based on the Madrid principles and the OSCE Minsk Group efforts. “Once a comprehensive settlement is reached, once a solution is found, then we do not want just to be observers,” he added.

Armenian FM meets Minsk Group co-chairs [ENG]
This article says that Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian received the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. The meeting focused on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement with the sides discussing the possibilities of implementing the January 23 joint statement adopted by the Armenian, Russian and Azerbaijani presidents in the Russian resort city of Sochi. FM Nalbandyan drew the guests’ attention to Azerbaijan’s recent statements which he claimed “conflict with the spirit of the document signed”. He noted that the Azerbaijan “does not seriously treat its obligations under the agreement”.

Armenian President, OSCE mediators discuss Karabakh issue [ENG]
According to this article, President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, received OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs Robert Bradtke, Igor Popov and Jacques Faure and Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk. Sargsyan and the mediators discussed issues related to current stage of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process as well as further steps to be taken.

OSCE Minsk Group demonstrated it is not established – Iranian diplomat [ARM]
According to this news article, Mustafa Dovletiar, an Iranian Foreign Ministry official, said that Iran has always been in favor of a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He also said that Tehran has always offered its mediation into the conflict but Baku has “always been looking to the West,” which so far failed to facilitate a settlement to the conflict. “The Minsk Group during this period demonstrated that it is not established,” he was quoted as saying.

NKR Foreign Ministry denies reports of Azerbaijan reporters visiting Karabakh [ARM]
This article says that a spokesperson at the de facto Foreign Ministry of Nagorno Karabakh denied it has any information about a group of Azerbaijani reporters expected to visit Nagorno Karabakh. “We don’t have any such information. What can I say, maybe it is disinformation,” the spokesperson said, referring to a news report by the Azerbaijani news agency APA.

OSCE MG co-chairs say they will continue to work [ARM]
This article says that OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs who visited Nagorno Karabakh and held a meeting with its de facto President Bako Sahakyan, mentioned that the main achievement they have so far is that the conflict has not resumed during this period. Russian co-chair Igor Popov said that they have in the recent years started to work on the main principles of the settlement. Popov said that their work goes on at a slow pace, adding that there is progress. The Russian co-chair also said that they will continue to work to find a solution to the problem.

Bradket unveiled the aim of the co-chairs’ visit [ARM]
This article says that OSCE Minsk Group US co-chair, during a visit with his French and Russian colleagues to Azerbaijan, told reporters that the aim of their visit to the region was to discuss the implementation of the agreements reached at the trilateral meeting in the Russian resort of Sochi this year. He also said the co-chairs will meet both Azerbaijan foreign minister and president.

Russia to preserve its ‘important’ role – Edward Nalbandian [ARM]
According to this news article, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said that he was sure that after the presidential elections in Russia, the country would preserve the important role it has been playing recently in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “I think the talks will continue. There is no alternative to the talks,” said he. Nalbandian also said that Armenia has opted for peaceful talks, which are encouraged also by the OSCE Minsk Group.

Putin’s return to power will not make changes in NK conflict [ARM]
This news item says that Armenian political analyst Manvel Sargsyan said that Vladimir Putin’s return to office as president will not bring about any significant changes in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He also said that no settlement to the Karabakh conflict can be seen in the nearest future. Further, he said that currently there is a situation that resembles a deadlock, while the OSCE Minsk Group will soon mark its 20th anniversary, with no tangible results achieved so far.

End ‘conflict tourism’. Armenians, Azeris are people too: Georgy Vanyan to international agencies [ENG]
According to this news article, Georgi Vanyan, head of the Caucasus Center of Peace-Making Initiatives, said in an interview that the deeper the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the “greater the racism and theory of our genetic incompatibility”. Vanyan said that in the current situation, there’s “no place, no area of application for public diplomacy in its true sense”. “There is potential, of course — it’s in human nature itself. But diplomacy needs contact and mutual interest. We have neither one nor the other,” he said. “In today’s situation, normal contact between our societies is impossible due to the prevailing ignorance in Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and in everything surrounding it,” he added.

Russian presidential election results won’t change Moscow’s view on Karabakh issue [ENG]
Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute Director, political analyst Alexander Iskandaryan, said he does not think Vladimir Putin’s return to Russia’s presidency will change Moscow’s position on the Karabakh issue. “I do not think anything will change. Prior to the [Russian presidential] elections and now as well, the decisions were being made from the very same place during [President] Medvedev’s tenure,” he noted. However, he also said that Moscow will be compelled to reduce its vector of interests in Armenia and Azerbaijan alike.

Minsk Group co-chairs propose steps towards reaching peace accord [ENG]
This article says that he OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs after their recent visit to the South Caucasus region, issued a statement in which they said that they “presented a plan for the sides to put into action the joint statement made by Presidents Medvedev, Aliyev, and Sargsian on January 23 in Sochi”. They also said, that “building on the two Presidents’ joint commitment to accelerate reaching agreement on the Basic Principles, the Co-Chairs proposed steps to assist the sides in furthering work on the framework for a comprehensive peace settlement”. The Co-Chairs also mentioned that they discussed with the sides how to implement commitments in the Sochi statement to continue work on a mechanism to investigate incidents along the frontlines.

No radical changes to be seen in NK conflict after during Putins term in office [ENG]
According to this article, David Babayan, the spokesperson of the de facto president of Nagorno Karabakh, said there is no need to expect radical changes in the settlement process of the Karabakh conflict during Vladimir Putin’s presidency. However, he said that the during Putin’s term in office the “Armenian factor will gain more importance”. He also said that if “Azerbaijan behaves aggressively,” it should only get a similar and worthy response.

Serzh Sargsyan: Azerbaijan against border incidents investigation [ENG]
This article claims that Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said at briefing after a meeting with NATO’s Secretary General Anders fog Rassmussen that “Azerbaijan rejects any confidence building proposal”. “Azerbaijan is critically against any confidence building proposal, either contributing to the regional cooperation or easing of strained situation in the contact line,” Sargsyan said, adding: “Regretfully, Azerbaijan is against withdrawal of snipers from the contact line, is against investigation of incidents, moreover, threats imposing war haven’t suspended even a second.”

Armenian expert expects no progress in Nagorno-Karabakh peace process after Russia elections [ENG]
No progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process should be expected after Vladimir Putin has been elected Russian president, the political scientist Stepan Grigoryan told journalists. According to him, Putin’s approach to the problems is more realistic than that of Dmitri Medvedev. “Putin is well aware that no quick solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem is possible. Given Putin’s approach to the problem, as well as his global thinking, I should say that no change or any artificial progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh problem should be expected in the near future,” Grigoryan said. The status quo is sure to remain, he added.

Is there a peace agreement on the table of negotiations over NK? [ARM]
This article, referring to the March 6 statement by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, comments that it is perhaps for the first time that the co-chairs without having the parties agreed on the Basic Principles, speak about work on a peace agreement. The article says that taking into consideration the fact that the co-chairs’ March 6 statement it can be concluded that there is also a peace agreement on the table of negotiations. The article comments that this is a new circumstance in the peace talks and needs to be understood.

Except for OSCE Minsk Group, no other organization made proposals over Karabakh issue – Armenian MFA [ENG]
Spokesperson for Armenia’s Foreign Ministry, Tigran Balayan commented on the Azerbaijani media news, according to which Roland Kobia, Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, allegedly stated that EU has new initiatives with respect to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. “I believe this is yet another misinformation by the Azerbaijani media- a misunderstanding, in any case. The talks are being conducted under the brokerage of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs,” he was quoted as saying. Further, said that no proposals have been made by any other organization.

We welcomed conclusion on need for EU representatives to visit Karabakh – Serzh Sargsyan [ENG]
According to this article, Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan said in a joint statement with European Parliament President, Martin Schulz during a working visit to Belgium that he informed President Schulz about the latest developments in the settlement process of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “I noted that the Armenian side sees the conflict’s resolution solely in peaceful ways, and in the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group negotiation process.  We welcomed the EU Council’s recently-adopted conclusions, which also note the need for EU representatives to visit Nagorno-Karabakh,” Sargsyan was quoted saying.

Settlement of Karabakh conflict is possible with political will from both sides – EU [ENG]
This article says that President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said that he confirmed at the meeting with Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan, the urgent need of settling the Karabakh conflict”. “The EU continues to support the efforts of the OSCE MG,” he announced. He also said that the EU and OSCE mediators are ready to support establishing confidence if the sides wish so. Barroso pointed out that he is sure the solution of the conflict will be found if both sides show political will.

Azerbaijan hasn’t retreated even one step, while Armenia has adopted a compromise stance – A. Meliqyan [ARM]
This news article says that former de facto Foreign Minister of Nagorno Karabakh Arman Meliqyan said that the March 6 statement of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs calls on the parties to accelerate the process of reaching an agreement with the framework of the Madrid Principles. He also said that the mediators pursue certain interests in the region and that it is in their interest that the conflict be resolved to the benefit of their interest. He also said that overall, one thing is common: “Azerbaijan has not yielded one step back from its position while Armenia’s compromise position has been clear for a long time”.

As long as there is no agreement on one single point, there is no agreement at all – David Babayan [ENG]
This article says that David Babayan, the spokesperson for the de facto president of Nagorno Karabakh, said that it is not a good approach of the OSCE Minsk Group to speak of activities over a peace agreement while the Basic Principles have not been agreed on. “As long as there is one single point that is no agreed on, then there is no agreement at all, ”said he adding that it’s another issue when the co-chairs say that some steps need to be taken to build trust between the sides. “But unfortunately we see that Azerbaijan does not respond to those processes, and therefore I don’t think a comprehensive agreement is real because Azerbaijan torpedoes whatever we propose,” he added.

EU’s involvement in settlement of Karabakh conflict will reduce tension in conflict zone – opinion [ENG]
Armenian political scientist Sergey Minasyan said that the statement made by the European commissioner for enlargement and European neighborhood policy Stefan Fule that the EU will hence play a more active role in settling conflicts in the region is the confirmation of EU’s commitment to the effort aimed at resolving the Karabakh conflict. According to Minasyan EU’s involvement will be beneficial for both Armenia and Azerbaijan. “That will significantly reduce the tension in the region,” he stressed.

Settlement of Karabakh conflict not in US interests – Iranian expert [ENG]
According to this article, Mirgasem Momeni, an Iranian expert said that the US and Russia compete for the South Caucasus which puts Armenia in an uncertain position, adding that the settlement of the Karabakh conflict is not in the interest of the US. The expert also stressed that Moscow considers Armenia as it base in the South Caucasus, and the Washington tries to turn Armenia into a pro–West country. Talking about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict the director of the New Concept center pointed out that the conflict benefits the West.

Russian deputy FM praises Minsk Group efforts [ENG]
This news article says that the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov praised the OSCE Minsk Group’s efforts towards settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “We find the Minsk Group one of the most effective examples of diplomatic work,” he was quoted as saying. The diplomat noted that the Group managed, over the course of its existence, to create a feasible platform of agreements for settling what he called the most complicated conflict. “Russia’s role in the OSCE is known to all. I would like to emphasize particularly the role of state leaders – including the Russian president – in that process. I don’t think we have such a poor history or platform,” he said.
Azeri MP calls for creating union of Azerbaijani-Armenians [ENG]
According to this article, Azerbaijani MP Zahid Oruc said that the 30,000 former Armenian residents of Azerbaijan need to have a union. Such a move, he said, could facilitate the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “It is time to make the issue a subject of public debates. The opening of such union could form an integral part of Azerbaijan’s policies towards the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. The Azerbaijani-Armenians have rights and obligations,” he said.

E. Sharmazanov: Azerbaijan’s oil not valuable than Armenian’s blood [ENG]
This article says that Deputy Foreign Minister of Lithuania Evaldas Ignatavičius reiterated at a meeting with Deputy Chairman of Armenia’s National Assembly, Eduard Sharmazanov, the official stance of his country over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, saying that it should be resolved based on 3 well-known principles. Sharmazanov, in turn, said that the international recognition of Karabakh has no alternative. “In Europe they’ve realized that Azerbaijan’s oil could not be more valuable than the blood Armenians have shed for independence,” Mr. Sharmazanov said.

Azeri minister says his country ready for military settlement of Karabakh conflict [ENG]
According to this news article, Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister Safar Abiyev said that Azerbaijani authorities are ready for a military settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. At a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Safar Abiyev said his country is ready to “resort to force to liberate the Azerbaijani territories”. “Nobody should call into question the fact that Azerbaijan will liberate them,” he was quoted as saying.

Baku hopes Russia will ‘put Armenia on a constructive course’ [ENG]
Baku hopes that Russia will exert more efforts in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and make them more effective, Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Social and Political Department Chief Ali Hasanov said. “If Russia doesn’t increase its efforts towards the solution to this conflict, no international organization including OSCE, its Minsk Group, or the UN, will be able to achieve serious progress in this area,” said the state official. Further, he said that Russia has significant leverage over Armenia in all areas, including political, economic, social, military, geopolitical and security issues and for that reason “Russia, having significant influence on Armenia, can put it on a constructive course.”

German FM: It is high time to settle Karabakh conflict [ENG]
According to this news article, Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in Baku that it is high time to reach a settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that stands in the way of regional development and peace. “Last year, Germany was instrumental in initiating a debate in Brussels on stronger EU engagement in this conflict,” said he. The German minister further said that that engagement aims at supporting and complementing the OSCE Minsk Group, for example in the field of confidence-building. “It is high time to reach a solution to this conflict that stands in the way of a prosperous and peaceful development of the entire region,” he said.

All will benefit from reconciliation – US Ambassador to Armenia [ARM]
According to this article, US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern, said in his video blog that Armenian-Azerbaijani reconciliation is possible and that all the parties will benefit from it. To prove his point the ambassador mentioned the reconciliation between Afro-Americans and the whites in US. He also said that he recently watched a film that featured the similarities between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. John Heffner also said that he was recently in one Armenian school where the school-children told him they are ready to have foreign school-children next to them, includes those from Azerbaijan.

Karabakh conflict’s resolution not an easy process – Russian Federation Council Chairwoman [ENG]
Valentina Matviyenko, Russian Federation Council Chairwoman, said that the solution of the Karabakh problem is not an easy process. “The OSCE, UN, and Russia, which deal with the conflict, will continue to exert efforts toward settling the Nagorno-Karabakh issue,” she said.

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