Monthly Review - Sunday, May 15, 2011 0:02 - 1 Comment
Digest of Armenian media for May 1-14
by News Digest
Armenian expert David Jamalyan said, according to this article, that by “keeping the situation tense on the contact line, Azerbaijan is attempting to focus its society’s attention on the issue” of the Nagorno Karabakh. In his word, Azerbaijan “is always preparing for war, but its attempts to focus public attention on the issue has a domestic political context.”
“This is of course a form of exerting a psychological pressure on our country. It can be seen as an attempt to impose tolerance and concessions on the public. But tolerance is not admissible given their aggressive maximalistic position, so Armenia also has to do something to change the Azerbaijani society’s ideas about war, as well as the [armed] forces of Armenia,” he said.
The article says that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that without solving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the normalization with Armenia would be impossible. “Karabakh is our problem, Nakhichevan is our problem. Azerbaijan’s sadness is our sadness; its joy is our joy. I am declaring here in Igdir, that unless the Karabakh issue is resolved, the normalization with Armenia is impossible,” Erdogan was quoted as saying.
Armenia being driven to war [ARM]
The article says the situation in the Karabakh conflict is drawing to an X moment. Soldiers have almost always been killed on the contact line between Azerbaijan and Karabakh, the article says, but the “recent killings of Armenian conscripts” changed the situation as all the Armenian parliamentary factions condemned it and demanded that the Armenian side take an adequate response, revenge. Saying that the OSCE co-chairs have not yet reacted to the recent developments, the article adds that the impression is that the “silence by the co-chairs and Azerbaijan’s provocation are related to the desire of receiving the ‘Armenian adequate response’.” It also said that both Azerbaijan and the international community have been taken aback in anticipation of the information that Armenia is planning to take counteractions.
Azerbaijan attempts to exert pressure on the Armenian side [ARM]
According to this article, Masis Mailyan, the president of the public council in charge of Karabakh’s foreign policy and security, said that Azerbaijan is trying to exert pressure on Armenia by using what he called “military diplomacy”. According to him, Azerbaijan has adopted a policy that can be described as “either peace under Azerbaijan’s conditions, or war,” though Baku realizes that Armenia and Karabakh will not play with these rules.
“Under the current situation, when Azerbaijan does not stop killings on the line of contact, Armenia and NKR must resort to active actions both in military and diplomatic platforms,” said Mailyan.
Azerbaijan wants to restart war [ARM]
The Director of the Caucasus Center think tank Sergei Minasyan said that by “violating the cease regime Azerbaijan wants to threaten by the resumption of the war” in an attempt to affect the negotiations process. According to him, Azerbaijan does no have other, including legal, leverages to affect the peace talks, and is using resorting to military threats, but this does not, however, mean that there will be a fresh war as the countries that really have intentions to unleash a war, usually declare about it at the last moment. Further, he said that in case of Azerbaijan this is just the vice versa which proves that it cannot affect the peace talks as the international community is against a fresh war.
This article says that representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited Armenian prisoners of war in Azerbaijan. They conducted a situation monitoring and gave the POWs – three Armenian soldiers, and five civilians – letters from the families.
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said that her country supports the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict. Grybauskaite said that “such conflicts lead to serious human losses in any country”. “They have a tremendous impact on spiritual values. And it’s extremely hard to overcome such difficulties. That requires patience, openness and peaceful relations. Europe, as well as the countries worldwide, supports a peaceful conflict settlement. Lithuania is willing to do its best to assist in your efforts.”
The article says that a top Israeli Foreign Ministry official Pinchas Avivi said that his country approves of the efforts made by the OSCE Minsk Group to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He also said that the peaceful settlement of the conflict will contribute to the overall stability and cooperation in the Caucasus region, adding that Israel welcomes Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s steps aimed at reaching a solution to this conflict.
According to this article Canden Azer, a Turkish diplomat and former Turkish envoy to the OSCE Minsk Group, said that he did not think that the meetings organized by the Russian president which bring together Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process will lead to any solutions. According to him, the Minsk Group in its current form is not “working diligently to find a solution” to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“When it was first established in 1992, it had a different format, we were all included as members, and we were working very hard, but at that time the war situation, the occupation of the regions around Nagorno-Karabakh did not really make it possible to find a solution,” he said.
Political analyst Masis Mailyan said that Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev referred to one of the elements of the Madrid Principles when he said that Armenia would have made a step forward by adopting a constructive stance within the OSCE Minsk Group format and withdrawing from Azerbaijan’s territories. According to him the sides have not given a complete answer to the mediators’ proposals: Azerbaijan accepts the Madrid Principles with serious reservations, while Armenia accepts those proposals as basis to continue the talks. “A nervous war is in the process. No one want so say ‘no’ first and adopt a destructive position,” he said.
According to this article, Palestine’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Naser Abdu Karim, said in an interview that his country backs Azerbaijan over the Karabakh conflict. “The Palestinian state is aware of the Karabakh conflict … And I would like to stress that Palestine backs Azerbaijan’s position much in the same ways as Azerbaijan supports Palestine in the Israeli-Palestinian issue,” said he.
This news item says that Lithuanian President Dalia Gribauskaite said that Armenia can be “a stabilizing factor in the South Caucasus region” as she spoke of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. She also said that the goal of the international community is to resolve the Karabakh conflict peacefully. “Notwithstanding the historical past, the ties, the relations and the pain you have inherited during decades, your people are able of solving issues in a peaceful way,” said she.
“The main goal of the international community is that every conflict in the regions is resolved peacefully. No one, nor the international community, will back a military solution,” she added.
The article says that US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mathew Bryza, while speaking about the Karabakh conflict, said that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been working long and tried to prepare “fair proposals” for the parties. “Territorial integrity and peoples’ right to self-determination have been taken in account in those proposals,” said Bryza, adding that the US co-chair Robert Bradtke told him that “there is progress in the talks” and that he “will do his best so that the presidents will agree over this important issue.”
According to this article the president of Shahumyan-Getashen patriotic union said that the OSCE Minsk Group should also take into account the issue of Northern Karabakh, particularly, Getashen and Shahumyan. “We consider that without solving the problem of the Northern Artsakh, the return of refugees will become impossible, as half a million of Armenian refugees will be bereft of the chance to return to their homeland because of not having any real security guarantees in Azerbaijan’s territory. That is to say, the Armenian remain hung in the air,” said he.
Serzh Sargsyan: ‘Azerbaijan waits for seizing a good chance to unleash new military adventure’ [ARM]
According to this article, Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan criticized Azerbaijan’s policy over the settlement of the Karabakh conflict and said that Baku is waiting for a good opportunity to start a new war. “In essence, Azerbaijan has adopted a policy of dragging and in fact is waiting to seize a good chance to unleash a fresh military adventure,” said Sargsyan. Further, he said that Armenia is ready for compromises, only if Azerbaijan will make compromises too. “We are ready and consider it necessary to seek compromises. But to reach a solution, it is necessary that Azerbaijan have the same willingness too,” explained Sargsyan.
The article says that a video crew of the Arabian Al Jazeera TV channel is in Azerbaijan to prepare a documentary about Karabakh conflict. The documentary will refer to Azerbaijan’s development and the energy pipeline projects passing via the country. It also says that the crew has already visited the line of contact between Armenia and Azerbaijan where it held meetings with the local residents and authorities.
According to this news article, Novruz Mamedov, the head of foreign relations department at the Azerbaijani presidential office, said that the issue of Stepanakert Airport should be resolved within the law. “That is to say, there are laws that regulate those issues. The Armenian side is taking steps aimed at violating those laws,” said Mamedov. “Sooner or later, this issue must be resolved within the law,” he added.
Armenian, NKR Presidents discuss Karabakh conflict resolution [ENG]
The articles says President of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh Bako Sahakyan received that Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and discussed a wide range of issues on bilateral relations, including the peace talks over the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
According to this article, the Board Chairman of Armenia’s Union of Yerkrapah Volunteers General Manvel Grigoryan said that “Karabakh is an independent state and there is no alternative to that independence”. “Artsakh [Karabakh] is 20 years old already, an independent state. Artsakh’s independence has no alternative … Much in the same way as 20 years ago, today too we stand next to the Artsakhi people,” said Grigoryan, adding that “today’s task for us, for Yerkrapah members, is to preserve and build the territories liberated by us”.
This news piece says that within a month the United Liberal National Party (ULNP) sent exactly 4 billion e-mails to several governments, non-governmental organizations worldwide in an attempt to contribute to the recognition of Karabakh. The emails contained information about the historical circumstances of the Karabakh conflict and the current stage. Naira Karapetyan, a secretary of the ULNP said that besides insulting emails from Azerbaijan, they received also some in which they senders “thanked them for the presentation of facts”. Similar emails were received also from Turkey, she added.
According to this news item, Armenian political analyst Sergey Shakaryants said that Scotland’s move to gain independence from the United Kingdom may contribute to the process of Nagorno Karabakh’s recognition. In his opinion, Nagorno Karabakh does not have to declare independence as the country has been living independently for 20 years. Further, he said that the independence vote in Scotland and unrecognized states creates only a positive atmosphere in the Karabakh recognition process. “The process will help develop a more positive attitude to Karabakh. That will produce a positive outcome we have been waiting for since the signing of the ceasefire,” Shakaryants said.
This article says that Seid Ameli, an Iranian Imam, says that Iran provided Azerbaijan with weaponry during the Karabakh war. According to Ameli the “Karabakh war created a dilemma for Iran: either to interfere and protect Azerbaijan, which would mean a second front line with Russia, or turn a “blind eye on the killings of brother Azeris”. “But Iran chose the third variant: not to take part in the war openly, but at the same time not to be an observer either,” Seid Ameli said in a statement, adding that though Iranian political figures have never spoken about it, Iran sent weapons to Azerbaijani soldiers during the battle in Shoushi.
Karabakh topic on BBC [ARM]
The article says that the BBC prepared a six minute long reportage on Nagorno Karabakh conflict and aired it for several times. The pieces, it says, showed a veteran of the Karabakh war named Alexander Sargsyan who shared his recollections of what happened in Khojalu. The BBC also talked to the Chairman of the National Assembly of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno Karabakh Ashot Ghulyan, who said that “Azerbaijan should reconcile itself with the idea that it cannot have any claims to Karabakh”. “Digging into the history will not bring about anything good. Eventually, we will one day become good neighbors with Azerbaijanis,” Ashot Ghulyan is shown as saying.
According to this article US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mathew Bryza said he will do everything to support the OSCE Minsk Group in their efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “My mission is to support the work of the OSCE Minsk Group,” said he. “I will do my best to assist the co-chairs to finalize the adoption of the basic principles.”
In this article the President of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Petros Efthymiou said that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the situation in the Caucasus is one of the key issues on OSCE PA agenda. He stressed that the OSCE Minsk Group has been working to facilitate dialogue on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for almost a decade, while courage and political will from all sides is needed to take the steps necessary to reach a lasting resolution. “The main role of the Parliamentary Assembly is to help build confidence through parliamentary dialogue. At its best, an improved relationship at this level can help forge better relationships at the government level,” said he.
According to this article the Defense Minister of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno Karabakh Movses Hakobyan said that the ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan are attempts to “blackmail” the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group so that the international community will exert some pressure on Karabakh. “It is unacceptable for the army and will have no impact on it,” said he. Further, he spoke about statements by Azerbaijani officials that planes that will operate in Karabakh’s airports will be shot down Movsisyan said that the Azerbaijani officials cannot realize what they say.
Scotland’s independence moral support to Armenia – expert [ENG]
According to this article, Armenian political analyst Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan said that the Scottish independence vote can be seen only as a “moral support to Armenia’s efforts towards achieving the recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic”. “Scotland’s independence increases our chances in moral terms, but I don’t think it will assist in the process of recognizing Karabakh’s independence,” he said, adding that numerous other unrecognized countries which gained independence in recent years could have set a precedent for Karabakh, but that didn’t happen. “Even the recognitions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia had no impact [on Karabakh’s recognition],” he added.
Politicians, not militaries start wars, former NKR deputy minister says [ENG]
Political analyst Masis Mailyan said, according to news item, that more frequent sniper attacks on the border are not enough to trigger a fresh war in Karabakh, adding that the war may resume only as a result of political decisions. “Politicians, not militaries start war. What they do now is a military blackmail. It is Azerbaijan’s attempt to resort to military diplomacy to achieve success in the negotiations,” he said. Further, Mailyan said that neither Karabakh nor Armenia is going to “follow the rules of the game imposed by the Azerbaijani authorities”.
This article says that the President of the OSCE PA Petros Efthimiou said at a meeting with Armenian parties that the OSCE Minsk Group is the most experienced and specialized platform for Karabakh conflict settlement and shifting it to another format will not be of any benefit. He also stressed that a peaceful resolution to the conflict, the communication between the conflicting parties, confidence building measures, withdrawal of snipers from the contact line are priority issues for the OSCE.
According to this article, French Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Bernard Fassier considers that the resumption of Council of Europe sub-committee on Karabakh was the personal initiative of PACE President Mevlut Chavushoglu. In a letter to member of the Armenian delegation to PACE Naira Zohrabyan, Fassier also said that “only a peace process, acceptable to all sides will enable them to achieve a political solution to this conflict through negotiation.” “Restoration of subcommittee in 2011 is a personal initiative of PACE President Mevlut Chavushoglu and is only a formal decision pursuing more political than practical goals,” read the letter.
According to this news item, Russian political analyst Andrey Areshev said that any discussion of the Karabakh conflict that will ignore all the circumstance of the issue cannot bring about any good results. He also said that Turkey also makes attempts to discuss the Karabakh issue. “For some reason Karabakh’s future and the conflict are being discussed at various European platforms without taking into account Karabakh’s opinion” said Areshev.
This article says that, speaking about a planned discussion of the Karabakh issue at the annual session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to be held in July, Arman Melikyan, former Foreign Minister of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, said that such discussions will affect the final outcome of the peace talks. “Such discussions over the issue create a relevant moral atmosphere which in turn may affect the political decision-making process,” said he.
According to this article Russian political analyst Feodor Lukianov said in an interview that the current status quo in the South Caucasus is not in Russia’s interests, therefore Moscow does want to solve the Karabakh conflict. According to him, “it’s clear for all that the status quo cannot simply last forever,” especially given the developments in recent years. “I think there will big changes in this issue in the coming ten years. A lot may also depend on the Iran-US relations,” said he, adding that Turkey’s reaction to it will also play a significant role.
In this article, the head of the Armenian Centre for National and International Studies Manvel Sargsyan said that the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is included in the agenda of the July annual session at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and an attempt may be made there to what he called “readjust” the situation after the OSCE Summit in Astana in 2010 when the Karabakh issue was “hung in the air”. Further, he said that the OSCE will try to make a more concrete statement, as there are no grounds for a serious discussion of the issue. “What to discuss, whom with?” said he.
According to this news item, Russian political analyst Alexander Vlasov said that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly cannot affect the real process of the Karabakh conflict settlement. In his opinion, the discussion of the Karabakh conflict in any European platform is just the continuation of information war, and not only between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but also among those countries involved in the mediation process. “It’s good that there is also another platform for the discussion of the Karabakh conflict, but it will be naïve to expect any progress from these discussions,” said he.
This article says that Armenia’s Ambassador to Iran Grigor Arakelyan, said at a conference dedicated to the Karabakh conflict and held in Tehran, that the “referendum is the only way through which it will be possible to resolve the conflict fairly”. “On the other hand, the referendum does not run counter to the international laws and is in line with the self-determination right,” said Arakelyan. Further, he said that both now and during the Karabakh war “Iran has acted as a mediator” and that mediation has been very “efficient”. He also said that the integration of Armenia and Azerbaijan into the European Union will pave the way to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.
This article says that the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) sent a letter to the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen protesting against the resettlement of Armenian families in the territories surrounding Nagorno Karabakh. In the letter to Bernard Fassier (France), Igor Popov (Russia) and Robert Bradtke (US) the NAP drew attention to the media reports about the resettlement of more than 200 Armenian families from Kyrgyzstan to those territories. “While intensive and successive negotiations are going on the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group, organizing ‘new Armenian settlement’ in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan can seriously damage these negotiations,” read the letter.
According to this news item, Georgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Baku, Tengiza Sharashenidze said his country recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. “We recognize Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, and Azerbaijan in turn recognizes Georgia’s,” Sharashenidze was reported as saying. Speaking of the borders between the two countries (the 80 km territory not agreed upon), the Georgian diplomat said experts continue their work in that direction. “A meeting between foreign ministers is expected after they finish consultations,” he said.
Referring to the 17th anniversary of the signing of a ceasefire that put an end to military actions in Nagorno-Karabakh, this article says that the importance of that agreement was that together with Azerbaijan and Armenia, Karabakh was also a signatory, which meant that Karabakh was actually recognized as a conflicting party. That, the article continues, was a diplomatic success for Armenia and was a good basis, which 17 years later now “has been neutralized almost completely” as Karabakh has been left out of negotiations and some documents are being adopted where there is even no talk about Karabakh’s signature.
In this article, the head of the Armenian Centre for National and International Studies, Manvel Sargsyan said that the signing of the ceasefire agreement that stopped military actions in Karabakh was positive for Armenia for two reasons: first, Karabakh was recognized as a conflicting party, and second, no third forces entered the conflict zones. Eldar Namazov, the Chief of Staff at the presidential administration during Heydar Aliyev’s term in office from 1993 to 1999, also said that the ceasefire was an achievement as it put an end to the bloodshed and excluded the intrusion of third forces into the conflict zone.
In this article Armenian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Tigran Balayan commented on the “killing of Armenian villager by Azerbaijanis in Hadrut region,” saying that “Azerbaijan’s actions not only contradict the logics of peace process, but also show aspiration to keep situation tense in the line of contact by all possible means, to hamper the resolution of the conflict on the basis of proposals submitted by the international community.
According to this article Armenia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Karen Nazaryan, sent a letter to the UN Secretary General over the ceasefire violations on the Line of Contact between Azerbaijan and Karabakh. In the letter Nazaryan said that “instead of such attempts, Azerbaijan should give up the practice of inciting tension on the Contact Line, as that poses threat to security and stability in the region”. “These acts are in gross violation of the 1994 ceasefire accord signed between Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia,” read the letter.
This article says that, according to top Dashnaktsutyun official Giro Manoyan, “Azerbaijanis shoot a lot on the Line of Contact because they are dissatisfied with the negotiations process. In his opinion, the point is also that the international community is represented by the Minsk Group co-chairs, “who don’t take decisive action”. “When talk goes to saying that the time has come for the principles to be finally adopted by the [conflicting] parties and a great peace document prepared, that means that Azerbaijan has to announce to its public that it can also agree to Karabakh’s status to be outside of Azerbaijan territory, which they have never said,” he said.
According to this article Iran’s embassy in Yerevan said in a statement that the “Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be settled through a dialogue, non-use of force and respect for the people’s right to self-determination”. “The Iranian Embassy in Armenia reiterates that Iran’s president, foreign minister and spokesman for the foreign ministry express Iran’s official stance on foreign policy. Any statement made outside of these frameworks, is an expression of personal opinion,” read the statement. Further, it said that Tehran’s stance to all regional conflicts is based “on support for mediatory efforts aimed at establishing peace and stability in the region, conflict resolutions, as well as dialogue between the parties”.
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