Monthly Review - Wednesday, December 15, 2010 0:01 - 1 Comment
Digest of Armenian Media for Dec 1-14
by News Digest
The Heads of OSCE Minsk Group countries’ delegations and the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents issued a joint statement at the OSCE summit in Astana on December 1 in which they “agreed that the time has come for more decisive efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev, in turn, reaffirmed their commitment to seek a final settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, based upon the principles and norms of international law; the United Nations Charter; the Helsinki Final Act; as well as the statements of Presidents Medvedev, Sarkozy, and Obama, at L’Aquila on July 10, 2009, and at Muskoka on June 26, 2010.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet, Turkey may eventually stop using the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as precondition for the Turkey-Armenia reconciliation due to an examination of the recent secret documents made public by WikiLeaks website.
“Ankara will definitely examine all that in detail, and after that it is quite possible that the Turkish authorities will cease to be as resolute over using the Karabakh conflict as precondition in relations with Armenia as before.”
Unsettled and protracted conflicts in Europe endanger the security of the region, President of European Union Herman Van Rompuy said. Speaking about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he said that the best mechanism of the settlement is the OSCE Minsk Group format.
France is determined to support the parties over the peaceful resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said is OSCE summit in Astana.
“The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be settled based on the principles and elements mentioned in the statements of Presidents of US, Russia and France in l’Aquila and Muskoka. They are a whole, and are indivisible.”
OSCE should continue efforts towards a peaceful resolution of conflicts, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said at OSCE Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. Among other conflicts, Clinton referred to the NK issue and said it should be settled based on non-use of force or threat of force, territorial integrity and self-determination, as well as the six elements announced by Presidents of US, Russia and France.
The use of military force during the settlement of conflicts is absolutely unacceptable, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said at the OSCE Summit in Astana. The OSCE should develop a single principle to normalize conflicts which should be applied permanently and without selection, he added.
The OSCE Summit in Astana did not adopt a breakthrough document over the Karabakh conflict, said Masis Mailyan, the former Deputy Foreign Minister of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno Karabakh.
“No breakthrough document was adopted at the OSCE Summit in Astana over Artsakh, as it was expected,” said he, adding that the OSCE co-chairs adopted only a document aimed at the peaceful settlement of the conflict and called on the parties to take additional steps to preserve the ceasefire accord and to build trust in all the fields.
Armenian political analyst Manvel Sargsyan says that the existing principles of the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict were kind of pushed aside and everything was generalized at the OSCE Summit in Astana, which means that the mediators are creating such conditions that the conflicting parties will never reach any agreement.
“That is what they are busy with. Because if they really want to reach an agreement, it is the atmosphere at the international level that should be changed,” said he.
The Karabakh issue (Arm)
The claims it learned from diplomatic sources that the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev made a last-minute decision and refused to meet his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan in the framework of the OSCE Summit in Astana. Mr Aliyev explained the move by the fact that he could find any explanation to the difference between the speech he delivered at the summit and the statement signed over Karabakh conflict.
Top official of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) Giro Manoyan said he does not expect any breakthrough to take place at the OSCE Summit in Astana due to the joint statement signed by Russian President, US Secretary of State, French PM, Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents. He also said that the main issue at the Astana Summit over Karabakh is its status.
When it comes to recognizing the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, Armenia should itself decide what to do instead of waiting for Azerbaijan to start military actions as that is very dangerous, said Karine Hakobyan, the secretary of the Heritage party.
“What if Azerbaijan doesn’t continue aggression, won’t we recognize Artsakh’s independence?” she said, adding that it turns out that Armenia is waiting for Azerbaijan to take steps and will recognize Karabakh’s independence only after that.
Karine Hakobyan of the opposition Heritage party board called the statement adopted at the Astana Summit on December 1 “a declarative document, a fiction, a political farce, behind which the real politics is made”.
“That is a statement to maintain status quo, it should have had a wider content. There have been scores of documents to maintain peace, but it has been breached whenever seen necessary,” she added.
By signing the joint statement at the OSCE Summit in Astana, Armenia agreed to the process of making the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement perpetual, said Stepan Safaryan, the head of opposition Heritage party’s faction in parliament.
Addressing the OSCE Summit in Astana, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said that Armenia will no choice but to recognize Karabakh should Azerbaijan launch military actions against Karabakh.
“In case Azerbaijan resorts to military aggression, Armenia would not have any other choice but to recognize the Nagorno Karabakh Republic de jure and to invest all its capabilities into ensuring the security of the people of Artsakh,” said he.
Talking to Reuters in Astana, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that the close ties between Moscow and Ankara have at last brought about progress in the peace talks over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, adding that he has discussed the issue with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.
“Though currently there is no breakthrough, some positive steps are being taken,” said he.
Armenian analyst Stepan Grigoryan was pleasantly surprised by the fact that an Armenian church in Baku has been well preserved and even restored.
“I was very glad to see that the Armenian church is under the protection of Azerbaijan. Because the church plays a big role in the lives of Armenians, the Armenian church in Baku left a very positive impression,” said he.
Addressing the OSCE Summit in Astana on December 2, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said that Azerbaijani is not interested to resolve the Karabakh conflict at the moment.
“During this last week, I was again convinced that Azerbaijan, at this stage, has no interest in resolving the Karabakh problem. Its sole purpose is to inflict as much damage as possible on Armenia,” said he.
Unlike Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers, the Armenian and Azerbaijani President Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev hold good relations with each other, according to a new document released by WikiLeaks.
“For all his bluster about Azerbaijan’s legal right to liberate the Armenian-occupied territories by force, Aliyev has worked constructively on the Minsk Group–proposed Basic Principles and developed a reportedly good rapport with Armenian President Sargsian — in contrast to the much more confrontational relationship between the countries’ foreign ministers,” reads the document.
Nagorno Karabakh has no future within Azerbaijan and, whatever the solution, it should emanate from the will of the people of Karabakh, Armenia’s President, Serzh Sargsyan, said as he delivered a speech at the OSCE Summit in Astana on December 2.
“Nagorno Karabagh has no future within Azerbaijan and, whatever the solution, it should emanate from the will of the people of Karabagh. This is the axis of the right of people to self-determination. Azerbaijan has neither legal, nor political, nor moral grounds for its claims over Nagorno Karabakh.”
Deputy Armenian Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan says in this article that Azerbaijan has no intention to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.
“It turns out that Azerbaijan doesn’t want any settlement. All the requirements it has set, are definitely unacceptable for Armenia. There can be no one-sided concessions: compromises are possible, but one-sided concessions are not,” said he.
According to this article, Iranian top officials have become more active over the Karabakh issue and have started to make statements more often that before. A recent such statement was made by Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottacki who said that Tehran is ready to provide any assistance to Armenia and Azerbaijan so that they can resolve the Karabakh issue.
Giro Manoyan, a top Dashnaktsutyun official, said that it is bad that Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents did not meet in Astana. If no negotiations are held, the possibility of a fresh war is high in this sense. However, according to him, Azerbaijan will unleash a new war only if it is sure that it will win the war. But Azerbaijan cannot win the war.
Senior Dashnaktsutyun official Giro Manoyan doesn’t believe that Serzh Sargsyan, in his address at the OSCE Summit in Astana, excluded the possibility of Karabakh’s de jure recognition before the resumption of military hostilities when he said that Armenia will have no choice but to recognize Karabakh, should Azerbaijan launch military actions. According to Manoyan, with that statement President Sargsyan did not however say that Armenia may not recognize Karabakh before any way.
Should Azerbaijan unleash a new war, Russia will form an alliance with Karabakh through Armenia, according to Republican Party of Armenian (HHK) Vice-Chair Razmik Zorhabyan.
“If such a thing were to happen, we would form a strategic alliance with Nagorno-Karabakh, in which Russia will not be deprived of its share, since we already have a strategic cooperation with the Russians,” he said.
The declaration adopted by the OSCE state leaders in Astana might have been even worse, according to senior Dashnaktsutyun official Giro Manoyan.
“Turkey might have used the Armenia-Turkey protocols as a tool of pressure for extorting some document it might consider satisfactory for ratifying the protocols. The declaration is good in as much as it isn’t bad,” he said.
The declaration adopted at the OSCE Summit in Astana is very important for Armenia, as it is the first document to refer to the United Nations Charter, a document prioritizing the principle of people’s right to self-determination, senior Republican Party of Armenia member Razmik Zohrabyan said.
“That’s a powerful tool for us,” he said, adding that the document enables Armenia to maintain the current status quo and continue the talks.
The statement adopted at the OSCE Summit in Astana was a serious message to Azerbaijan, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan said.
“All the OSCE state leaders attending the summit emphasized the unacceptability of the use of force. And the Russian president too, underscored that in his speech. I think it was a serious warning to Azerbaijan,” said he.
Will we live in peace? (Eng)
Talking about the recent OSCE Summit in Astana, Deputy Chairman of Armenia’s National Assembly Samvel Nikoyan told local daily “168 Zham” it remains to be seen whether Armenia and Azerbaijan live in more peaceful conditions after Astana. According to Nikoyan, that will depend on Azerbaijan’s further actions which will prove “whether or not that country has understood the position of the international community well and whether or not it will act in accordance with the document that it has signed.”
Senior official of the Russian-langauge Regnum news agency, Modest Korelov, said that Armenia should not hesitate over the recognition of Karabakh and should as a first step sign some trade agreements with Karabakh. Armenia’s president, according to him, should follow Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s suit, and recognize Karabakh.
Speaking about the OSCE Astana Summit, Armenia’s Foreign Minsiter Edward Nalbandyan said that the the international community has the same positions as Armenia when it comes to the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakhk conflict as all the participants of the OSCE Summit in Astana agreed in their final commemorative declaration that the conflicts must be solved exclusively peacefully.
The head of the Assembly of Azerbaijani Armenians, Grigori Aivazyan, has been informed that Azerbaijan “plans to resort to a large-scale military sabotage at the most convenient moment in the near future.” Aivazyan, however, said that this time Azerbaijan will be destroyed once and for all.
Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan did not make a correct statement at the OSCE Summit in Astana when he said that Armenia will recognize the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, if Azerbaijan unleashes a fresh war, said Vladimir Karapetyan, representative of opposition alliance Armenian National Congress. Further, he said that because there is no agreement over the basic principles, Azerbaijan will attempt to change for format of the negotiations and will try to shift the issue to such organizations where such issues are being voted on.
Astana summit proved Armenia is defeated: expert (Eng)
The Astana statement reaffirmed all that Armenia has always been opposed to, said Harutyun Serobyan, a public administration expert.
“The first clause of the document specifies what Armenia has to cede. Eleven years later, an attempt was made to get together all the countries and problems of the continent,” said he, adding that the Astana summit was a failure.
The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of Armenia’s National Assembly decided on December 6 to postpone the discussion of the draft of a statement submitted by Heritage party. The draft proposes to recognize the “atrocities perpetrated against the Armenian populations in all the communities of the Azerbaijani Soviet Republic and in some communities of the Autonomous Region of Nagorno Karabakh from 1988-1992.”
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Aundronus Azhubalis has said that the OSCE will pay due attention to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during Lithuania’s chairmanship at the OSCE. He has also said that the mission and the role of the OSCE Secretariat in the conflict resolution should be strengthened.
Gagik Melikyan, a Republican Party of Armenia MP, says in this article that the OSCE Summit in Astana was a diplomatic victory for Armenia in the sense that together with the mediators Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a statement, saying that all the three international principles are equal and that none of them can be subordinated to the other.
“This is one of our foreign diplomatic victories. Azerbaijan was once again warned that non-preservation of these three principles is not only unacceptable for Armenia but also for the [OSCE] Minsk Group and all the countries worldwide,” said he.
Opposition Armenian National Congress coordinator Levon Zurabyan said that Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan in fact agreed to the term “occupied territories” as he signed the OSCE Summit statement in Astana.
“… on top of all, Serzh Sargsyan agreed to what is termed as “occupied lands” in the Astana statement,” Zurabyan said.
US welcomes Russia’s role in Karabakh settlement (Eng)
The United States welcomes Russia’s efforts in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem and looks forward to working with it in this direction, Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon said.
“Yes, Russia played in this process an active role, and we hope that it, like the US, wants to achieve an agreement based on the key principles of the OSCE Minsk Group,” Gordon said.
French diplomat says Karabakh talks deadlocked: WikiLeaks (Eng)
According to a document by WikiLeaks’ website, French Foreign Ministry diplomat Roland Galharague talked about the Karabakh conflict settlement at a meeting with American officials in Paris, complaining about the Minsk Group. He said the process had entered a deadlock, CNN Turk reported.
Referring to many Armenian experts who say that the OSCE co-chairs – by fixing the failure of peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict – in fact paved the way for the resumption of military actions. But the question is what the reaction of the international community will be in such scenario. Further, it says that Armenia’s National Assembly adopted on December 6 a bill that allows the country to sign military-political agreements with unrecognized republics.
Coordinator of opposition alliance Armenian National Congress, Levon Zurabyan, said that the OSCE Summit in Astana registered the retreat of Armenia’s diplomacy and paved the way for more retreats. This, according to him, is accounted for by Armenia’s ailing economy and by the fact that the military-political balance has changed in Azerbaijan’s favor.
An EU-Russia summit in Brussels discussed among other things also the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. EU President Herman Van Rompuy said that they highlighted the importance of studying the proposals by the OSCE Minsk Group so that to “really solve the conflict peacefully”.
“We would very much like [Russian] President [Dmitry] Medvedev to contribute to the peaceful settlement of the issue,” said he.
Speaking about the recent document adopted by NATO at the Lisbon Summit, Armenian political analyst Stepan Grigoryan said the inclusion of the principle of territorial integrity doesn’t contradict Armenia’s interests, as the duty of both the NATO and the Collective Security Treaty Organization is to protect the state’s territorial integrity. Armenia should, however, raise it voice when these organizations link the principle of territorial integrity to conflicts.
Armenia’s National Assembly voted on a draft law – submitted to the parliament by Heritage party – proposing to recognize Karabakh by first reading. Only 13 MPs from Heritage and Dashnaktsutyun parties took part in the vote with all of them voting in favor of the proposal. The parliamentary coalitions did not take part in the voting.
Regretfully, the parliamentary majority has taken it upon itself the audacity to overthrow the bill to recognize Karabakh’s independence, Heritage Party MP Stepan Safaryan said, adding that the failure to pass the bill means that the issue of Artsakh’s (NKR) independence is not being discussed in Armenia’s parliament and will rather be discussed in L’Aquila, and in the best case scenario, in Astana, but “against our interests”.
“Recognizing Karabakh’s independence is left to the mercy of fate,” he concluded.
Political analyst Stepan Grigoryan said that after visiting Azerbaijan recently he got the impression that in Baku the Azerbaijanis want to expand contacts with Armenians.
“While meeting with Azerbaijani experts and politicians, I got the impression that they want to broaden their contacts with Armenians, at the civil society level,” he said.
Opposition Heritage party leader Raffi Hovhannisian said that Armenia should recognize Nagorno Karabakh before the 20th anniversary of independence referendum, as he expressed his discontent over the fact that draft law by Heritage, proposing recognize Karabakh, was voted down at the parliament.
“We don’t need Azerbaijan’s consent to make such decision. The NKR authorities must clearly identify what they want from Armenia and the world community,” Hovhannisian said.
Should Azerbaijan unleash a new war, Armenia will recognize Karabakh de jure and take measures to ensure Karabakh’s security, Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan said at a meeting of the leaders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Moscow.
Raffi Hovhannisian, the leader of Armenian Heritage party, said that in terms of state interests the international recognition of Karabakh is as much important as recognizing the Armenian Genocide. He also drew parallels between abstaining from the vote on the draft law proposing to recognize Karabakh and one proposing to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
Given the Republican Party of Armenia has been instructed not to take part in the vote of the draft law proposing to recognize Karabakh, and also given the parliamentary coalition has said it will vote against that proposal, Heritage party will not come up with any new draft law.
“The submission of this draft law is not a shame, nor is it a blow to the state interests or ridiculous for the international community: it is a public value and shows that this issue is urgent …” said Hovhannisian.
The article says that a film, titled “Interrupted Song” is being shot in Moscow featuring the complicated relations of Armenians and Azerbaijanis. The two heroes, one Armenian and one Azerbaijani, find themselves in the same pit and have difficulties in finding common grounds.
A working meeting among the foreign ministers of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan took place in Moscow on December 9. At the meeting, discussions continued on issues related to resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through the mediation efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
Resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the key to unlocking Turkish-Armenian relations, and consequently regional energy supplies, US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Phil Gordon, said, according to a WikiLeaks document. Further, he mentioned that “if the Russians really wanted to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh, they would have done so already.”
At a news conference after a symposium dedicated to the legal aspects of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, Armenia’s Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said Nagorno Karabakh has “more solid grounds for self-determination” than Kosovo.
“Today’s event is devoted to the legality of Kosovo’s independence declaration, a topic that is interesting to our scholarly circles. And the lawyers will agree with me that Artsakh currently has more solid legal, political-military and historical grounds for full self-determination,” he stressed.
According to Armenian political analyst Igor Muradyan, Russia has always been the “unexpected and dangerous mediator and the initiator” of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict as it has been holding the most effective leverages to control the South Caucasus in general and the Karabakh conflict in particular. Further he says that under the current geopolitical situation the best thing for Armenia that can happen is the resumption of a second Karabakh war as Armenia has no political future without that – something Russia has in mind.
Russia may deploy troops (Arm)
The article says that the Collective Security Treaty Organization has widened its mandate to interfere in critical situations in its member states and may upon the proposal of Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan deploy troops where and when necessary. But it also says that it is not known why the Armenian president needs: is that meant to tackle the domestic political crisis or to resist Azerbaijan should it decide to unleash a fresh war over Karabakh.
Major General Arkady Ter-Tadevosyan said that before recognizing Karabakh, it should first of all be clarified what the borders of Karabakh are.
“I can’t understand what the borders of the NKR are,” he said, adding that he can’t see why other countries should recognize Karabakh given Armenia has not done so. “If they [Armenia] want to recognize Karabakh together with its liberated territories, I am definitely for it. But when one, two or three regions are meant [to be recognized as part of Karabakh], I am not in favor of such recognition,” he explained.
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