Monthly Review - Friday, July 15, 2011 0:01 - 0 Comments
Digest of Armenian media July 1- 14
by News Digest
According to this article Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan that Russia’s president has already sent his vision of further talks over Nagorno Karabakh. “… The president of the Russian Federation informed me in a phone conversation yesterday that he has already sent the written version of his vision [of the settlement],” said Sargsyan, asked to comment on the trilateral meeting in Kazan, Tatarstan. “I think we will soon receive it and see how we will move forward,” he added. Sargsyan also said that “we really could have achieved a breakthrough in the Karabakh conflict settlement process.” “But unfortunately that did not happen,” said Armenia’s president.
This news item says that presidential aide Garnik Isagulyan said that Armenia has already made all the compromises possible in talks with Azerbaijan and there are no plans for new ones. “The meeting in Kazan proved that the position of the Armenian President on Karabakh issue is firm, and it is senseless to expect unilateral concessions from Armenia,” said Isagulyan. He explained that the compromises already made by Armenia, as the winning side of the war, “are not being comprehended by Azerbaijan, which continues to put forth new demands and amendments to the peace principles”. He also said that Azerbaijan’s “delay tactics are useless”.
Karen Nazaryan, Armenia’s permanent representative to the UN, said that taking the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to the United Nations will not contribute to the settlement of the conflict.
“We consider that serious negotiations process are being conducted for the comprehensive settlement of conflicts, and in case of the NK [Nagorno-Karabakh] conflict also in the frameworks of international organization, such as the OSCE. And shifting those issues to the UN, that is to say including them in the General Assembly’s agenda cannot contribute to those processes, but will rather continue hampering the process of talks between the parties and the mediators,” Nazaryan explained.
According to this news article, the Iranian foreign minister Ali Larijani said in Baku that world superpowers are not interested in the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. “Big superpowers pursue their interests in conflicts,” he said. Further, Larijani said that “though it’s already many years the Minsk Group has been dealing with the issue it has not attained any result so far. Iran does recognize and protect Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity,” he said, stressing the importance of settling the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in the regional format.
Russian political analyst Aleksey Vlasov said that the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will reach a consensus by next summer. According to him, the parties did not reach an agreement in Kazan because of existing conflicts in their approaches. “The unsettled Karabakh conflict negatively impacts the situation in the North Caucasus and the south of Russia. That’s why Russia is interested in its settlement,” Vlasov was quoted as saying. He further denied media reports that Russia is going to give up its role as a mediator, adding that such disinformation pursues a bias, as interested parties attempt in this way to monopolize the peacekeeping mission.
According to this article, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said in an interview with the Russian radio station Echo Moskvy that some new proposals to settle the Karabakh conflict will be proposed to the parties. “I hail the efforts made by Russia and its president,” Juppe said. “He made lots of efforts in Sochi and Kazan. But regrettably no result was seen. As I know new proposals will be made to reach an agreement.”
Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan said at a press conference in Minsk that the Kazan meeting was at least one chance on its way towards the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Sargsyan also said that “the Azerbaijani side proposed about ten amendments to the existing document” which was the main reason no agreement was reached over the Basic Principles. “I think we have missed at least one of our chances. That doesn’t mean of course the negotiation process is coming to a halt or we are discontinuing the talks. That means we have missed this period of time until the next meeting,” Serzh Sargsyan said.
Sergei Harutyunov, a political analyst, said that Nagorno Karabakh must be declared a self-governing territory, a condominium of Azerbaijan and Armenia, so that a supreme power there is through commissioners appointed by Baku and Yerevan. “Perhaps for a certain period, with the presence of a Russian mediator, but the commissioners have to display good will and not argue, and always agree with each other”, said he. Harutyunov, further, said that the Armenian-Azeri co-existence is possible. “I have seen how two nations live together peacefully in both Baku and Tbilisi, and Yerevan … All nations are good. There are simply good and very good nations. I believe that Azeris are a very good people,” said he.
Iranian parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said he is confident that countries of the region must take on the process of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, since all previous efforts of OSCE Minsk Group were not successful. Larijani stressed that big states do not contribute to conflict resolution. “Iran always supported territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Karabakh conflict must be resolved in accordance with the principal of territorial integrity,” said Larijani.
President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych promised his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan assistance in resolving the Karabakh conflict during Ukraine’s chairmanship in OSCE. At a joint press conference with Armenian leader Yanukovych stressed that Ukraine has friendly and close relations both with Armenia and Azerbaijan. “Peaceful resolution of the conflict is in our interests. We wish our friends could find resolution within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group,” he said. “Ukraine will take over chairmanship in OSCE in 2013 and we will do utmost to advance the peace process”.
According to this article, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Elhan Polukhov said that ministry has blacklisted Russian journalist Yuri Snegirev for having visited Nagorno Karabakh without the permission of Baku. According to him, from now on, Yuri Snegirev will not be able to visit Azerbaijan. The article also says that earlier, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry blacklisted assistant editor of Echo Moskvy radio station Sergei Buntman, who had also visited Nagorno Karabakh.
Political analyst Edgar Vardanyan says in this article that the international community demonstrated great interest in the meeting of Kazan before the meeting would take place. However, he questions the fact that there were real grounds for such reaction as no official from either side had before the meeting promised or confirmed that a document would be signed in Kazan. Vardanyan also says that both the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents gave interviews to Euronews ahead of the meeting in Kazan, making clear that they have radically opposition stance on the conflict.
According to this article, Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said in Baku that Tehran is be ready to broker a settlement in the Karabakh conflict if Azerbaijan asks for it. “From the very beginning, Azerbaijan chose to settle the issue through international organizations. But if Azerbaijan asks for it, Iran would be ready to help in settling the conflict,” Larijani said.
In response to a question about peacekeepers to be deployed in the region, Larijani said that was not the reason the Iranian president postponed his visit to Armenia; the reasons were technical, he said.
Ukraine wants to be mediator in Karabakh talk process – publication [ENG]
Ukraine is planning to become a mediator in the Karabakh conflict settlement talks, according to the Russian publication Versii. “After Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s visit to Ukraine, it emerged that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has been instructed to become more involved in the South Caucasus,” the publication says. “Informed sources say a delegation of Ukrainian diplomats is set to visit Yerevan, Stepanakert and Baku to find out how Ukraine could possibly contribute to the peace mission.”
According to this article, Armenia political analyst Alexander Iskandaryan said that it is impossible now to bring Karabakh to the negotiations table as Karabakh’s return to the negotiations process would mean Azerbaijan is ready to make serious concessions in the settlement process. “And Azerbaijan is not ready,” Iskandaryan said.
According to political analyst Manvel Sargsyan, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s move to send his vision of the Karabakh conflict settlement to Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s presidents in written form after the Kazan meeting may attest to the fact that the world powers involved in the mediation efforts are attempting to shape new positions. It also says that Arif Yunusov, a Baku-based political analyst, in turn, said that Medvedev’s move can be explained by the failure in Kazan. According to him, with that step, Medvedev’s goal was to demonstrate that he believes that the talks will further take place under his sponsorship too.
The Kazan summit was a big disappointment, especially because the co-chairs before the summit had expressed a great deal of hope and optimism that there would be an agreement on the basic principles at this summit, said International Crisis Group Europe Program Director Sabine Freizer. “And the fact that the sides couldn’t agree on the basic principles is very disappointing …,” she said. Further, Freizer said that “it is clear that, if there is going to be an agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh, the presidency in both Azerbaijan and Armenia has to be much clearer in public, in Baku and in Yerevan, explain to people that this agreement is necessary to avoid a future war”.
Aram Safaryan, member of Armenia’s delegation to OSCE PA, said that it is high time for Karabakh authorities to participate into discussions concerning Karabakh conflict resolution. It may also be done by opening OSCE office in Karabakh, he added. Safaryan said he believed that Minsk group mediators should offer OSCE Committee of Ministers to include Karabakh in negotiation process. The fate of people cannot be solved without taking into account their desires, he added.
According to this article, research associate at London Middle East Institute Ali Grenmayeh said that it is unknown whether Russia’s efforts are honest in the process of regulating Karabakh conflict, as there is no honesty in politics and every side tries to promote its interests. Speaking about Iran, he said that regardless “how much Iran wants to be a mediator on Karabakh conflict resolution, it forgets about Russia’s major role in the region concerning Armenia and Azerbaijan”. “Thus, Iran wants to be a mediator between Armenian and Azerbaijan and strengthen its positions in the Southern Caucasus,” Grenmayeh stated.
None of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries will agree to Iran’s involvement in the process of Karabakh conflict resolution, said the director of Caucasus Media Institute Alexander Iskandaryan. According to him, Iran would like to participate in the process; however, Minsk Group is created in the framework of OSCE. Iskandaryan characterized the fears of possibility of military operations against Iran as groundless, and excluded the possibility of war, since the West already has many problems in the region.
According to this news item, political analyst Alexander Iskandaryan said there will be no change in the format of the OSCE Minsk peace process on Nagorno Karabakh conflict resolution. “OSCE Minsk group is a steady format and the sides cooperate within its frameworks,” the expert said and added that changing the existing format will be an extreme nonsense. “As for EU, it really tries to be more active in Armenian and Azerbaijani relations. However, no changes may be expected in its format. It is another bubble in the process based on Azerbaijani dissatisfaction with the Minsk process. Moreover, Baku cannot change the situation,” he said.
According to Vladimir Karapetyan, member of the opposition Armenia National Congress, currently there is no such state that could replace Russia in the OSCE Minsk Group format. In his opinion there will be no changes in the Minsk Group in the near future as there are neither grounds for that nor a stronger format. Further, he said that Russia will continue to be active in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.
According to this article, the de facto President of Nagorno Karabakh Bako Sahakyan said in an interview that the day will come when Karabakh will take part in negotiations over the conflict. “ … Anyway, we still hope and think that the day will come when we will participate in negotiations,” said Bako Sahakyan. Speaking about the meeting in Kazan, Sahakyan said that as usual they expected the parties to come to an agreement so that Karabakh would also be part of negotiations. “And we were expecting that more exact agreements would be reached at the recent meeting in ensuring Artsakh’s participation in the negotiations process” Sahakyan added.
This article says that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs said in a statement that the remaining differences shouldn’t prevent Armenia and Azerbaijan from accepting the Basic Principles and moving on to the treaty-drafting phase of the peace process over Karabakh. Although the sides did not reach final agreement on the Basic Principles at Kazan, progress was made. The outcome of Kazan, including confirmation by the sides that they will continue to seek a negotiated settlement, provides momentum that the parties should use to reach agreement on the Principles as soon as possible,” read the statement. The co-chairs also made a reference to Russian, US and French presidents’ joint statement adopted at Deauville on May 26 in which they said that “further delay only calls into question the commitment of the sides to reach an agreement”.
According to this news article, James Appathurai, a Nato special envoy, said, that Nato though has no role in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, it is clear that the conflict cannot be resolved through military action. “Nato does not participate in the negotiations on the resolution of the Karabakh problem. But on my behalf I want to say that there is no military solution to this conflict”. Further, he said that the conflict can be solved only peacefully.
Armenian MP Naira Zurabyan said that the optimism of OSCE Minsk group co-chairs over the necessity to reach an agreement on Basic Principles is “not reasonable on the bases of unconstructive position of Azerbaijan”. “OSCE Minsk group co-chairs should work with Baku even more to harmonize positions and guarantee progress in negotiations. Otherwise one should not expect a breakthrough in negotiations,” Zurabyan said, adding that Baku broke the negotiations on Basic Principles in Kazan.
Eduard Sharmazanov of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia said that the July 5 statement by OSCE Minsk Group largely refers to Azerbaijan. According to him, the specific point in the statement that urges the sides to agree upon fundamental principles of Karabakh conflict resolution is directed to Baku, “since it was Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev who failed the agreement in Kazan”. “Meanwhile, the Armenian side always affirms its readiness to act on the basis of Helsinki principles,” added Sharmazanov.
Fresh war in Karabakh may take place beyond NK’s territory [ARM]
According to this article, Lawrence Sheets, the Director of the Caucasus programs at the International Crisis Group said that if the OSCE Minsk Group format yields no results in the near future in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, then the necessity of changing that format will be unavoidable. Speaking about the fact that the EU has recently been more active over Karabakh, he said that it should only be welcomed as the EU is worried that a possible fresh war in Karabakh may in all probability be a large-scale one and involve other countries.
According to this news item, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev will spend additional efforts to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh issue ahead of presidential elections next year, Aram Manukyan, the board chairman of the Armenian Pan-National Movement said. “I think Russia will attempt to preserve its active role in the settlement of the NK issue,” said Manukyan. According to him, to preserve that active involvement in the mediating efforts Russia does not have much time given it will hold elections next year. “And Medvedev, I think, will try to maintain [his] undertaking and implement the NK settlement program,” explained Aram Manukyan.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that President Dmitry Medvedev will soon make a decision on the further steps in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. “Given the special ties with the conflicting parties, President Medvedev two years ago voiced his initiative to start negotiations with the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents to reach agreements over the settlement of the Karabakh conflict,” Lavrov said. “We believe we have reached a point when we need to make a decision.”
This article says that the Armenian Foreign Ministry commented on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s statement at Congress of World Azerbaijanis that Armenians are guests in Karabakh and Armenian state is built on historic Azerbaijani lands. “These kinds of pearls from the president of Azerbaijan are amusing, taken into account that Azerbaijan is a county that could not be found on the world map a century ago. Most probably this is the hidden motive for barbarous extermination of centuries-old cultural heritage of Armenians and everything that reminds of Armenians on the territory of a state that is called Azerbaijan today,” read the statement.
Azerbaijani political analyst Alexander Karavaev said, according to this article, that Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev found himself in a difficult situation after the failure of the parties to agree on the Basic Principles at the meeting in Kazan. “That was the ninth meeting in such format. No other post-Soviet conflict has so far caught Medvedev’s attention than it is the case with the Karabakh conflict,” said he. Therefore, according to him, Russia will now seek ways and methods to exert pressure on the parties to make them reach agreement.
This article says that Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan and the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a phone conversation on Thursday, ahead of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Yerevan. During the phone call, initiated by the US side, the parties discussed issues related to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, as well as the further development of the Armenia-US bilateral relations.
According to this article, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar met with his French counterpart Alain Juppe. The two ministers discussed the prospects of the Karabakh conflict settlement, following the Kazan meeting of the Armenian and Azeri presidents.
According to this article EU’s foreign relations commissioner Catherine Ashton called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to multiply their efforts to reach an agreement over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict before the end of the year. “The efforts to reach an agreement over the Basic Principles should continue, and I welcome the fact that both sides remain committed to the negotiations and the settlement of the issue,” said Ashton, adding that the parties should do more in the coming months so that to achieve a settlement before the end of the year.
This article says the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Audronius Azubalis that The OSCE will continue its work to resolve protracted conflicts. He also said the OSCE will continue these efforts, including confidence-building measures to reduce tensions in and around Nagorno-Karabakh and contribute to positive results. “The Geneva Discussions move slowly, but efforts to introduce and implement confidence-building measures are contributing positive results. The communication must continue,” Azubalis said, referring to the talks co-chaired by the OSCE, the UN and the EU with the goal of resolving the situation after the August 2008 conflict in Georgia.
Political analyst Ruben Mehrabyan, according to this article said, that though the meeting in Kazan did not produce a tangible result over the Karabakh conflict, the process still continues. According to him, the recent activeness of the mediators over Karabakh talks is natural as the mediation process is a serious one and includes three states which are three main member states (out of five) of the UN Security Council. “I don’t see any other serious format [for the settlement],” said Mehrabyan. Further, he said that Russia has taken the upper hand in the mediating efforts and is already fed up with the “perversities” of the parties.
According to thick news item, political analyst Sergei Minasyan said that the recent activeness of world mediators in Karabakh conflict is related to the bellicose statements by the Azerbaijani sides which have recently become more frequent. In his opinion, “military threats by Azerbaijan already catch the attention of the international community” and the mediators now want to have the parties sign an agreement that would not be a solution, as it is impossible because the parties have diametrically opposition positions, but would a guarantee to prevent military actions and maintain stability in the region.
Russian MP Konstantin Zatulin said that Azerbaijan has lost Karabakh and to bring it back all Armenians there will have to be massacred. Zatulin also said that the Armenian nation both during the previous, current and future authorities will not leave Nagorno Karabakh. “For that to happen, the Karabakhi Armenians will have to be massacred as one person. But no one will allow anything similar; this is not the 1915,” he said. He also criticized the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing states, saying that the Karabakh conflict would be closer to its settlement, had the co-chairing states totally been free of what he called “self-advertisement”.
According to this article, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said at meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Yerevan that Armenia will thoroughly consider Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s proposals on the Karabakh conflict settlement and respond soon.
At the meeting, Sargsyan voiced his appreciation of the efforts made by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries – Russia, France and US – in settling the conflict and bringing peace and stability to the region.
Political analyst Ruben Mehrabyan told RFE/RL said that the visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Armenia and Azerbaijan to convey Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s message over the Karabakh conflict, means that the negotiations have not stopped, especially against the backdrop of the Kazan meeting where the parties failed to agree on the Basic Principles. According to him, Russia, having agreed with other mediating countries over its steps, has taken the drivers’ seat over the settlement. Political analyst Alexander Iskandaryan, in turn, said that Lavrov’s visit is a regular one to prepare the next meeting between Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev, and cannot have a significant impact on the negotiations process.
This article says that Russia’s Foreign Ministry representative Alexander Lukashevich said that the conflicting parties in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have recognized the format of the OSCE Minsk Group and the work of the co-chair countries as being an effective and competent tool in promoting settlement of the conflict. The article says that with that statement Lukashevich basically presented the Kremlin’s opinion on Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani’s statement to change the Minsk Group format and the need to involve Iran in the process.
An agreement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement is possible “if Azerbaijan removes the 10 amendments” proposed at the meeting in Kazan, said Armenian Foreign minister Edward Nalbandyan at a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Yerevan.
This article says that Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday in Baku where Lavrov hand over Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s proposals over the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. “I hereby pass you the proposals of the President of Russian Federation. We are hopeful that you will provide us with your comments after examining them,” said Lavrov. It also says that the letter contains proposals on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution that was recently discussed in Kazan, Russia.
According to this article, Sinan Ogan, a Turkish MP of the Nationalistic Party, said in an interview with the Salam News that despite the efforts made by Armenia, Azerbaijan will bring Nagorno Karabakh and the seven surrounding regions under its rule again. “It would be wise of Armenia to return those occupied territories peacefully, otherwise, I am sure the Azerbaijani army will solve the issue,” said he, adding that the Azerbaijani nation is capable of doing it. “The 50 million Azerbaijani Turks are capable of doing it. The 250-million-strong Turkic community is capable of doing it,” he added.
In this article published in The Washington Post Will Englund says that for a long time now Russia, the United States and various European organizations have been trying to sponsor a framework peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan that would finally settle the dispute over this mountainous enclave, but Nagorno-Karabakh itself doesn’t have a seat at the table, and its president says that must change. However, Englund says that Azerbaijan has so far balked at the idea of Nagorno-Karabakh becoming permanently independent. It argues that it lost 20 percent of its territory in the war, and that hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis who were displaced want to return to their homes.
The article says that Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov will discuss Russian President’s recent proposals on Karabakh at various levels within three days in US; Azerbaijani Turan agency reported referring to a diplomatic source in Washington. “We welcome Russia’s insistence on the issue but we are not aware of details of the proposals. We will discuss them in the course of Russian Foreign Minister’s forthcoming visit to Washington,” the source said on conditions of anonymity. “As a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, U.S. joins Russia’s persistence to reach peace in the region,” he stressed.
According to this article Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan said that claims about pressure exerted on the Armenian side at negotiation process over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are exaggerated. “First and foremost, we are going to do our best to resolve the conflict in peaceful way. The process is going on and we act constructively in this process, everybody knows that,” Sargsyan said. According to him, “certain parties encourage us, while others try to criticize, but that does not really matter.” “What actually matters is that talks on pressure are being exaggerated. The mediators try to bring closer the positions of the involved sides, the positions of Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan,” added he.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said Baku will attentively study the proposals of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev conveyed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and will come up with an answer after a thorough examination of the proposals. According to him, “the co-chairing states realize that the status quo in the region is unacceptable”. “Today, the conflicting parties are working on a document that is based on the updated Madrid Principles, and Armenia should understand that this work should be continued without emotion. First of all, Armenia should withdraw in the near future its troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. This will lead to stability in the region and favors Armenia itself,” Mammadyarov was quoted as saying.
Opposition Armenian party Heritage MP Larisa Alaverdyan, speaking about the new proposals over Nagorno Karabakh, said that the Armenia’s diplomacy should not speak about pro-Armenian policy or proposals but rather consider those proposals from the viewpoint of regional stability. Further, she said that the proposals the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs will come up with should consider Azerbaijan’s suggestions, “as there are no proposals on the table from other sides”. She also said that documents prepared by the OSCE MG are gradually going far from legal grounds and becoming closer to the logics of arbitrary decisions.
According to this news item, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly called for greater efforts within the organization to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly deplores the recent increase in tension around Nagorno-Karabakh, and urges that increased political efforts be made within the OSCE to settle the unresolved conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as in Moldova and Georgia”, it said in a statement.
This article says that the European Union’s Managing Director for Eastern Neighborhood Programmes Miroslav Lajcak said that the EU will send its new special representative to Southern Caucasus in the near future with a main responsibility will be to support resolution of conflicts in the region, including Karabakh conflict. “EU supports Minsk group and its efforts to find political resolution of the conflict. At the same time there is an increasing belief that official Brussels should also have an active and visual political role. Karabakh conflict is the only issue in our neighborhood where EU is not directly involved. We cannot establish relations with our Eastern neighbors while pretending the conflict does not exist,” said Lajcak.
According to this article, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and parties discussed further progress of Minsk Group co-chairs in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, as well as subsequent efforts by Russia, the US and France to mediate the talks, considering the trilateral meeting on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Kazan.
Goran Linbland, former chairmen of the commission of political affairs at the PACE, said that Russia should exert more pressure on Armenia so that to ensure progress in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. In his words, following the meeting in Kazan a fresh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan has become more probable and therefore Russia must “stop arming Armenia and make it sign the principles of peaceful settlement”. Further, he mentioned that Armenia has a “stronger lobby” in EU and US rather than Azerbaijan, adding that the situation may well change.
International Crisis Group European Program Director Sabine Freizer said the war in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone is likely to break out in the medium term, adding that the race of armaments, escalation in the frontline, military rhetoric and lack of progress in the negotiations only increases the risk of a fresh war. According to her, opinions of some experts that a possible war will be short-term are alarming, as they prompt to rash decisions and reinforce the view that war is better than peace. “Military rhetoric misleads people and makes them more intransigent: Armenians in the issue of withdrawal from the occupied territories, and Azerbaijanis in granting an interim status to Nagorno-Karabakh,” Freizer said. “The war in Nagorno-Karabakh would be disastrous to Russia’s security and relations with its neighbors.”
According to this article, Deputy Director of Caucasus Institute, Sergey Minasyan, Armenia’s recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh will derail the negotiation process and Azerbaijan in that case will either start a fresh war or abstain from doing it, showing inability of its military rhetoric. In both cases “either swift resolution of the Karabakh conflict or involvement of Stepanakert in talks should not be expected, as Baku will never agree to it”. As for changing the format of Karabakh talks or EU involvement in the process, Minasyan believes it is not likely. “There is a certain limit beyond which Armenia will not compromise. It is the status of Karabakh, ensuring land contact with Armenia and security guarantees,” the expert said.
The article says that Azerbaijan was resentful over a statement by Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan who said that the Karabakhi people won the war against Azerbaijan because they were defending their homelands. Further it says that Novruz Mammadov, the chief of foreign department at Azerbaijan’s presidential administration, said that Sargsyan’s comments are meant for domestic use. He also said that in terms of diplomacy Armenia is far behind Azerbaijan.
The article says that US and Russian presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at a phone conversation. Obama highly appreciated the efforts made by Russia, especially during the meeting in Kazan in late June. Further, it says that the parties expressed willingness to take further steps to help Baku and Yerevan to reach a peaceful settlement to the Karabakh conflict.
Political analyst Sergey Minasyan said it is a fact that for two decades now, Russia, the US and France have been trying to find a solution to the Karabakh issue, or at least have the truce maintained, but both Moscow and Washington realize there is no quick solution. According to him, signing a document in near future would point to the big powers’ inclination to avoid escalation, or the new document would signal a start of a new stage of negotiations that might again take decades. “No one in Azerbaijan has any doubts about who was to blame for the failure of the Kazan meeting,” Minasyan said, adding that the Russian president takes the issue as a personal matter, and any failure affects his reputation.
The article says that the situation over the settlement of the Karabakh conflict is changing drastically. It goes on to say that just a day ahead of the OSCE co-chairs’ visit the representative of Azerbaijan’s presidential administration said that Baku is ready to grant Karabakh a temporary status. Which means that the Madrid Principles can be considered as solved and the process of handing over Karabakh to Azerbaijan has already begun.
According to this article Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said in an interview that Azerbaijan offers Armenia to immediately start working on peace agreement on Karabakh conflict resolution. “I think we record some progress, so we can work on peace agreement,” said he. Asked when Baku can start negotiations with Armenian side on peace agreement, the minister replied that it is possible to do it right now, adding that that Kazan meeting was a success, despite the opinion of the experts and media. Armenia and Azerbaijan should continue negotiations without the media and hysteria, he added.
According to this article The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Audronius Azubalis said at a meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs that he supports the efforts by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group to achieve a breakthrough at the negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He also called for more civil society involvement in the implementation of confidence-building measures. “It will contribute to the resolution of the conflict, and will strengthen confidence among the societies,” he added.
According to this article, Armenian political expert Karen Bekaryan, commenting on Aliyev’s recent statement that Baku will never consider the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence, said that to determine the fate of Karabakh people one should address them directly. “Once, Azerbaijani leader Aliyev will realize it is senseless to speak with Karabakh people in a language of threats or force. Voicing the idea of interim status of Nagorno-Karabakh for the first time Aliyev rushed to call Armenians aggressors,” he said. Further, he said that once Karabakh’s people expression of will is discussed, Azerbaijani leader may declare Armenians “occupied” another five villages therefore Baku had to agree to expression of will.
Obama Thanks Russian Foreign Minister for Karabakh [ENG]
This article says that, US President Barack Obama expressed his gratitude to Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov at a meeting in Washington for his efforts made for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Obama emphasized the US’ commitments in achieving certain results with respect to the framework agreement. It also says that apart from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict Obama and Medvedev discussed during that meeting also other bilateral and international issues.
Russian political expert Stanislav Tarasov said in an interview that by agreeing to the renewed Basic Principles Azerbaijan recognizes only two parts of the issue – interim status for Nagorno Karabakh and then the referendum that will clarify Karabakh’s status within Azerbaijan’s state only. He goes on to say that there has recently been some logic in the actions of Azerbaijan. Baku, according to him, is trying to withdraw of the negotiations as the first step in the way is leading to the destruction of the process with the only way being the recognition of Karabakh.
Manvel Ghumashyan, the board chairman of the European Integration NGO said that the Kazan meeting proved that Azerbaijan made it clear that it does not want any changes in the current status as it realized that any changes, even positive ones, will cause “big problems for the Aliyev clan”. “It is natural that the Aliyev clan avoids changes in the situation,” said he. Asked to extent the Madrid Principles are beneficial for the Armenian side, he made a reference to a statement by Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan that the document is not the one that he would like to.
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