Monthly Review - Friday, July 1, 2011 0:45 - 0 Comments
Digest of Azerbaijan media for June 15-30
by News Digest
In an interview with Day.az Russian political scientist Grigoriy Trofimchuk, commented on the talks evolving around Karabakh, possible solution options and overall Russia’s involvement in the negotiation process. According to Trofimchuk, Russia has been very active over the recent years, which in case of reaching some kind of agreement will not only strengthen president’s position but the position of the country as a whole. As to alternative solutions to the conflict, political scientist mentioned in his interview the set of guarantees that Armenia is requesting. Because an important nuance in these negotiations is to ensure that all sides are assured. The problem is not because of Armenia, Azerbaijan or Russia. The problem lies in the fact that there are no concrete ideas for the resolution of the conflict.
President Aliyev placed much of the responsibility on resolving the conflict on Armenia during his interview with Euronews. In President’s words, Azerbaijan is positive on the resolution of the conflict, and that its Armenia that needs to be open and constructive. Aliyev further reiterated Azerbaijan’s position by noting that the country has stuck to its position for some years now and that he, himself, publicly talked about Azerbaijan being prepared to guarantee the most extensive autonomy that is possible. The president suggested taking examples from Europe like Italy where the local government is paying much attention to autonomies in order to guarantee the best living conditions.
President Obama spoke on the phone with the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia before the meeting in Kazan calling not only on Armenia and Azerbaijan but also on all other actors involved in the negotiation process to start taking necessary steps towards the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. President Obama recommended that the two heads of states agree on the basic principles during the meeting.
In his interview with News.az, Phil Gamaghelyan, managining editor of Caucasus Edition commented on the importance of non- political leaders, including spiritual leaders in re- humanizing each other, especially since the two communities have grown so hostile towards each other over the last 20 years. Gamaghelyan while answering the question on the resolution of the conflict in near future, noted the importance of the current situation and the pace of the negotiations, however, he also noted that peace is not just about signatures. Especially in the case of Armenia and Azerbaijan, where the two countries’ leaderships so far have failed to provide confidence- building measures on the human level and instead, active hostility is in place.
It was one of the longest meetings in this format commented Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Azerbaijan on the recent talks in Kazan. And while Armenia was looking for maximum concessions on Azerbaijan’s side, the two presidents managed to agree on continuing the search of mutual steps. Mammadyarov went as far as to advice Armenian foreign ministry to stop their engagement with PR and instead look for alternatives and deal with negative status quo situation.
Analyst with the International Crisis Center, Sabina Freiser, believes, that while the meeting in Kazan didn’t fulfill the expectations, there is still some hope for the possibility of reaching an agreement on basic principles. The problem according to Freiser is the fact that there is little time left before co- chair countries as well as conflicting countries- Armenia and Azerbaijan- head into presidential elections. According to Freiser, its going to be hard to reach any kind of solution during the presidential campaign period.
Member of Azerbaijani National Parliament and member of general assembly of the “Azerbaijani community of Karabakh” Elman Mamedov commented on the strength of the Azerbaijani military and the possibility of its involvement in war in case peaceful negations don’t result in positive outcome in his interview with TREND.az.
According to Fikret Sadikhov, political scientist from Azerbaijan, leading countries, unfortunately fail at applying necessary pressure on Armenia and continue putting up with its caprices. Sadikhov noted importance of the resolution of the conflict for a number of reasons, including geopolitical stability and economic interests. However, according to Sadikhov, for Armenia, concessions mean loss of power for Sargysan. And this is when the pressure was needed. However, he also spoke positively on the general statement that came following the meeting by the presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia.
Armenian Foreign Minister, Edward Nalbandian criticized Azerbaijan for failing to sign any agreement during the meeting in Kazan. According to Nalbandian, the reason why no agreement was signed was because Azerbaijan came up with additional 10 proposals. However foreign minister noted, the meeting was useful as the two sides agreed to continue detailed discussions.
In his comments to Reuters, Thomas de Waal, Caucasus specialist at the Carnegie Endowmnet for International Peace in Washington expressed his disappointment with recent talks especially as this was supposed to be the long- expected breakthrough. According to de Waal, the more the process lingers, the higher are the chances for war as it might seem to be the easiest solution.
Ilgar Velizade, political scientist from Azerbaijan, came to this conclusion following the recent meeting of presidents and foreign ministers in Kazan. Velizade, strongly argues that for Armenia’s unwillingness to sing any papers. In Velizade’s words, demands of Armenia- recognition of separatist Karabakh for return of Azerbaijani territories- will never be accepted by Azerbaijan. In Velizade’s words, Armenia only creates a visibility of its preparedness in the negotiation process, while in reality it refrains from any true commitment.
In a statement released by the French Foreign Ministry, the meeting in Kazan should not be considered as insignificant. In fact, the statement concludes that the meeting determined certain nuances of mutual understanding, which enable the continuation of negotiation process and adoption of forthcoming principles on resolution of the conflict.
Rustam Mamedov belives that the only way status quo can change is by immediate return of Azerbaijani currently-under-occupation territories. In this case, leadership in Armenia will quickly fall and its place will be taken over by Armenian opposition- more liberal powers, understanding importance of the integration with Azerbaijan.
While US is disappointed with both Armenia and Azerbaijan failing to reach an agreement on basic principles, it is nevertheless hopeful especially following a joint statement made by all three presidents.
According to Ambassador, European Union has been doing everything possible to assist in the negotiation process of the conflict however, its involvement is only limited as both sides to the conflict as well as Minsk Group co- chairs agree that it’s the Minsk Group that is responsible for most of the negotiation process. Ambassador spoke positively of the overall negotiation process despite there being few impediments in recent talks, and especially in Kazan.
According to Mubariz Ahmedoglu, Armenia wont sign any document on Karabkah under any circumstances or conditions. Its leaders are not serious and don’t take given promises seriously. Ahmedoglu believes however that the OSCE Minsk Group co- chairs carry their own share of responsibility in the negotiation process. Political scientist argues that the co- chairs either on purpose or not, didn’t put a ready-to-sign document on the table.
An Azerbaijani soldier was wounded as a result of ceasefire violation by the Armenian military forces. According to Teymur Abdullayev, deputy secretary of the Ministry of Security press service the soldier is Sarxan Akhmedov, born in 1991.
Ali Hasanov, head of the public and political department at the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan once again made it clear that Azerbaijani army is ready for an attack at any time if peaceful negotiations do not prevail. However, acknowledging that this is not the most optimal solution, Hasanov noted that Azerbaijan does not want to resort to force but prefer solving the conflict through international norms and rights with the assistance from the international organizations.
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