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The PACE impasse: Senseless dances of Azeri shamans

The PACE impasse: Senseless dances of Azeri shamans

Baku derived no lesson from years of fruitless attempts to move the Karabakh conflict settlement from the OSCE Minsk Group format to other platforms.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has been persistent in expressing his displeasure with the OSCE Minsk Group. However, his spasms of discontent were interspersed with bouts of civilized communication with the mediators - no boycotting of talks or declining of meetings.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Still, every occurrence deemed hurtful to “vulnerable” Azeri sensibilities causes local propaganda to unleash its indignation on the Co-chairs.

This time, Azeri anger was spurred by PACE's rejection of British MP Robert Walter's anti-Armenian report on the Karabakh conflict settlement.

Prior to the PACE discussions on the report, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs issued a statement, calling for a negotiated settlement to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. “We understand that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) may consider resolutions on the conflict in the near future and remind PACE, and other regional and international organizations, that the Minsk Group remains the only accepted format for negotiations. We appreciate the interest paid by PACE members, but urge that steps not be taken which could undermine the Minsk Group’s OSCE mandate or complicate ongoing negotiations,” they noted.

Heeding the mediators’ calls, PACE members rejected the report. Predictably enough, this caused the utter displeasure of Azerbaijan, which kept overfeeding Walter caviar with a side dish of petrodollars.

Baku thought it "unethical" to blame the MP for not giving his money's worth, so it vented its anger on the Minsk Group instead. Aliyev has bluntly accused the Co-chairs of undermining the adoption of the report “Escalation of violence in Nagorno Karabakh and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan.”

“The Co-chairs’ current activities are absolutely meaningless. Not only do they refuse to put pressure on Armenia, but they’re also trying to protect it from problems. Look what their provocations at the recent Council of Europe session led to. Who do they think they are?” Aliyev lamented.

Anxious to keep up with the President, Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov expressed “dissatisfaction” with the Co-chairs’ work, announcing that he sent notes of protest to Foreign Ministries of co-chairing countries. “Actualization of any matter concerning Nagorno Karabakh is our private affair. No one is allowed to interfere or put pressure on European parliamentarians. This is illogical,” Mammadyarov wrote.

Baku derived no lesson from years of fruitless attempts to move the Karabakh conflict settlement from the OSCE Minsk Group format to other platforms.

Stepping on the same rake over and over again, Azerbaijani leadership should have long realized that to the international community, the Minsk Group is the only acceptable format, its attempts to change the situation doomed to failure.

But Azerbaijan’s top shamans continue their useless dance around the fire, beating tambourines in a vain attempt to bring rain…

Marina Ananikyan/ PanARMENIAN.Net
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