No progress in Karabakh conflict

Alan Kasayev:

No progress in Karabakh conflict

PanARMENIAN.Net - Nagorno Karabakh issue has again become a subject of hot debates among politicians and experts. The recent statement by Presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chair countries originated a chain of opinions and comments. Head of RIA Novosti’s CIS and Baltic States Department Alan Kasayev elaborated on the current situation in an interview with PanARMENIAN.Net.

How would you assess the current stage of Karabakh process?
Madrid Principles have been discussed during a year and a half already but the recent presidential meeting in St. Petersburg caused severe tensions. Nevertheless, I think that the negotiation process fits the context of regional relations, with Turkey getting more isolated and with Iran developing policy towards Armenia and Azerbaijan. Under the circumstances, the conflicting sides are unlikely to register any progress.

Azerbaijan keeps speaking of revised Madrid Principles, Armenia says these do not exist. What can be the reason for this contradiction?
Actually, some words or sentences were rearranged in the revised document. However, there are no drastic changes.

For Armenia, the status of Nagorno Karabakh is a priority while Azerbaijan insists on its territorial integrity. How efficient can talks be?
Talks should continue, anyway, as one of the fundamental principles of international relations since the time of the Roman Empire. Although without obvious results, the sides are willing to negotiate. We should also keep in mind that Azerbaijan is awaiting parliamentary elections, what can hamper the Karabakh process. I think that things can get moving after the elections, in November. Turkey may also intensify activity, given its aspiration to take the lead in Islamic world. Moreover, the ruling AK party will have to maintain positions before the parliamentary elections in 2011.

Are Karabakh process and Armenian-Turkish rapprochement interrelated?
These processes are interrelated anyway. The principle of “two countries one nation” really works. Azerbaijan wants the Armenian-Turkish rapprochement to be parallel to Karabakh settlement.

Arshaluys Mghdesyan / PanARMENIAN News
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