Anti-Armenian propaganda policy of Azeri authorities is unpromising

Vartan Oskanian:

Anti-Armenian propaganda policy of Azeri authorities is unpromising

PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenian foreign policy is aimed at both establishing good-neighbor relations with the countries in the region and long term constructive relations with European structures. Here a special place occupies the process of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement. The RA FM Vartan Oskanian shared his views with PanARMENIAN.Net concerning perspectives of negotiation process in near future.
2002 did not became a "window for breakthrough" in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. Currently they speak about the "window" in 2007. What do you think about real terms for settlement of the conflict?

Today nobody can guess or predetermine real terms for the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Talks are not interrupted, they continue and it is a rather intensive process. At the same time I must underline that the possibility of progress in 2007 is not excluded. The document on the table gives us such a hope: there are still unsettled problems, but actually we have basis to reach agreement on a number of principles. First of all it is connected with the fact that those principles are not taken from air, they are results of long negotiations and both sides realize what they are negotiating over.

I think after parliamentary elections in Armenia there will be a window, and if all sides display political will, and especially the Azeri side, it will be possible to fix serious progress this year.

The OSCE Minsk Group speaks much about confidence building measures between the conflicting countries. However, the authorities of neighboring country rather actively bring up their people in the spirit of anti-Armenian hatred. Don't we see a game with only one goal; that is to say, they want us to believe Azeris, who are being brought up with hatred towards Armenians?

Prudence of Armenian nation has a history of centuries. People understand that there are no eternal enemies. I hope the Azeri nation also has such prudence. Mutual confidence is one the most important preconditions for the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement, it is impossible to move forward without it. The Minsk Group gives great importance to that issue and tries to make corresponding steps in this direction on various levels. I think, the anti-Armenian propaganda that Baku carries out is unpromising, and raises doubts in sincerity of their statements concerning normalization of relations.

But I am sure that the dominant tendencies in the world will make Azerbaijani authorities reconsider their non-constructive approaches and finally refuse from the possibility to solve the Karabakh conflict forcefully.

The Azeri side blames the OSCE MG for slowing down the negotiation process. Do you agree with this statement.

Of course I do not agree with it. There will be no sense in continuing negotiations, if those statements were right. I do not see any logic in that statement. And if the Azeri side really thinks so, its goal is clear: to exert pressure on the Co-Chairs, continuing efforts to take the Nagorno Karabakh conflict problem to other structures. However, judging by readiness of Azeri authorities to participate in negotiations, today such opinion does not prevail with Azeri side.

Armenia is for Turkey's membership to the European Union. What advantages and disadvantages the RA can expect in this case?

I would like to introduce some clarity: Armenia would really like to have a neighbor like those member-states of the European Union - with democratic and open society, which would undoubtedly respect human rights and freedoms. It's clear that today Turkey is not such a country. And still it is a question if Turkey will be able to become such a state.

How do you appreciate the last meeting between the Armenian and Azeri FMs and can we expect anything new from the next meeting on March 14?

As was reported before, during negotiations we continued to discuss principles of settlement, we touched upon details of document. In the result of constructive and encouraging talks we agreed on continuing meetings.

I wouldn't like to pay a special importance to the statements of some representatives of Azeri delegation and I hope that the Azeri side will be loyal to the spirit and letter of the document on the table and desire to fix progress. Moreover, we are inclined just so. Our positive mood proceeds also from intensive and serious preparations of Minsk Group Co-Chairs to discuss the situation with conflicting parties. And we will be able to speak about results of coming meeting after it ends.