Serzh Sargsyan and Aliyev made speeches at NATO Summit in Warsaw and met with the U.S. Secretary Kerry. They discussed the peace settlement of the Karabakh issue, the commitment to the agreements reached in Vienna and Saint Petersburg. NATO’s concluding communique dwells on the territorial integrity of countries, as well as the three basic principles of conflict resolution, including the right to self-determination. As always, Aliyev talked about territorial integrity and “occupation” of 20% of the country. He also said Azerbaijan supports the Minsk Group statement, which mentions the unacceptability of the status quo. “A change of status quo means ending the occupation of the territory of Azerbaijan,” he said. For his part, Serzh Sargsyan mentioned in his speech that the “status quo will change if the exercise of the right to self-determination of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh is recognized.” Hence, NATO Summit clarified the new stage of Karabakh settlement. The problem is that Azerbaijan must recognize the status of Karabakh. Baku insists on the stage-by-stage option: first, return of territories, and at the end, a discussion of the status. Armenia insists on the package settlement: first status, then discussion of the other issues. It should be noted that following Vienna and Saint Petersburg Aliyev spoke about the possibility of discussing the status of Karabakh but in the framework of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan for the first time in the recent years. He said they will not allow a second Armenian state in the territory of Azerbaijan. Armenia insists that Karabakh cannot remain within Azerbaijan with any status, and the people of Karabakh will decide everything. The April war had bad consequences for Azerbaijan. Both military and political diplomacy failed, and the mediators are obviously forcing Baku to recognize the status of Karabakh. If Armenia had conducted a more staunch and sovereign policy, such pressure on Baku would have been stronger. However, in the result of Armenia’s current policy which is only an annex to the Russian-Azerbaijani plans, Baku has got a chance to thwart both the main achievement of Vienna, i.e. the introduction of a mechanism of investigation, which means international recognition of the status quo, as well the political process itself. If Armenia continues to implement this policy, the mediators will have no reason to meet Azerbaijan’s claims. Armenia must make sovereign decisions, not decisions that stem from the Russian-Azerbaijani interests. The patience of the mediators is not endless. And, it must be ready for the next war provoked by Azerbaijan after which Azerbaijan must speak about the “occupation” of 40%, not 20% of its territory, without a suspicious ceasefire. In this case, this will be the way to exercising the right to self-determination.
Sargsyan and Aliyev Revealed Subject of Negotiations
- Comments - 11 July 2016, 11:44