Azerbaijan's Ready for Compromise to Ensure Talks Resume

    • Comments - 24 September 2017, 12:31
The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met during the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly and discussed issues relating to the meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. They also agrees on the regional visit of the Minsk Group co-chairs to the region.

The most significant thing is, however, that according to Azerbaijani media, Elmar Mammedyarov expressed Azerbaijan’s support to some proposals by the co-chairs with a view to continuation of substantive negotiations of conflict settlement. The proposals are not specified but so far Baku insisted on starting negotiations without preconditions. The co-chairs of the Minsk Group and Armenia kept noting that negotiations will not resume without confidence building. In particular, introduction of mechanisms for investigation of incidents at the line of contact and increasing the capacity of the OSCE observers was discussed. This point was considered after the meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Vienna and Saint Petersburg.

Baku has refused to meet these conditions, and Armenia has announced that it will otherwise not resume talks.

Does this mean that Azerbaijan agrees to the proposal on equipment for investigation of border incidents? If yes, is it possible to speak about expanding the OSCE presence in the region? Azerbaijan does not hide it cares for resuming the talks. Over time a lot changes in the region, and Baku understands that if it misses the moment, tomorrow it may be too late for negotiations. In the first place, elections are coming up in Azerbaijan, and Aliyev’s re-election is questioned. Apparently, he is trying to nominate his wife for president but the situation is equivocal. The Aliyev family is under international pressure, opposition went on rallies.

Besides, next spring Serzh Sargsyan’s term ends, and the system of governance in Armenia will change. Aliyev will have to talk to the parliamentary coalition, not Serzh Sargsyan, and it is going to be difficult.

Besides, after Kurdistan is declared independent, a lot may change in the region, and the movement for Kurdish sovereignty may move as far as Turkey. It is not known how the referendum in Catalonia will end. If both referendums have peaceful outcomes, Karabakh will get additional arguments.

In brief, Azerbaijan needs to resume the negotiations as soon as possible. Therefore, Baku is up for compromise and accepts the proposals of the co-chairs. If the proposals are on the equipment, it means Baku agrees to give up on the use of force. Armenia has been demanding a “non-attack pact” but Azerbaijan insisted on its right to war.

Will Azerbaijan sign such a pact during the meeting of presidents? Apparently, Baku may agree to a lot of things in the current situation not to miss the chance for negotiations.

What will this bring to Armenia? If territorial concessions by the Armenian side are going to be discussed at the substantive talks, it will be absurd. Armenia does not give away territories under the war threat and during the war but agrees to give away the lands at the table of “peace” talks.

What are Sargsyan and Aliyev going to discuss?