Stepanakert's Peculiar Response to Kurdish Referendum: Ahead of New Situation

    • Comments - 27 September 2017, 01:06
The president of Artsakh Republic Bako Sahakyan approved the new government on September 25. The most interesting point in the decree on the new cabinet is the change of the minister of foreign affairs.

Karen Mirzoyan was replaced by Masis Mayilyan who was the runoff presidential candidate in 2007. In 2008 Masis Mayilyan set up the Public Council on Foreign Policy and Security, cooperating with international think tanks. Mayilyan returns to the foreign ministry because he held different positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh since 1993 when the ministry was set up. In 2001 Mayilyan was deputy minister of foreign affairs.

Hence, Bako Sahakyan’s new appointment is interesting and deep not only because the position of the foreign minister has a specific importance for any country but also because of the choice of the person.

What will this appointment change in the foreign political, international behavior of Artsakh, its tactics and strategy? This question is primitive, considering what is there in any new appointment. On the other hand, this appointment itself is a change, evidence to change, a step translating intentions to actions.

This is an adequate response to the new situation resulting from developments in international policy, particularly the Artsakh issue, and in a wider sense, the Caucasian transformation. At the end of the day, a major process of political-military transformation of the world order is underway which is expressed in a heated military stage in some regions, and in some regions, including the Caucasus, in a political, diplomatic stage.

In this sense, the dominance of this stage depends on the political and diplomatic adequacy and creativity the subjects interested in a lasting political stage and reduction of military risks. The only exception in the Caucasus is Azerbaijan.

However, this interest should be transformed to an effective policy and diplomacy, and the appointment of the new foreign minister in Artsakh, as a signal step, is a unique claim to make Artsakh’s important contribution in the regional security and political-military transformations and a more active participation in the formation of the role of Artsakh.

There is a direct relation to the settlement process where the mediators are obviously trying to find a formula and a process that supposes maximum lasting stability, as well as to the international logic.

Interestingly, the appointment of the new government and foreign minister in Artsakh coincides with the referendum on independence in Iraqi Kurdistan. It is hard to tell if Bako Sahakyan had planned that or not but the appointment overlapped with this event which has become a significant point on the international political-military map, which is symbolic indeed. It is hard to tell how close or far the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan is but obviously it is a significant international process, evidence to which is the active diplomatic shuttle of the international security centers around the referendum of Kurdistan.

What is happening in Artsakh may not be noticed amid the shuttle diplomacy but this is not the point. The point is the symbolic reaction to the situation, whether intentional or not. At the end of the day, the purpose of a state policy at any scale is not demonstration or visibility but the creation of a situation when the creation cannot pass unheeded in the world.

Artsakh is facing this issue in the process of settlement. There is uncertainty there. The old situation is not effective any longer but there is no new situation. It needs to be created.