The minister of foreign affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandyan spoke about the current stage of the Karabakh settlement process and the meeting in Geneva at the fourth European Armenian Conference. He noted that it was possible to adopt a joint statement for the first time in the past four years. At the same time, he mentioned that Baku backtracks from its commitments on numerous occasions, including the commitment made at the meeting in Vienna.
Nalbandyan spoke about Armenia’s readiness to start intensive negotiations, noting, however, that “if Baku abides to the calls of the Co-Chairs to strictly respect the ceasefire, implement previously reached agreements, reiterate its adherence to the principles of the conflict resolution proposed by the Co-Chairs and constructively engage in the negotiations”.
In fact, Nalbandyan repeated the Armenian “preconditions”, “ascribing” those to the co-chairs. These conditions of Armenia and the co-chairs match despite Serzh Sargsyan’s statement made a year ago that the Armenian side says those are the conditions of the co-chairs, not of Armenia.
What matters is Armenia insists on the conditions and otherwise not to go to the negotiations. Otherwise, Azerbaijan’s “right to territories and right to war” is restored, and Baku avoids the deadlock where it has appeared in the result of the April war.
Armenia’s recent behavior ahead of and after the meeting in Geneva caused such suspicions. Concerns were expressed that Armenia backtracks from its demands and returns to the unfavorable pre-April political-military and diplomatic situation. Does Nalbandyan’s speech cover these concerns? The Armenian government’s further steps will show.
In his turn, Nalbandyan reminded in his speech about a document which has been carefully ignored for about a decade. “I would like to conclude it also by recalling one of them [the resolutions of the European Parliament] adopted in 1999, which stipulates that Nagorno-Karabakh declared its independence following similar declarations made by the former Soviet Republics. Indeed, Nagorno-Karabakh has never been part of independent Azerbaijan and, as President Sargsyan stressed on numerous occasions, can never be.”
The wording of this resolution adopted by the European Parliament indicates that the referendum on the independence of Karabakh has the same political and legal force as the Soviet republics recognized by the international community.
The task of Armenia is to recognize the right of Artsakh to self-determination and sovereignty. Will the recalling of this document in the European Armenian Conference mean that Armenia sets out to implement this right, setting it as a goal for the Armenian organizations?