Is Armenia Giving up on Principles of Madrid?

  • Politics - 16 September 2016, 16:06
All the agreements relating to the Karabakh settlement must be reviewed, the deputy minister of foreign affairs Shavarsh Kocharyan stated.

The principles of Madrid envisage compromise, including on territories and status, he reminded.

“However, after the military aggression by Azerbaijan in April it is necessary to think seriously over those aspects. There have been serious concessions in the form of agreement to accept the principles of Madrid as basis which envisaged deferred referendum because then the co-chairs seriously justified the reasons for the deferred referendum by the need to have the Baku government prepare their public that Karabakh will not be part of Azerbaijan. However, they used that time in the opposite direction,” Kocharyan said.

“We have constantly discussed different proposals but today there is only one document which two of the three sides of the conflict accept as a basis for negotiations, and it is the document of Madrid, the rest were at the level of discussions, negotiations. In this respect, it is necessary to proceed from the fact that only Armenia and Azerbaijan have accepted this document as basis, and Karabakh has not accepted it as a basis,” Kocharyan said.

Is it possible to assume that Yerevan rejects the principles of Madrid? The statement was made at a time when the country does not have a minister of foreign affairs, there is only an acting minister. In addition, there is high probability that Edward Nalbandyan will be replaced. Shavarsh Kocharyan’s statement crushes the policy conducted by Nalbandyan in the past 8 years.

The principles of Madrid were proposed in 2007 when Vardan Oskanyan was minister. Edward Nalbandyan has zealously promoted these principles for 8 years. His zeal could be interpreted in different ways. There is an opinion that Nalbandyan was trying to bring at least some stability into the negotiations, not allowing the process to escape the U.S.-Russia-France triangle.

One way or another, the principles of Madrid will leave with Nalbandyan. They are obsolete but they remain topical because nothing has been offered instead.

Could one claim that there is a new plan of settlement? Most probably, there are several plans. One of them is the so-called Lavrov’s plan, which envisaged territorial concessions in return for opening the borders and not starting military actions. The United States offers another plan – introduction of investigative mechanisms, opening of the borders and negotiations.

Armenia supports the second plan and refuses Lavrov’s plan, and it means that it is time to reject officially the principles of Madrid.