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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Mogherini and Kerry will instruct the Sargsyan before the talks with Aliyev

On Monday, the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan arrived in Vienna, where the evening should meet with the EU high representative for security policy Federica Mogherini and the head of U.S. state Department John Kerry. After talking with them the Armenian leader will meet Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to agree on mechanisms to reduce tension in Karabakh.

photo: AP

The President Of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan

If not for the April escalation of the conflict, hardly anyone paid much attention to the next round of Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations. The fact that Sargsyan and Aliyev meet annually, and each time can’t come to a compromise. For example, last year they saw each other on December 19. Then the parties discussed the reduction of tensions and the daily violations of the truce. Intermediaries in the United States, France and Russia announced the continuation of the dialogue.

What he brought, all well know: on the night of 2 April, the Azerbaijani army began fighting on the border with the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. During the fierce four-day battle, according to various sources, died from several dozen to several hundred people on both sides of the line. The trust of the parties towards each other was completely undermined, and Yerevan even threatened to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh. The relevant law, the Armenian authorities have promised to take in the event of a new aggravation of the conflict.

Before the present meeting in Vienna the foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian said that his country is ready to discuss only measures to prevent a new aggression of Azerbaijan. Before the negotiation process on conflict settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh will remain frozen, says the Minister. In turn, Stepanakert recalled that since the signing of the agreement on strengthening of ceasefire regime in 1995, no real progress was not. As stated in the statement of the foreign Ministry of the breakaway Republic, Baku instead, doing everything to incite a new war. As if confirming this thesis, the head of the Ministry of defense of Azerbaijan Zakir Hasanov said on may 16 that his country will “liberate the occupied territories”.

Probably on Armenia and Azerbaijan is somewhere in Central Africa, a war between them would cease even for a second. But South Kaukasusregion with them are powerful friends and enemies: Russia, Iran and NATO member Turkey. Considering the complexity of the current geopolitical situation, escalation of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh may end in a new world war. No one wants that, including Yerevan and Baku, so the negotiations on the peaceful settlement of the conflict remains the only way out of the situation.

About the prospects of this process of “MK” said Alexander Iskandaryan, Director of Caucasus Institute:

– At a meeting in Vienna the presidents can try to negotiate the terms under which the parties will develop mechanisms of control over the situation on the contact line. I don’t think even this will work, but try to agree on something even in present conditions it is simply impossible. First you need to stop the violence and to revive the Minsk process. Would be nice if in the result of the meeting the sides at least will declare the continuation of the negotiations. Now valuable any attempt to transfer the conflict from the battlefield to the diplomatic format.

– The Minsk process is needed to revive, or should I look for another form of negotiation?

– The Minsk process is the language in which the negotiations, and it is constantly changing. You can talk about the Madrid principles, Kazan offers and so on. But at the heart of these negotiations are the inviolability of borders, self-determination of peoples and peaceful solution to the conflict.

– Does it make sense to include in this dialogue the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic?

– The meaning undoubtedly is, but there is no way. In the foreseeable political future Azerbaijan will never agree. Azerbaijanis perceive Karabakh as a territory that belongs to them in a number of categories of international law. Armenians say about the people who inhabit the region is in dispute. It is clear that it is impossible to determine the fate of man without his direct involvement.

– Informed the meeting of Sargsyan and Aliyev to anything did not lead, and as a result we received a “four day war”. Can it happen that in further escalation of the conflict will occur more often?

– At these meetings to resolve the conflict was impossible, but the aggravation was not so. It was the result of the processes that occur directly in the region. The Minsk process is an attempt to transform the conflict from military to diplomatic. It turns out extremely badly, and sometimes do not go, but military clashes are not the result of it. The Minsk group co-chairs are unable to enter into agreements without the participation of the parties to the conflict, then to yourself to fulfill them.

We will see the continuation of active hostilities?

– I think Yes. What happened in early April, was not an isolated event. Here there is the logic of the process: only 8-10 years ago, the region was a war of snipers, then they were joined by mortars, then these actions has spread from the Azerbaijani-Karabakh border to the Armenian-Azerbaijani, in turn went to the artillery, shooting down a helicopter… Expect everything will end quickly, very difficult. Now there are no real tools with which to stop the violence on the borders of the republics. But the international community is working to prevent real wars.

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