The mediators in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must achieve a dialogue between the communities and the withdrawal of occupation forces, Director of the Center of Political Innovations and Technologies, political scientist Mubariz Ahmedoglu told Trend.
Ahmedoglu said appeal on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict made by Foreign Ministers of the OSCE Minsk Group drew attention from some points of view.
“First of all the appeal of the co-chairs isn’t implemented within a short period elapsed from the appeal. Second this sudden appeal means a great progress in resolution of the conflict as a dialogue between Armenians and Azerbaijani lived in Nagorno-Karabakh is shown as a main road leading to peace. Issue of confidence-building measures, as well as the withdrawal of snipers from the contact line is not put,” Ahmedoglu said.
“Statement of the Foreign Ministers of member countries of OSCE Minsk Group can also be seen as a reaction to the steps taken by Russia to annexation of Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” Ahmedoglu said.
The composition, principles of action, the statute of OSCE Minsk Group, which has been operating during 20 years, showed its complete failure, causing serious concern, the analyst said.
“Elimination of gaps in this area is a requirement of the day. At the same time we must not forget about another issue. Three major nations of the world have always boasted that they had come to a unified position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Now, the position of the Russian Federation, which it demonstrated to other conflict zones in the CIS space, once may have an impact on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and thus, the format of a single co-operation of the three leading nations of the world, may be destroyed,” Ahmedoglu said.
According to him, the only ones to blame for delays and the current status of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are mediators, so that in the result of the OSCE Minsk Group activity, the true position of the Armenian leadership in resolving this conflict is not clear neither to Armenian people nor to the international community.
“Thanks to information provided by the co-chairs, in France and the United States people really believe that Armenia will once peacefully settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, will withdraw the armed forces from the occupied territories, agree to a return of Azerbaijanis to the land of their fathers and grandfathers. Mediators played an important role in informing the world, including the leadership of their countries, about Armenian lies” the political analyst said.
Armenia began to arm itself in recent years, which is also the result of the OSCE Minsk Group, he said. Today the expenditure of the state budget of Armenia for military purposes is more than Azerbaijani in percentage comparison.
“Three years ago, Armenia was in talks with international institutions for a loan. International financial institutions have demanded additional guarantees for its issue. Armenia began to negotiate with Fitch to get guarantees. After the activities of the Armenian lobby the Fitch international rating agency has agreed to provide a letter of guarantee to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, but has put forward a condition that a letter of guarantee stating that no war will be in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be given,” Ahmedoglu noted.
They presented to Fitch a letter of guarantee that the OSCE Minsk Group, and three co-chairs will not allow the war in Nagorno-Karabakh region, he said. From the obtained credits Armenia provided funds for weapons.
“The sudden increase in funds allocated by Armenia for arms, which began in 2009, is connected with it. Thus, the mediators, using the fact they will not allow the war in the region as a cover actually helped to arm Armenia. Maybe, mediators saw in Armenia’s arming factor that will prevent war. But the result is obvious: the region is now more ready for war than for peace. While the war has not begun, it can be prevented,” said the analyst.
If we consider that the mediators by their visits deceived their countries’ leaders, we consider it useful to change the method of their activities, he said.
“The three co-chairs for a long time – from several weeks to several months – while being in the region, begin to organize a dialogue between the communities of Nagorno-Karabakh, establish it and bring the number of participants in a dialogue from each side to at least 500 people. It would be better to conduct systematically organized dialogues on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, in the cities of Shusha and Khankendi. With the organization of dialogue between the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Nagorno-Karabakh foundation is laid for the withdrawal of Armenian forces from Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Ahmedoglu.
Not only Russia but the United States can exert military pressure today on, he said.
“The upcoming parliamentary elections, and the expected military strikes on Iran, increased military pressure of the U.S. on Armenia. Meetings held by the Armenian defense minister in the United States, and in particular with the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the heads of the CIA, give an idea of their contents. If there are no serious objective efforts of mediators, their hard work, then war is inevitable,” added the analyst.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group – Russia, France and the U.S. – are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council’s four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.