In order to bring closer the government and civil society members of Azerbaijan and Armenia, the Washington-DC based School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University organized a symposium on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, on October 15, APA US correspondent reports.
About 8-hour-long discussions titled “Assessing the Deadlock in the Nagorno-Karabakh Peace Process, Breaking the Impasse Series Symposium” brought together some officials and analysts from both countries, as well as the US-based experts.
The symposium addressed topics such as assessing the deadlock in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, perceptions, identity and multi-track diplomacy, as well as improving the effectiveness of track second approaches.
“The peace negotiations that are held between the two sides on the top level, bring them closer to each other”, said, Mr. Elman Abdullayev, Head of Press Department at the Azerbaijan MFA.
In the meanwhile, he mentioned, the process has lasted for 20 years, which is not in the interest of Azerbaijan. “The status-quo doesn’t work for the needs of Azerbaijani people, especially those who were enforced to leave their motherland by the Armenian occupiers”, he mentioned.
Varuzhan Nersessian, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Armenian Embassy in Washington DC, said, an exemption is needed to achieve success in the negotiations, but “Azerbaijan doesn’t show it”.
Mr. Abdullayev in his turn raised the importance of creating conditions for return of the refugees.
In her opening remarks the conference co-chair Professor Susan Allen Nan from George Mason University mentioned the importance of the civil society in the peace process.
Thomas De Waal, analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, called the two sides to “leave the past in the back and look forward”. He said, both Azeri and Armenian community rights should be taken into consideration during peace constructing.
Gulshan Pashayeva from Baku-based Center for Strategic Studies pointed out that, the fact is Azeris from Nagorno-Karabakh got separated from the peace process, and live away from their homes in hard conditions.
Arzu Geybullayeva from Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation underscored the role of the social networks as “neutral zones” between the Azeri and Armenian youth, as they use it as a platform of propaganda. In the meanwhile, the easiness of creating the dialog between the sides on-line advantages the peace process.