Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 17
By Nigar Guliyeva – Trend:
A new escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone could provoke a regional conflagration, said Magdalena Grono, Europe and Central Asia Program Director at International Crisis Group.
Grono, in her article titled 'Politics and Security hold each other hostage in Nagorno-Karabakh', said that there is refreshed hope that diplomacy can prevent a new escalation, which in the worst case could provoke a regional conflagration, given Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s respective defence and strategic partnership and mutual support agreements with Russia and Turkey.
She further said that the Jan.18 meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers will discuss an increase of the number of OSCE observers, according to diplomats close to the peace process.
Grono stressed that the presidents' October 2017 meeting recommitted both to CSBMs and substantive talks.
But there is also a risk that meetings, if unproductive, will lead to a renewed sense of frustration with diplomacy, and a temptation to view the use of force as a legitimate means to solve the conflict.
"For this to be avoided, progress has to be made on security while political discussions need to resume. But as in many conflicts, security and politics hold each other hostage. The Armenian side insists on confidence and security building measures (CSBMs) before the substance of a future settlement can be discussed. Azerbaijanis, for their part, have been reluctant to commit to CSBMs that would risk cementing the status quo, without discussions on the content of a future deal."