Experts: Global community wants to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Experts: Global community wants to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 23 / Trend E. Tariverdiyeva /

The international community is interested in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the near future, Western experts believe.

"The statement issued at Deauvile indicates that the international community, led by Russia, the U.S. and France, is becoming increasingly concerned about the very real possibility of the resumption of a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan," Transatlantic and
Caucasus Studies Institute Director Ziba Norman told Trend.

"Given the dynamic shifts occurring in the Middle East, and unresolved conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the opening of another theatre of operations in the Caucasus is deemed extremely undesirable," she added.

She stressed that the statement issued goes somewhat further on this occasion, it actually discharges the responsibility on both Armenia and Azerbaijan, i.e., Sargsysan and Aliev, to accept compromises that will have to be made for the sake of peace.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, U.S President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy called on the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders to demonstrate the political will and to finalize the work over the basic principles of [the settlement of the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict] during the upcoming Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in June.

Meanwhile, U.S expert on the South Caucasus Michael Gunter said not only the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries can play a role in the settlement.

"Unfortunately the Karabakh stalemate does not appear to be headed for any quick solution," Gunter said. "Without Turkey's approval, it is doubtful that these two Caucasian antagonists will be able to find it possible to arrive at any dramatic new breakthroughs in their troubled relations."

Despite its new electoral mandate, Turkey's new AKP government simply has too much on its plate with its domestic Kurdish problems and foreign Arab Spring difficulties to be able to take any new initiative concerning Armenia and Azerbaijan, he said.

Norman said in the run up to elections it is often easiest for politicians to play the nationalist card, the rhetoric of which may not be most amenable to preparing their people for peace, with the inevitable compromises that it entails.

The basis for the framework of an agreed settlement, must, amongst other points, commit to the return of the seven districts recognized by international law as part of Azerbaijan, in compliance with UN resolutions 822, 853, 884 and 874, and an interim status for NK
itself, together with the return of the IDPs, Norman said.

But the tricky bit rests on an acceptable method for making this a reality, again compromise will be necessary on both sides in determining this, Norman added.

"Unequivocally stating that a basis for settlement, if not agreed at Kazan," would only call into question the commitment of the sides to reach an agreement," Norman said.

Of course there is always the possibility that these moves are just grandstanding opportunities for politicians,Norman said.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent 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 Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

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