Will Sargsyan dare to withdraw troops from occupied Azerbaijani territories?
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 25
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
The meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers Elmar Mammadyarov and Edward Nalbandian in New York was rather technical, where the sides discussed ways out of the current stalemate in the region.
At the meeting, Mammadyarov and Nalbandian agreed to continue serious negotiations on the existing documents which are on the negotiating table.
The essence of these documents was voiced by former US co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group Richard Hoagland in the middle of summer. This is an open public document now, in which the first point by priority is the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
In New York, the sides also discussed the possibility of arranging a meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan. Such a meeting will be significant only if the negotiators, as well as Azerbaijan and Armenia have a clear and specific agenda to be discussed by President Aliyev and President Sargsyan.
According to the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen, such an agenda has been outlined and the sides are ready for substantive negotiations, at which concrete actions, rather than abstract ones, will be discussed.
If the proposals, voiced by Hoagland, are approved at the presidents’ meeting, it will be necessary to begin to implement these agreements, the first point of which is the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
By the way, the so-called Lavrov’s plan implied the same point, namely, the Armenian armed forces must be withdrawn from the occupied Azerbaijani territories and internally displaced people must return to their native lands.
Hoagland’s statement, by the way, implies that the US and Russian negotiators are unanimous on many points. France supports the main development, which also means the EU's support. The UN also supports this process.
However, the number one issue in this situation is whether President Sargsyan will come to the meeting.
For example, following the meeting in St. Petersburg in 2016, at which a concrete plan of action was discussed, Sargsyan organized a tragicomedy with hostage-taking in Armenia to avoid the necessary steps to resolve the conflict.
Elmira Tariverdiyeva is the head of Trend Agency’s Russian news service