Sobhani: Sargsyan’s resignation to have positive impact on Karabakh conflict’s resolution

Sobhani: Sargsyan’s resignation to have positive impact on Karabakh conflict’s resolution

Baku, Azerbaijan, April 24

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

The resignation of Armenia’s prime minister Serzh Sargsyan will have a positive impact on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Rob Sobhani, director general of the Caspian Group Holdings, told Trend April 24.

“I am hopeful that this resignation will have a positive impact because the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can open the doors of trade and commerce for Armenia and its neighbors Azerbaijan and Turkey,” he said. “Stability that will come from the resolution of the conflict can bring long-term economic benefits to the Armenian people, which means that they will most likely pressure their leaders for resolution of this conflict.”

Sobhani believes that equally important, the co-chairs (Russia, France and US) of the OSCE Minsk Group must use this historic opportunity to better guide the Armenian side towards peace and to make a strong and forceful case to the people of Armenia that with peace they can finally get economic benefits.

“If the Armenian people demand from their leaders that they make peace with Azerbaijan and resolve the conflict then I am sure we shall see a constructive approach from the Armenian government,” he added.

Further, Sobhani pointed out that if Azerbaijan uses international institutions to bring forth a fact-based case against individual Armenian leaders responsible for Khojaly genocide, then justice can be served.

“We see many examples from history where savage behavior did not go unpunished. For example, in the Nuremberg trials former Nazi officials were tried for crimes against humanity. Or more recently we saw the conviction of Ratko Mladic by the International Criminal Tribunal and sentenced to life in prison for genocide,” he added.

Sobhani noted that the resignation of Serzh Sargsyan provides insights into the mind-set of the Armenian people; namely, that they are tired of being isolated, economically disadvantaged and not part of the broader global community.

“The people of Armenia look at Azerbaijan and must ask themselves a question: "Why have our leaders not delivered economic growth, reduction in poverty and political independence?" Armenians look to Azerbaijan as a successful country that has normal relations with all its neighbors and has used foreign direct investment into its economic for the betterment of its citizens,” he said. “We may witness some period of turmoil within Armenia due to this resignation but the message to the leaders of Armenia is clear: its people want a government that serves them not their individual politicians.”

Mass rallies broke out in Yerevan and other Armenian cities on April 13 following former Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s nomination as prime minister. The opposition accused him of ineffective governance and worsening the economic situation in the country.

On April 23, Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

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