PARALLEL PROCESSES NEEDED FOR A STABLE SETTLEMENT OF NAGORNO-KARABAKH CONFLICT, ICG SAYS
Parallel processes are needed for a stable settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, as whatever is being done at the internationally mediated negotiations, at ground level resumed war appears a real possibility, says a report вЂ�Nagorno-Karabakh: Viewing the Conflict from the GroundвЂ™ (Europe Report NВ°166).
There is need to counter the hate propaganda and demonising engaged in by both sides and unlock the potential for confidence building and dialogue between average Azeris and Armenians before the memories of cohabitation fade and the divide becomes virtually unbridgeable.
Nagorno-Karabakh has aspirations for independence and argues with some reason that it has a democratically-elected government that is meeting the preconditions of statehood. However, it is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan and is still highly dependant on Armenia for its military security and economic survival: over half its army are believed to be Armenian citizens.
The International Crisis Group notes that the majority of Armenian population, in particular, the representatives from the younger generation, urges the cohabitation is out question. Khankendi states it needs 6 districts around Nagorno-Karabakh as a buffer zone. They demand serious military and political guarantees,вЂќ the document underlined.
Azeris do not participate in its political, economic, cultural and social institutions. Nagono-Karabakh has mono-ethnic institutions and become one of the world's most militarised societies.
Deprived of the basic right to return to their homes, over half a million Azeris displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts have become highly dependent on the Azerbaijani state, without a clear sense of their future.
В"The government's current strategy emphasises more sustainable solutions but the displaced remain poorer and more disadvantaged than their fellow citizens, struggling to increase participation in political life not only to speed up prospects for return but also to improve their immediate situation.
Armenian and Azerbaijani public opinion on how to resolve the conflict is as divided as ever. Nothing has been done to prepare people in either country for any agreement. Karabakh Armenians' expressions of confidence about their independent future, and Karabakh Azeris' frustration and anger about their plight as displaced persons are deeply at odds.
In case the armed forces leave the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, the majority of Azerbaijani refugees are ready to return to their homes despite of a risk for life, the International Crisis Group said.
В"Azerbaijan states that the international law is on its side and in case any failure in talks it will use force to restore the territorial integrity of the country. Yerevan, whereas, states the majority of Nagorno-Karabakh population was comprised of Armenians prior to the war
The group notes the necessary term for the resolution of the conflict should be mutual security and tolerance in Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 adjacent regions, absence of a sense of fair.