Nalbandian’s statement regarding Nagorno-Karabakh diplomatic gesture, Matthew Bryza says
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 8
By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:
Armenia realizes that if it recognized the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Minsk Group process would be finished and there would be no chance for a negotiated settlement, Matthew Bryza, former deputy assistant of the US secretary of state for South Caucasus, former US ambassador to Azerbaijan and director of International Centre for Defense Studies in Tallinn, told Trend Oct.8.
"In this situation, Armenia would face a serious risk of war with Azerbaijan, which Armenia does not want," he said. "Armenia's biggest concern is the security of the citizens of Armenia and the Armenian residents of Nagorno-Karabakh."
Earlier, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said in the country's parliament that in case of military actions, Armenia will take all the necessary steps as a "guarantor of security" of Nagorno-Karabakh, including its "recognition".
"I don't think that Armenia wants to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh or it would have done so already," Bryza said.
"Russia does not want war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russia wants exactly what is happening now: no peace no war," he said. "This status allows Russia to manipulate the situation. So the only country benefiting from the current situation is Russia: Armenia is not benefiting because it doesn't want resumption of armed hostilities, Azerbaijan is not benefiting either, because it wants a negotiated settlement."
Nalbandian's statement is a diplomatic gesture within the context of a broader negotiations process, he said.
"The threat to use military force is a diplomatic tool that aims to achieve certain political objectives, albeit a fierce tool and usually one of last resort," he said. "We all know that military theorist Carl von Clausewitz said that war is the continuation of politics by other means, which means that diplomacy and military force are tied together."
"In other words, foreign minister Nalbandian appears to be responding to the threat of force with his own political statement, namely, that if large-scale armed hostilities are resumed, Armenia would respond by recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh," he said.
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 two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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