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Expert: Main question lies in Russian president's proposals

Commentary Materials 11 July 2011 15:30
Azerbaijani political analyst and Trend Expert Council member Fikret Sadikhov believes Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's proposals on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict submitted to Baku and Yerevan should reflect some new nuances to solve the problem. Otherwise no progress should be expected, he said.
Expert: Main question lies in Russian president's proposals

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 11 / Trend S.Agayeva /

Azerbaijani political analyst and Trend Expert Council member Fikret Sadikhov believes Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's proposals on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict submitted to Baku and Yerevan should reflect some new nuances to solve the problem. Otherwise no progress should be expected, he said.

"If the proposals repeat what has already been discussed at all previous meetings, then no result will be achieved," he said.

President Medvedev has prepared a message to Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan, following discussions held in Kazan. The message includes proposals on the visions of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution, recently discussed at a meeting of the three presidents with representatives of the OSCE Minsk Group.

Sadikhov said previously unacceptable and impossible conditions should not be dictated to Azerbaijan. "We cannot agree on some independent status of Nagorno-Karabakh, which the Armenian side suggests to us and which is silently supported by leading states within the OSCE Minsk Group," he stated.

Russia, he noted, has recently stepped up in the process of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, but this does not mean a favorable outcome for Azerbaijan. Russia is certainly interested in developing a partnership with Azerbaijan, but apparently not at the expense of Armenia's interests.

"Azerbaijan, actually, is not interested in the infringement of anyone's interests. At this stage, Azerbaijan needs to liberate seven occupied territories around Nagorno-Karabakh. This is the main condition and requirement of Azerbaijan, from which it will never stand down," Sadikhov said.

If Medvedev is interested in raising his rating as a peacemaker before the presidential election in Russia, then he should make some steps to move the process along, Sadikhov said.

"Azerbaijan offers enough accommodations for the Armenian minority within Azerbaijan by offering it a European version. So I would like to believe that this letter contains fresh ideas and new nuances that would move the process off the ground," he 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 continuing peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

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