Dark nights in Sochi

By Peter Lyukimson, Israel, exclusively for Vestnik Kavkaza

 

In the light of events around the Gaza Strip, most Israelis are less concerned about developments in the South Caucasus. The Foreign Ministry and academicians are closely monitoring the course of events, trying to predict the results of the upcoming meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in Sochi.

The interest is partly conditioned by the presence of certain parallels between the Armenian-Azerbaijani and the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, despite differences between the two conflicts. The most important fact is that any attempts to resolve a conflict are educative, even if they fail, they can still provide certain lessons to avoid such situations in the future.

The information coming from Azerbaijan and Armenia is conflicting, both sides are accusing each other but Israeli analysts have a common opinion that the situation cannot be called surprising.

There are two indisputable facts that the interested sides cannot argue with.

First, Armenia and its puppet state are occupying a large territory of sovereign Azerbaijani territory. Secondly, even if the ceasefire agreement was violated on the border between the two states in the past two years, it was always Armenia (although logically it should have been the other way round).

Such provocations on the ceasefire line are inherent in outbreaks of full-fledged war at any moment. But the situation is complicated by the fact that the conflict has reached a dead end, it is in gridlock. All the attempts by Azerbaijan to resolve it peacefully have failed. Both the Azerbaijani authorities and the population are gaining confidence that restoring the sovereignty of Azerbaijan in the stolen lands can only be achieved by force. This does not mean, as some Armenian media claim, that Baku is the initiator of an escalation, but it demonstrates that Azerbaijan can use the escalation to its own advantage.

The question is what can the Russian-Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in Sochi do? Can Russia act as an honest mediator and find ways to resolve the conflict?

Using the experience gained at such meetings of Israelis and Palestinians in Washington, Israeli analysts have three scenarios for further developments.

According to the first and least likely scenario, the meeting in Sochi will fail, like the meeting of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak with President of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat in 1999, mediated by President Clinton. Consequently, military actions on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border will continue with unpredictable results. It may have a great impact on world policy because Russia, the West and the U.S. will have to take a more clear position for all sides of the conflict immediately.

The second scenario is a little more likely than the first: Armenia and Azerbaijan resume dialogue, start cooperation, but the outcome is unknown. In any case, progress in peace talks would at least produce a short-term positive effect.

According to the third scenario, the most likely one, nothing special will happen. The sides will be back to the status quo under Russian mediation and continue dialogue. It will be a small relief, reducing the chances of more disastrous events of the sort. Such an effect has been achieved at all Israeli-Palestinian talks in the last decade, although they seemed fruitless from the outside.

We will see which scenario is closer to the truth in the very near future.

Israeli view on escalation of violence on Armenian-Azerbaijani borderBy Peter Lyukimson, Israel, exclusively for Vestnik KavkazaIn the light of events around the Gaza Strip, most Israelis are less concerned about developments in the South Caucasus. The Foreign Ministry and academicians are closely monitoring the course of events, trying to predict the results of the upcoming meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in Sochi.The interest is partly conditioned by the presence of certain parallels between the Armenian-Azerbaijani and the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, despite differences between the two conflicts. The most important fact is that any attempts to resolve a conflict are educative, even if they fail, they can still provide certain lessons to avoid such situations in the future.The information coming from Azerbaijan and Armenia is conflicting, both sides are accusing each other but Israeli analysts have a common opinion that the situation cannot be called surprising.There are two indisputable facts that the interested sides cannot argue with.First, Armenia and its puppet state are occupying a large territory of sovereign Azerbaijani territory. Secondly, even if the ceasefire agreement was violated on the border between the two states in the past two years, it was always Armenia (although logically it should have been the other way round).Such provocations on the ceasefire line are inherent in outbreaks of full-fledged war at any moment. But the situation is complicated by the fact that the conflict has reached a dead end, it is in gridlock. All the attempts by Azerbaijan to resolve it peacefully have failed. Both the Azerbaijani authorities and the population are gaining confidence that restoring the sovereignty of Azerbaijan in the stolen lands can only be achieved by force. This does not mean, as some Armenian media claim, that Baku is the initiator of an escalation, but it demonstrates that Azerbaijan can use the escalation to its own advantage.The question is what can the Russian-Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in Sochi do? Can Russia act as an honest mediator and find ways to resolve the conflict?Using the experience gained at such meetings of Israelis and Palestinians in Washington, Israeli analysts have three scenarios for further developments.According to the first and least likely scenario, the meeting in Sochi will fail, like the meeting of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak with President of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat in 1999, mediated by President Clinton. Consequently, military actions on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border will continue with unpredictable results. It may have a great impact on world policy because Russia, the West and the U.S. will have to take a more clear position for all sides of the conflict immediately.The second scenario is a little more likely than the first: Armenia and Azerbaijan resume dialogue, start cooperation, but the outcome is unknown. In any case, progress in peace talks would at least produce a short-term positive effect.According to the third scenario, the most likely one, nothing special will happen. The sides will be back to the status quo under Russian mediation and continue dialogue. It will be a small relief, reducing the chances of more disastrous events of the sort. Such an effect has been achieved at all Israeli-Palestinian talks in the last decade, although they seemed fruitless from the outside.We will see which scenario is closer to the truth in the very near futu

2670 views


Vestnik Kavkaza

in Instagram

Subscribe



Populars