Why is Pashinyan afraid to meet Aliyev?

Why is Pashinyan afraid to meet Aliyev?

Velvet Revolution in Armenia gave a chance to achieve peace in the Caucasus region. Armenian citizens were against Karabakh separatists who held power in the country at the time - “war party” of Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan - and they unanimously said no to their domestic and foreign policy, ousting them from the power.

This event was supported by all countries interested in stabilizing the Caucasus region - of course, revolution is not a constitutional way of changing power, but no one wanted to dondemn Armenian revolution. Largest international players only spoke about the right of Armenian people to express their will and follow democratic path.

So when such alternative as Nikol Pashinyan appeared, no one in the world wanted to support Karabakh separatists who are not interested in anything other than occupation of territories of Azerbaijan. Pashinyan received huge political support not only from citizens of Armenia, but also from international community: he was accepted without any preconditions as official representative of the Republic of Armenia in all the organizations and states important for the country.

In other wrods, "velvet revolution" and Pashinyan were perceived as a hope for normalization of Armenia’s foreign policy, adequacy of which directly affects situation in the Caucasus region. But then it turned out that revolutionaries had no other plans after eliminating Kocharyan and Sargsyan's supporters — Manvel Grigoryan, Seyran Ohanian, Michael Harutyunyan and Yury Khachaturov. They all went went to court, but basically nothing new happened.

First of all, Pashinyan declared his support for the Karabakh policy, previously pursued by the people he put behind bars. He even sent his son to serve in the occupied lands of Azerbaijan, officially rejected the idea of withdrawing Armenian troops from the occupied territories, and at the UN General Assembly, he even accused Baku of preparing to carry out ethnic cleansing in case of de-occupation of Azerbaijani territories around Karabakh.

It seems that even though “velvet revolution” gave Armenia a chance to achieve peace in the Caucasus region, Pashinyan did'ot take advantage of it, and the region is still in the same state - on the verge of resumption of active hostilities.

So what prevents Nikol Pashinyan from helping the region? What is he so afraid of? According to political analyst Mikhail Neizhmakov, after receiving power, new leader of Armenia became cautious, and he fears of falling victim to radicals. “It is unlikely that Pashinyan will go all-in now, although parliamentary campaign of 2018 showed that opposition’s repeated accusations that he's planning to begin backstage negotiations with Baku didn't cause him much harm, just other informational events assiciated with Karabakh that are risky for Pashinyan," he said.

"Armenian Prime Minister probably fears to lose his positions and rating, as well as face major protest actions and become target for armed attacks. That's why Nikol Pashinyan repeatedly gives signals about his unwillingness to take further steps in the framework of negotiations," he believes.

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