EurasiaNet: "The four-day war forces the international community to take a fresh look at the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh"
The US edition of The Washington Times writes about the interaction of Russia, US and France in the settlement of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In spite of the serious tensions in the bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington, on Monday the parties made concerted efforts to resolve the frozen Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Baku and Yerevan, which escalated in April this year.
The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and his Russian and French colleagues, met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in Vienna on Monday night. The main purpose of the meeting was to ease the tension between the parties that emerged at the beginning of April. The clashes resulted in 75 soldiers and several civilians killed on both sides. The official representative of the US State Department, John Kirby, said that Mr. Kerry had proposed a series of confidence-building measures between Armenia and Azerbaijan, while stressing "the need for the resumption of negotiations for a comprehensive settlement.''
The actions of the political intermediaries are coordinated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. However, solving the Nagorno-Karabakh problem has been extremely difficult to date, as the territory is under the control of the Armenian side. Despite the fact that the conflict has been frozen since 1994, when both sides agreed to a ceasefire, a comprehensive peace agreement has not been signed.
The meeting resulted in recommendations from the US, Russia and France, in providing for monitoring the line of fire with the help of cameras that will record future violations. Along with Moscow, Washington and the European community are extremely concerned about the escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as it had every reason to assume the output of the conflict was out of control. For many years Azerbaijan has wanted Armenia to return its territories, and these claims are widely supported by the EU.
According to analysts, if the meeting in Vienna does not produce any significant effects, then the probability of another escalation of tension increases. That is why the joint efforts of the international mediators are now urgently needed and important.
The analytical edition EurasiaNet writes that Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to strengthen monitoring on the contact line. International analysts believe such a move could be potentially important in preventing more specific outbreaks of armed confrontation between the two sides.
The agreement was a result of the presidential meeting in Vienna between the OSCE, Russia, France and the USA. A meeting at this level indicates that the four-day war in April forced the international community to take a fresh look at the problem of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. A senior US State Department official, speaking before the meeting, stressed the importance of improving the monitoring regime. According to him, the main task is to identify the initiators of the violence on the contact line.
Such an agreement is a concession by Azerbaijan, which in the past refused to expand the monitoring mission on the ground due to the fact that such a step could further strengthen the illegal status quo of Karabakh. Creating a monitoring mechanism could serve as a basis for further meetings between the two leaders. However, despite the fact that such an agreement is a glimmer of hope in the medium-term solution to the conflict, in the short term the situation remains unstable in Nagorno-Karabakh.