Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents may hold meeting in Vienna
The OSCE Minsk Group urges the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan to hold a meeting for a further settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"In light of the recent violence and the urgency of reducing tensions along the line of contact, we believe the time has come for the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to meet. Our Foreign Ministers are prepared to facilitate this meeting next week in Vienna," the official statement of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group says.
It has been agreed that the meeting will be held in Vienna next week, TASS reports with reference to Armenian diplomatic sources.
The head of the Mediterranean-Black Sea Center of the Institute of Europe of the RAS, Alla Yazykova, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, expressed confidence that today none of the sides of the conflict want resumption of clashes, and that is why the presidents need to meet.
"Most likely, a decision to reinforce what had been achieved will be made, since Azerbaijan has managed to move forward in liberating its territories occupied by the Armenian army, so we should expect attempts to find new common ground to advance the negotiation process. It is unlikely that this time the sides fail to achieve decision, because today neither Azerbaijan nor Armenia needs a war," she believes.
According to a political scientist Rovshan Ibragimov, it is necessary to consider reality on the ground after April battles for Karabakh, while assessing the possible results of a new meeting between the presidents, if it takes place. "The negotiation process is likely to be resumed in a completely new format, based on a changed status quo, and the question is whether both sides are ready to accept this reality. First of all, this concerns the Armenian side, which categorically stated that they will not renew any negotiation processes, because Azerbaijan has changed the situation by liberating a number of territories around Nagorno-Karabakh," he said.
The unwillingness of Yerevan to negotiate under new conditions jeopardizes the meeting between the presidents, the political analyst believes. "If it happens, it will be only a first step and only an exchange of views after the recent events. The situation may move forward at future negotiations after several lengthy meetings with the help of mediators of the OSCE Minsk Group, who should be prepared to intensify process. At the moment, the United States is busy with the presidential elections process, so we should not expect any activity from the US. Russia's position is clear, it intends to prevent further possible military actions in the first place. France is quite passive and the positions of Russia and the United States are the most likely reason for that," Rovshan Ibrahimov explained.
The director of the Caucasus Institute, Alexander Iskandaryan, said that the outcome of this meeting may be an attempt to restore the Minsk process and to transfer the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to the political direction. "We are talking about the resumption of the political process, which they have before the April escalation. It seems unrealistic to me to expect more serious results. The maximum that can be achieved now is the resumption of negotiations within the OSCE Minsk Group and the efforts to discuss ways to get out of the situation in which the sides of the conflict found themselves," the political analyst noted.
According to him, the number of risks in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement has grown now. "I do not think that the threat of the large-scale war is very high, but the risk of escalation has become slightly higher than it was before the April events. The political process is much more difficult. The very fact that there was the escalation destabilized the situation. Now we need to make an effort in the 'first aid' mode to lower the level of violence on the border and to resume the political settlement of the conflict," Alexander Iskandaryan concluded.