Experts: the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will unlock the region

Experts: the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will unlock the region

The settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will stabilize and open the South Caucasus region to the world, political analyst Andrey Epifantsev, the deputy of Milli Majlis (Parliament) of Azerbaijan Rasim Musabekov and the Director of the Caucasus Institute Aleksander Iskandaryan told in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.

Vestnik Kavkaza has been publishing a series of interviews with Russian and foreign experts, dedicated to the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis. We offer three opinions of well-known political scientists who expressed their opinions about the problems that prevent the settlement today.

Aleksander Iskandaryan pointed out that the April battles for Karabakh pushed back the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "I would described the current situation as "the first aid.” ”The aim is not to treat the disease, if we are to use medical terms, but apply a tourniquet. Now we need to normalize the situation, resume the negotiation process and continue to stick to the years old principles. I am talking about the Madrid principles, which could have been called, if we take a more general view, Paris, Kazan or  Moscow principles. Whatever the case, the logic of the negotiation process is more or less clear. The goal at the moment is to return to these principles, because it is yet very difficult to talk about the settlement of the conflict," he voiced his concern.

"It is also difficult to speak about any compromises. We need to return to the situation before April 1 and try to move on. It is not easy due to serious difficulties in the process of finding a compromise. I am not very optimistic, but we have no other options but look for a peaceful solution," said Aleksander Iskandaryan.

Rasim Musabekov drew attention to the differences in the interpretation of the Madrid principles that complicate the negotiation of the documents between the parties of the conflict.

"In general the Madrid principles are supported by all sides. Different views on these things reveal as some specifics begin to appear. For example, they failed to agree the joint statement in Kazan. It is possible that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov brought the Kazan document to the participants with some clarifications, which may make the project agreement more acceptable to the parties. However, the meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign Ministers haven’t taken place yet. The Presidents' meeting also has not been announced in order to get the process moving,’’ he said.

The political analyst reminded why the Kazan agreement was unacceptable for Azerbaijan earlier. "It did not require the immediate liberation of the occupied territories, but only declared that the liberation should be carried  out on the basis of a new treaty with deadlines and peacekeeping forces,’’ said Rasim Musbekov.

Andrey Epifantsev noticed that the solution of the conflict is complicated due to the fact that the OSCE Minsk Group format is being gradually discredited. 

"The Minsk Group simply organizes the talks, proposes several of options, but it does not force the two sides come to a compromise and to bring their positions closer together. As a result, the parties refuse to accept proposed initiatives, and the commitments and norms of international law are violated. Earlier the OSCE Minsk Group always stated: "We have not resolved the conflict, but prevented hostilities in the region.’’ Now they have failed to do that and it means that the Minsk format is experiencing a crisis,’’ he explained.

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