Iskandaryan and Markarov: the key outcome of the meeting in Vienna is the continuation of talks on Karabakh
The most important result of the meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Vienna with the participation of foreign ministers of the countries, co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group, was the joint statement by Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan about their commitment to the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict, the Director at the Caucasus Institute, Aleksander Iskandaryan and director of the Armenian branch of the CIS Institute, Alexander Markarov, said in an interview with a 'Vestnik Kavkaza' correspondents, summing up the results of the meeting.
Aleksander Iskandaryan noted the resumption of the political process as the main result of the talks. "The revival of the negotiation process is a significant achievement of the meeting in Vienna. The statements that the talks will continue and the next stage is to take place are also very serious, as they show that the political format of attempts to settle the conflict is being restored. We will see how the establishment of confidence-building measures and the extension of the monitoring group will be fulfilled. If these solutions are fulfilled then they will contribute to the fact that the political process will be restored at least as one of the non-military format interaction between the sides,'' he explained.
Markarov named four key aspects of the meeting in Vienna. "The first aspect is a confirmation of the presidents' commitment to a peaceful settlement of the Karabakh problem. The second aspect is that Armenia's proposal to establish specific mechanisms to investigate incidents on the contact line was supported, and the development of these mechanisms will become one of the elements that will be considered during the next possible meeting, which is scheduled for June. The third aspect is the strengthening the OSCE monitoring mission, which is to be involved in order to reduce tensions. And the fourth aspect is the parties' attention to the agreement signed in 1994-1995," he said.
At the same time Alexander Iskandaryan said that all these positive facts won't help to stop shooting in the conflict zone. "The cease-fire has never been maintained, since the very beginning in 1994. I cannot expect that shooting will stop and provocations will disappear. But certainly, I would like it to be," the expert said.
''It is very important to establish a continuous dialogue, Aleksander Markarov said. "The negotiation process lasts during a very long period of time, but it is still necessary to find the modus that allows both sides to come to an agreement in the framework of mutual possible ways and concessions, or continue the negotiating process in the framework of the today's proposals,'' he said.
Aleksander Iskandaryan admitted that even this dialogue will take a long period of time. "I do not think that talks can lead to some breakthroughs and rapid changes, especially in respect of the overall solution. The world experience shows that conflicts with the parties' interaction, developed in accordance with the same logic, as conflicts without interaction at all. If the negotiation process continues and the sides declare that they are ready to solve the problem without guns in their hands, but at the negotiating table, it will be a serious achievement, which is possible in the coming years," the director at the Caucasus Institute noted.
"After the April escalation the situation led to the growth of risks, and after the meeting in Vienna we have a hope the risks may be reduced. I don’t know whether we succeed or not, but the necessary attempts have been made. We'll see," Aleksander Iskandaryan concluded.