David Shahnazaryan: Revised agenda on Karabakh peace ‘works to the detriment of Armenia’  

13:08 • 06.09.18



In an interview with Tert.am, Ambassador David Shahnazaryan, a special envoy for the Armenian president from 1991 to 1995, addressed the dynamics in the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) peace process and the dominating attitudes in the Armenian politics after the recent power transition. He shared his comments upon the OSCE Minsk Group’s recent statement,  particularly the co-chairs' demand for condcuting “substantive negotiations”. Pointing out to the underlying implications of a “serious loss” for Armenia and Artsakh, Shahnazaryan highlighted the urgent need of signing a joint security pact to avert negative scenarios.


Mr Shahnazaryan, the interest in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process has somewhat faded away against the backdrop of the recent chaotic developments in our domestic, as well as foreign policy. At the same time, the new authorities of Armenia were initially expected to restart, if not to intensify, the negotiation process. What are your comments in that connection?


I absolutely share your viewpoint about the existing silence over Nagorno-Karabakh and the negotiation process, which has really been consigned to oblivion in a way. To be frank, I never actually expected the new government to be really active, considering their very first statements full of controversial remarks.

What happened in reality was the policy of time out adopted by the current government since their accession to power. They are trying, to the best of their efforts, to protract the meetings and negotiations in the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship format. Yet, their efforts did not apparently succeed; the three co-chairs conducted their trip to Armenia and later [arranged] the foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

What the previous authorities had achieved after the April war was a single agenda, i.e. – that of the Vienna and St Petersburg [arrangements] calling for the strengthening of ceasefire [monitoring] mechanisms along the Line of Contact. And that demand is actually reflected in all the statements adopted by the co-chairmanship ever since. None of their statements, released either after the June 14 visit to Yerevan (following their meeting with Armenia’s political leadership) or the meeting with [Zohrab] Mnatsaknyan and [Elmar] Mammadyarov, the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, in Brussels, hints any commitment to the Veinna and St Petersburg agenda. That’s a very tangible loss for Armenia.


What does that suggest?

 

That suggests, in essence, fundamental, substantial talks, focusing only on the [conflict] settlement aspect. For Baku, it implies a “return of territories”. It practically comes to affirm that the former agenda, addressing the [proposed] measures along the Line of Contact, is now lost. That, in a way, results also from the time out policy adopted by Armenia's current political leadership.  


Another conclusion is that the incumbent authorities do not pursue any specific concept to eventually settle the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The former authorities’ concept – which I repeatedly cited before – was very rational and proposed a clear-worded agenda: “Territories in return for Nagorno-Karabakh’s status” [which ruled out Artsakh’s status as part of the administrative territory of Azerbaijan].

 

It is practically the first time the Armenian authorities fail to propose their concept for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Both [first President] Levon Ter-Petrosyan, and [his successors], Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan, had their own concepts, whether good or bad, acceptable or non-acceptable. But that’s absolutely a different topic to consider.

 

What about Nikol Pashinyan’s call for returning Stepanakert to the negotiating table (a statement which he made in Artsakh in the course of one of his first visits) and the accentuations voiced subsequently?

It was repeatedly stated - also at [Pashinyan's] August 17 rally -  that the prime minister will not, and is not going to, negotiate on behalf of the Artsakh Republic. [The premier] later said that in case of having an acceptable plan or model, he will personally initiate a discussion in Republic Square. Second, if Armenia does not, in point of fact, represent the Republic of Artsakh in the negotiations, then conducting talks based on the Vienna and St Petersburg agenda is logically ruled out. That agenda, as I have already mentioned, applies exclusively to the Line of Contact, which is between Artsakh and Azerbaijan. It follows from here that Nagorno-Karabakh itself must determine the settlement formula and the kind of settlement plan it virtually envisions. If that's actually the case, then Nikol Pashinyan himself has to discuss it in Stepanakert instead of choosing Yerevan's Republic Square.

 

What’s even more, the ministries and government agencies do not absolutely coordinate their work when it comes to Nagorno-Karabakh.  One example of that may be the Armenian Defense Ministry’s official statement saying that the Armed Forces of Armenia have destroyed a military post on the interstate border with Nakhichevan. That's at least incomprehensible, if not unacceptable. What about the underlying implication? ...  That the Republic of Armenia is an aggressor? That may be used against us and, if you will, not only by Azerbaijan. Many diplomats have turned to me with that question. Is that just a new form of populism? ... I am not really willing to go on with this.  


The problem dealing with Artsakh comprises many components – from international recognition to humanitarian [issues], international awareness, multiplatform lobbying, legal and many other aspects each of which has to be tackled by corresponding infrastructures coordinated by a single government center. But we do not have those infrastructures in essence. The government has not initiated any step towards the international recognition of Artsakh, an issue which should dominate our agenda with an active Diaspora engamement.

                                                  

The Republics of Armenia and Artsakh must, within the shortest possible timeframes, sign the security pact highlighted by [President] Serzh Sargsyan in the early days of the April 2016 [fighting]. The draft text has been long completed and agreed upon. But the former authorities did not sign it for certain reasons (unknown to me), while the current government does not absolutely address the topic. The situation is troublesome in many ways, also in the light of Azerbaijan's considerably active foreign policies. They are diversifying their politco-military and diplomatic activity, having recently expanded also the cooperation with Russia. What I mean is the September 1 meeting between [Presidents] Putin and Aliyev and the subsequent documents signed and statements adopted, but that's a topic for a separate discussion.

 

Pashinyan said at his August 17 rally that he hasn't yet negotiated a single word.

 

That statement is beyond any understanding to say the least. First, the prime minister met and negotiated with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship on June 13. Additionally, he discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh issue with [other] international partners at different meetings.


Second, on whose behalf did Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan conduct “substantive” negotiations with Azerbaijan’s foreign minister, Mammadyarov, in the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship format in Brussels? According to the statement, released by the three co-chairs on July 12, “The Ministers exchanged views regarding the situation on the ground and discussed next steps and parameters for re-engaging in substantive negotiations.” But negotiations are not just face-to-face meetings in essence. The current government has been conducting negotiations over Karabakh since Pashinyan’s very first day in office, i.e. – May 8, so it is really regrettable that we do not see any proper understanding of this very simple reality.  

Anush Dashtents





Загрузка...

LATEST NEWSAll Today news

17:56 • 18/09

Armenian khachkar unveiled in Polish city

17:05 • 18/09

Armenian parliament official briefs PACE committee on Azerbaijani aggression against Armenian civilian settlements

16:55 • 18/09

Ucom doubles inclusions of uDaily prepay mobile internet service

16:35 • 18/09

Former Liverpool defender forced to retire with motor neurone disease just months after marrying England women's captain 

16:22 • 18/09

Armenia, China sign deal to facilitate air communication

15:40 • 18/09

Trump orders release of classified documents in Russia probe

15:24 • 18/09

Armenian government delegation conducts visit to Nagorno-Karabakh

14:51 • 18/09

Central Bank chief re-elected president of interstate bank council

14:40 • 18/09

Armenian defense minister meets with FAST foundation president

14:08 • 18/09

NASA's new spacecraft captures photo of more than a dozen celestial objects known to host exoplanets in stunning 'first light' image

13:45 • 18/09

Pakistan's austerity car auction falls short, new PM commutes by helicopter

13:25 • 18/09

Armenian family’s 400-year-old musical secret still rings true

13:17 • 18/09

Russia blames Israel for downing of plane, vows retaliation

12:45 • 18/09

Chief architect of Yerevan sacked

12:25 • 18/09

Republic Square selected as 'hot spot' of independence day events to symbolize success in ‘Velvet Revolution’

11:26 • 18/09

Libarman’s visit to Baku signals strengthening Azerbaijani-Israeli relations

11:09 • 18/09

Zhoghovurd: OSCE to turn closer spotlight on situation along Karabakh frontline

10:35 • 18/09

Russian military plane disappears during Israeli strikes on Latakia with 14 people on board

10:13 • 18/09

Zhamanak: Putin planning meeting with former presidents in Yerevan

09:56 • 18/09

SpaceX unveils first Moon Loop tourist

09:51 • 18/09

Sean Penn Calls #MeToo Movement ‘Receptacle of the Salacious’

09:44 • 18/09

Florence leaves 'monumental disaster' for North Carolina

09:31 • 18/09

Magnitude 1.9 earthquake hits Armenia’s south

09:13 • 18/09

SpaceX signs first private moon customer

09:12 • 18/09

Russia and Turkey agree to create buffer zone in Syria's Idlib

19:40 • 17/09

Facts, figures, and Results: Zvartnots International Airport reports details on its activity and not օnly

17:53 • 17/09

French actor Gerard Depardieu 'wants' to acquire Turkish citizenship

17:35 • 17/09

New head of OSCE Mission to Skopje takes office

17:23 • 17/09

Ukraine's Poroshenko terminates Treaty of Friendship with Russia

16:38 • 17/09

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 reportedly catches fire in user’s purse  

16:05 • 17/09

Zohrab Mnatsakanyan: Nagorno-Karabakh is not just conflict for Armenia

15:17 • 17/09

Turkish Coast Guard rescues 16 migrants as boat capsizes

14:46 • 17/09

Yerevan hosts 11th Armrobotics Championship

12:46 • 17/09

Britain’s oldest person reveals secret of longevity  

12:33 • 17/09

Arthur Abraham takes part in 45th BMW Berlin Marathon

12:02 • 17/09

Penelope Cruz dazzles in elegant one-shoulder gown as she joins husband Javier Bardem for LA screening of Loving Pablo

11:34 • 17/09

Armenian, Artsakh foreign ministers meet in Stepanakert

11:10 • 17/09

Turkey to increase troops in Turkish Cyprus

10:43 • 17/09

Elon Musk says Tesla now in 'delivery logistics hell'

10:14 • 17/09

Azerbaijan's armed forces open fire on Armenia’s south from Nakhicehvan

09:51 • 17/09

As Trump and Mattis clash in public, officials question how long he'll last at the Pentagon

09:37 • 17/09

It's not novichok, say police: 'Russian' couple fall ill at Salisbury restaurant with nerve-agent symptoms

09:15 • 17/09

New doubts emerge about US-led sanctions on North Korea

14:49 • 15/09

No more favoritism or privileged classes in Armenia - Pashinyan's interview with Le Monde

14:02 • 15/09

Kocharyan’s statements reflect level of his political understanding – Nikol Pashinyan

13:12 • 15/09

International Figure Skating Classic 2018: Armenia’s Slavik Hayrapetyan ranks fifth (video)

12:48 • 15/09

Erdogan travels to Baku  

12:07 • 15/09

Russian Orthodox church cuts ties with Constantinople over Ukraine

11:23 • 15/09

Zhamanak: Gyumri mayor 'to quit' over 'failure to work effectively' with Pashinyan's cabinet

10:49 • 15/09

Turkey demands release of 16-year-old boy held in Armenia

09:50 • 15/09

Jean-Claude Van Damme arrives in Armenia  

09:42 • 15/09

Nebraska doctor to face execution for killing four people

09:32 • 15/09

Azerbaijan shells border village in Armenia’s Tavush region

17:43 • 14/09

Jean-Claude Van Damme to visit Armenia

17:37 • 14/09

Apple criticized for new iPhones 'too big for women to hold'

16:27 • 14/09

French, Armenian leaders start working meeting in Paris

16:10 • 14/09

Armenian Genocide museum elects new director

15:26 • 14/09

Animals snapped enjoying surprise snowfall in South Africa

15:00 • 14/09

Armenian biker named double winner in Astana championship  

14:21 • 14/09

‘Velvet Revolution’ marked also revolution of values in Armenia – Nikol Pashinyan

12:49 • 14/09

Azerbaijan braces for military drills 'in response' to Armenia

12:05 • 14/09

Ucom to start pre-registration of iPhone XS and XS Max purchase

12:03 • 14/09

Amazon's Jeff Bezos commits $2 billion to help homeless, pre-schools

11:54 • 14/09

Hurricane Florence: Life threatening storm lashes US

11:09 • 14/09

Armenia 'important role-player' in global politics, prime minister says in France

10:01 • 14/09

US congressman raises call for Armenian Genocide recognition

09:31 • 14/09

Saroyan world premiere adds dates in Fresno and OC, announces encore L A performance

09:19 • 14/09

Gas explosions hit homes in Massachusetts

18:08 • 13/09

Mbappe better than Ronaldo, says De Vrij

17:42 • 13/09

We understand Armenian government’s desire to help compatriots in Syria - US Embassy

17:23 • 13/09

Meghan Markle pregnant? Bookies expecting baby announcement soon

17:06 • 13/09

US government encourages open labs in Armenia – embassy statement

16:36 • 13/09

Edward Nalbandian: Prime minister misleadingly accused former government of failure over Karabakh

15:01 • 13/09

Pashinyan vows to 'lock up' masterminds behind March 1 events  

14:09 • 13/09

Six killed in California shooting

13:55 • 13/09

Apple ends iPhone X and iPhoe SE sale

13:09 • 13/09

Trump signs order to punish US meddlers

12:55 • 13/09

Turkey to use national currency in property transactions

12:37 • 13/09

Pashinyan will regret messing with me – Robert Kocharyan

12:13 • 13/09

Pashinyan holds phone conversation with Kyrgyzstan's leader

11:11 • 13/09

Drake, Cardi B lead American Music Awards

10:52 • 13/09

Zhamanak: CSTO secretary general to step down over March 2008 coup charges

09:58 • 13/09

Putin to conduct official visit to Armenia - Russian paper

09:30 • 13/09

Turkey 'boosts arms to Syrian rebels' as Idlib attack looms

09:13 • 13/09

Apple unveils iPhone XS and fall-detecting watch

18:15 • 12/09

United Airlines passengers stunned as pilot changes out of uniform and takes a nap in first class

17:51 • 12/09

New iPhone models confirmed in Apple’s products site map

17:45 • 12/09

Armenian parliament vice speaker hosts CSTO official

17:13 • 12/09

iPhone X, 8 and four iPads face ‘likely’ ban in South Korea

17:06 • 12/09

Mammadyarov: Azerbaijan ready for substantive talks over Karabakh  

16:43 • 12/09

Backstreet Boys' singer Nick Carter not to be charged in sex case  

16:29 • 12/09

UK and EU plan special summit to sign Brexit deal

15:57 • 12/09

Ardshinbank receives Asian Development Banks FP Momentum Award

15:48 • 12/09

Aliyev slams Armenian prime minister over Karabakh remark

15:28 • 12/09

La Francophonie opens 11th NGO forum in Yerevan

14:29 • 12/09

Tanzanian president calls for end to birth control

13:46 • 12/09

‘No specific dates agreed’ for Armenian-Azerbaijani summit

12:26 • 12/09

Armenian troops will not accomplish combat tasks in Syria, says defense minister

11:58 • 12/09

Israeli defense minister to visit Azerbaijan  

11:45 • 12/09

Zohrab Mnatsakanyan to attend human rights summit in Geneva – MFA spokesperson