Azerbaijan will 'sooner or later have to put up with Nagorno-Karabakh people's decision' - politician

12:03 • 04.01.18



The people of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) are absolutely free to decide their own future which  Azerbaijan will sooner or later have to accept, a lawmaker of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia said Wednesday, predicting real chances of conflict resolution in 2018.


Meantime, Mihran Hakobyan ruled out the possibility of a final breakthrough, citing a lack of positive resources (which he said are nonetheless visible).


In an interview with Tert.am, the politician described 2017 as a realatively peaceful year on the Armenian-Azerbaijani frontline.  “Insisting on its non-constructive positions at the negotiating table, Azerbaijan did nonetheless participate in the process and will, I think, continue its participation also in 2018,” he said, highlighting the latest ministerial summit as a positive development.


Hakobyan ruled out any escalations in the conflict zone, or any progress in the negotiation process.


He added that the slowdown in the talks was due to the Azerbaijani authorities’ failure to abide by the arrangements reached at earlier ministerial meetings.


Asked what can eventually contribute to a breakthrough, the politician stressed the importance of increasing the country's potential. "The more we increase our economic and military potential, the higher our advantages. Once the Azerbaijani leadership arrives at the understanding that there are no chances of a military settlement, they will have to head to real negotiations,” he added.


“It is hard to predict the exact moment, but there is no other choice than putting up with the idea. Azerbaijan’s leadership will sooner or later have to accept the decision.,” he added.

 

Hakobyan noted that despite their unwillingness to accept the OSCE Minsk Group as the only internationally mandated mission spearheading the peace talks, Azerbaijan does not nonetheless want to abandon the format, which “only formally keep the negotiations going”.

 

“With their considerably huge oil reserves, Azerbaijan hoped to dictate its own approaches implying a military solution, anyway, they have already missed the best years.  They now have to decide whether they are negotiating or trying to protract the process.”

 

The politician said he expects 2018 to be an eventful year, with Azerbaijan braced for presidential elections. In his words, the political developments rule out the possibility of increased hostilities. “It is not in their interests to escalate the situation as it might have unpredictable consequences in terms of maintaining power. I don’t think there will be any escalations – at least in the first half of the year,” he added.

 

Tigranuhi Martirosyan





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