Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Armenian parliamentary deputy speaker: Yerevan must toughen its position in Karabakh talks

Jun 18, 2007
Regnum, Russia

Statements that the OSCE Minsk Group for Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement has exhausted itself is an Azerbaijani idea and the Armenian side must not pick up the idea, member of the Dashnaktsutyun ARF Bureau, Armenian Parliamentary Deputy Speaker Vahan Hovhannisyan announced at a news conference in Yerevan today. A REGNUM correspondent quotes him as saying that the OSCE MG co-chairs have done a serious work and none of international institutions like the Council of Europe, or the UN or even the CIS, has such a professional and peculiar team like the OSCE Minsk Group. “It is too early now to state the task of the group is exhausted. We are satisfied with their activity and we see development, a more profound understanding of the issue and reflection of this understanding in the documents they propose, which naturally angers Azerbaijan,” the deputy speaker said.

Hovhannisyan believes that under the current condition the OSCE MG co-chairs have done the utmost. Despite alternative statements made by Armenia and Azerbaijan, they managed to create a document that at least was capable of becoming a basis for the settlement. The problem is Azerbaijan’s position, the deputy speaker believes. “I believe that from now on Armenia must toughen its position and introduce two tasks into the agenda: until Azerbaijan announces what concessions it is ready to make, we shall not discuss the issue. The second task is Nagorno Karabakh’s participation in the negotiation process,” he stressed. By present moment, says Hovhannisyan, Azerbaijan does not give up attempts to transfer the settlement issue from the OSCE to the United Nations. “Azerbaijan understands it fully that more Muslim countries are represented in the UN that do not understand the gist of the conflict, but grounding on the religious solidarity will vote, as it often happens, for a pro-Azerbaijani resolution,” the politician stressed. Commenting on statements that recognition of Kosovo independence cannot become a precedent for settling other territorial conflicts, the deputy speaker noted that such statements do not cost a cent as it would be impossible to explain to the Karabakh or any other nation why they are not allowed to have what the Albanians have. “I am sure that recognition of Kosovo independence will become a precedent for settlement of other territorial conflicts,” he noted.

Speaking about presidential election in Nagorno Karabakh, Hovhannisyan stressed that the national interests claim for a smooth change of power in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. He also assured that elections in Nagorno Karabakh have always been much more democratic than in other neighboring countries, including Armenia, and expressed confidence that this would happen at the forthcoming election too.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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