Harvard Community Briefed On Conflict Resolution

WASHINGTON (Armenpress)–Vardan Barseghian–representative of the Nagorno Karabakh in the United States–spoke to Harvard University students last week about the May 1994 cease-fire agreement signed by Armenia–Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh was the major achievement of the peace efforts aimed at the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict to date.

On December 12–speaking to a negotiations class at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government–Barseghian said–"The cease-fire accord was only made possible because all parties to the conflict were present at the negotiating table and were willing to accept their part of the responsibility for its implementation. This is the only formula that can work and can bring realistic agreemen’s."

"Karabakh has been effectively independent for 10 years and I think it is important that we speak for ourselves not only with different governmen’s–but also with academic and research institutions. We have welcomed this opportunity to speak before the Harvard community," Barseghian said.

The briefing was an open event and interested students and faculty from Harvard University and Tufts University’s School of Law and Diplomacy attended.

The Nagorno Karabakh Republic declared its independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1991-94 the people of Karabakh successfully defended themselves from Azerbaijani aggression. Since then–however–Azerbaijan has refused to negotiate with Karabakh directly to finalize a peace agreement.

Massachusetts State Representative Peter J. Koutoujian–who was present at the briefing–noted that "Nagorno Karabakh was able to defend its people–democracy and independence at a time when the international community was deaf to Nagorno Karabakh’s plea for help during the Azerbaijani military aggression. It is in the interest of the democratic world to support the Nagorno Karabakh Republic."

Harvard Professor Keith Allred–who supported this seminar–said it was a great opportunity for the students to learn about the Nagorno Karabakh conflict directly from the people in the region.

He also thanked Barseghian for an insightful and informative presentation and a dynamic question-and-answer session.

His enthusiasm was echoed by several students. Harvard student Matthew Lefevre said–"This presentation gave us a first-hand account of the issues at hand in this major international dispute. It was very interesting to hear the perspective of the people involved: the people of Nagorno Karabakh. This was also a perfect case study for our negotiation class."

"I recommend to other universities that study the Nagorno Karabakh conflict to initiate these kinds of briefings because without an official Karabakh citizen’s perspective–the picture cannot be complete," said Scott Talan–a student in the Kennedy School of Government’s Master of Public Administration program.

The Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in the United States is based in Washington–DC and works with the US Government–academia and public–representing official policies and interests of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.


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