Televised Panel Highlights Sarkisian-Aliyev Talks as Ineffective

YEREVAN (ArmRadio)–The recent meeting between Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev did not result in any serious breakthroughs for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, remarked the head inter-ethnic relations at the Russian Institute of Political and Military Analysis during a televised panel titled, "Moscow-Yerevan-Baku" Space Bridge on Wednesday.

According to political scientist Sergey Markedonov, the meeting, which took place in Saint Petersburg on June 6, failed to yield any serious progress on the issue.

It instead marked a serious regression in the settlement process that has been steadily worsening for the last one and a half years, he said, adding that the only positive thing that happened during this meeting was that it took place.

But to speak about any type of progress is out of question, Markedonov stated.

He explained that the different parties involved in the talks came out of the meeting with completely different assessmen’s of the situation because they each look at the conflict in a different frame of mind.

“I do not see the parties being willing to make concessions, because philosophy and view of the conflict is different,” the political scientist said.

During the televised program, Markedonov explained that there had been more instances of skirmishes and exchanges of fire across the cease-fire line in 2007 than any year since the end of hostilities in 1993. He also went on to note that more people were injured or killed in 2007 than in 2006.

“The most serious military clash during the 14 year ceasefire was registered this year on March 4-5,” He explained, adding that most of the aggressive militaristic rhetoric that fuels these outbursts of violence is coming from Azerbaijan, which views itself as the defeated party.

On March 4, Azeri Armed Forces violated the Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire line and opened fire on Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Army positions northeast of the Martakert Region, temporarily capturing a Karabakh defense position. The clashes continued throughout the week as Azeri forces fired upon Karabakh Defense forces near Hadrut on March 7.

War is always possible but it’s not because someone wants it, according to Alexander Shakov, head of the CIS department at the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies.

Shakov, who also participated in the Space Bridge, explained the ever-present possibility of renewed conflict as part of the logic behind conflict development.

“War in Karabakh is possible only in case of a severe crisis,” he explained. “True, there will be no blitzkrieg, and the international community will never allow a long war.”

But not everything in politics can be explained with reason,” the Russian analyst added.

The resolution of the Karabakh Conflict is unlikely within the foreseeable future, according to the director of the Caucasus Institute Alexander Iskandaryan, who during the televised panel explained the conflict’s resolution as a long process similar to other conflicts like: China-Taiwan, India-Kashmir, Israel-Palestine, and Cyprus-Turkey.

“The core of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is in the region itself and nowhere else and nothing can change the format of relations now, Iskandaryan said, explaining that certain forces have been at work over the last two years to cement the current situation in the region.

He explained that although there is a ceasefire in effect, Azerbaijan continues to carry on the conflict through other means such as the ongoing economic blockade and constant saber rattling. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan refuses compromise and continues to work toward unraveling the gains made by Karabakh’s Armenia’s during their 20-year struggle for self-determination.


Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.