Karabakh Reacts to Moscow Declaration

STEPANAKERT (Armenpress)–The Nagorno Karabakh Foreign Ministry on Thursday described the weekend meeting of the presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia as a sign of Russia’s continued readiness to act as an “effective mediator” in the Karabakh peace process, but stopped short of issuing a full endorsement of the summit, citing Azerbaijan’s continued isolation of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic from the peace talks.

Georgi Petrosian, Karabakh’s Foreign Minister, described any meeting as flawed without the participation of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

If the negotiations process is to be effective, he explained, the interests of the main party to the conflict–the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic–must be directly represented at the negotiating table, adding that “If Azerbaijan was really interested in resolving the conflict it would have sat around the negotiating table with Nagorno-Karabakh long ago.”

But instead official Baku has tried to pressure Karabakh and sideline the negotiations process through different international institutions and countries, Petrosian said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hosted the crucial talks between his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts outside Moscow on Sunday. A joint declaration signed by them said Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sarkisian will intensify efforts at a “political resolution” of the Karabakh conflict.

According to Petrosian, the meeting can be seen as “an attempt to clarify the positions of Armenia and Azerbaijan on the prospects of a political resolution to the conflict,” in a region still feeling the consequences of Georgia’s failed attack on its breakaway region of South Ossetia.

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