Azerbaijan’s OK Not Necessary for Karabakh Recognition

YEREVAN (Aravot)–Azerbaijan’s approval is not necessary for the recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, based on international precedents on such matters, said Armenian Revolutionary Federation Political Director Giro Manoyan in an interview published Friday in the Aravot newspaper.

“From the Karabakh issue perspective, what is interesting is that the three co-chair states of the OSCE Minsk Group have recognized the independence of this or that entity without securing the approval of the countries of which they are a part,” said Manoyan citing the US and French recognition of Kosovo without garnering the approval of Serbia and Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, without an agreement from Georgia.

“[By recognizing these entities] these three countries have gone on record that the right to self-determination has far greater relevance in international law and have effectively established that Karabakh recognition does not require Azerbaijan’s approval,” explained Manoyan.

“These approaches cannot be ignored; I’m not saying that based on these [precedents] we should have already attained everything, but we cannot easily accept that Azerbaijan’s approval is important,” added Manoyan.

In his interview, which focused primarily on the aftermath of the Russian-Georgian war last August, Manoyan emphasized that Armenia has emerged as an important regional player following the conflict.

He explained that the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia presented Armenia with certain expectations from Russia, to which Armenia could not agree. This had an impact on Russia, which realized that Armenia is not a country that, at any given moment, would make moves based on Russia’s interests by ignoring its own national interests.

Manoyan explained that this was a turning point in Russian-Armenian relations, since the myth that Armenia will do whatever Russia asks of it is waning and Russia’s realize that the interdependence between Armenia and Russia is mutual.

As for the lessons of the August war, Manoyan said that the Russian-Georgian conflict made it abundantly clear that wars, be they with Armenia or between neighbors will have an impact on Armenia.

“We [Armenia] had no role in the Russia-Georgia war, but we did incur as much economic damage as Georgia, because of Georgia’s imprudent policies,” said Manoyan.

On the other hand, Manoyan expressed that Armenia must be more active in its diplomacy and foreign relations.

“Being active does not mean to only visit Moscow and Tbilisi, but Brussels too and attempt to present Armenia’s positions, concerns and expectations,” elaborated Manoyan, adding that US And the European Union are allocating billions of dollars in response to Georgia’s irresponsible behavior, while not allocating a penny for the losses Armenia incurred as a result.

“It is obvious that it is a political decision, but, at one point, it is also as a result of our [Armenia’s] oversight that we have not been able to vocally and effectively address our issues,” added Manoyan.

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