Azerbaijani ‘Fully Satisfied’ With Mediators’ Statement on Karabakh


Ali Hasanov, President Aliyev's Socio-political Department chief


BAKU (RFE/RL)–Azerbaijan is fully satisfied with the latest joint statement by the U.S., Russian and French presidents that reaffirmed their blueprint for resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a senior aide to President Ilham Aliyev said on Wednesday.

“The statement fully satisfies Azerbaijan,” the APA news agency quoted Ali Hasanov, head of the public-political department at the Azerbaijani presidential administration, as telling journalists in Baku.

“The statement contains a demand for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories as well as the will of those countries to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he said. “As for the circulation of that statement on websites of various countries in a distorted, incorrectly translated form, we call that an inadvertent mistake.”

Hasanov clearly referred to significant discrepancies between the official Russian translation of the statement released by the Kremlin and the English-language original. In particular, the Russian version does not use the word “occupied” with regard to the Armenian-controlled territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh.

It also refers to “the determination of the future final status of Nagorno-Karabakh by a legally-binding expression of the will of its population.” The English version speaks only of “a legally-binding expression of will.”

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian insisted that the mediating powers believe Karabakh’s status must be decided only by its indigenous Armenian population when he voiced Yerevan’s support for the statement on Monday.

Armenia’s leading opposition groups, notably the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), have reacted far more negatively to the basic principles of a Karabakh settlement outlined by the heads of the three nations co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group.

“Their statement doesn’t say who must express their will,” Vahan Hovannesian, a member of the ARF’s governing Bureau, told a news conference on Wednesday. “It doesn’t say Nagorno-Karabakh’s population. Azerbaijan can interpret this in its favor.”

Underscoring the party’s position on the dispute, Hovannesian said that the Armenians are being offered very little in exchange for abandoning “the security zone” around Karabakh. “They can object that if you cede the security zone, Karabakh will have an agreement with Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan will not launch attacks anymore,” he said. “Oh, really? There already exists a [ceasefire] agreement. Does it keep the Azerbaijanis from attacking? No.”

Hovannesian, who is the ARF’s parliamentary faction president, also rejected the mediating powers’ offer of an “interim status of Nagorno-Karabakh guaranteeing security and self-governance.” “That’s not self-determination, that’s self-governance,” he said.

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3 Comments

  1. eddy said:

    Only the recognitions of NKR (at least by AR) will end to all ill speculations and “misunderstandings” – The sooner the better!

    President Sarkisan and his foreign Minster are agreeing and applauding the same “game of words and terms” as it is/was the case with the two well known protocols!

    In first look everybody gets everything but in reality the statements of three presidents and policy of MG (Minsk group) is nothing but going back – step by step – to the status of 1988 – Which would satisfy the demand of Azerbaijani ! “legally-binding expression of will“is not part of international law but “referendum” is. Why not using the term “referendum”? They speak of “territorial integrity” what do they exactly mean and how comes that AR has become 100% party to conflict and NKR simply a “technical object“… ?

  2. Grish Begian said:

    Azerbaijan do not need land …their bellicose leader needs “life time presidency support” from his tribal people, so he can suck some more oil money, for his corrupt and demoralized friends, and family members.. Artsakh for him is a tool, that he play with Armenian leaders, as long as there is some skirmish
    border wars and meetings going on, then Alieyev dilemma will continue, until he is out of presidency..

  3. Felipe Munoz CL said:

    No, no, no… This is happening because Sarkisian’s government (including him) always says to american envoys what they wants to hear. Sarkisian must use this valuable moment to end the hypocrisy, and show the reality of the conflict directly to H. Clinton, because i’m sure that this could be the last visit of a US ‘High-Profile Person’ before a final resolution (forced or not) on the Karabakh conflict. Sarkisian should take a definitive stance on the problem, include Bako Sahakyan in the meeting, and make Clinton understand what points Armenia won’t accept (but at the same time, Clinton will demand something in exchange to satisfy Aliyev, indeed). Believe this, if Clinton doesn’t find any opposition from Armenia and Artsakh, Clinton (and US) will consider Armenia a weak counterpart, and anything unfavorable can be expected for Artsakh’s destiny (instead of Armenia). Remember, armenians must make Clinton realizes that ”Not even a war could finish with Artsakh”… And Armenia should recognize Artsakh Republic (as known as NKR) if the US and/or EU tries to fragmentate their lands.

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