Nalbandian Says Karabakh Plan is Modified

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian insisted on Wednesday that the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents did receive a freshly amended international plan to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at their most recent meeting in Russia last month.

Official Yerevan has described it as a “new version” of the basic principles of a Karabakh settlement which were first formally put forward by the U.S., Russian and French mediators in Madrid in 2007.

According to Armenian officials, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev presented the document to his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts during their June 17 talks in Saint Petersburg. The Azerbaijani side has denied this.

“During the meeting on June 17 in Saint Petersburg, a new version of the Madrid document was presented,” said Nalbandian. “So during the upcoming meeting in Almaty [of the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers,] the big question will be whether Azerbaijan will continue negotiations on the basis of the new version of the Madrid document, as it was agreed at the June 17 meeting.”

Azerbaijani officials say the ongoing peace talks continue to center on another version of the Madrid principles that was submitted to the conflicting parties in December and January. They say Baku has accepted it with a number of “exceptions” and is still awaiting Yerevan’s positive response.

Nalbandian again dismissed these claims, saying that those exceptions outweigh provisions acceptable to Baku. “In effect, that means not accepting [the peace plan,]” he told a joint news conference with Poland’s visiting Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski
Nalbandian and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Elmar Mammadyarov, are expected to meet on the sidelines of an OSCE ministerial conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, which begins its work on Friday. The American, Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group hope that the talks will enable the parties to move further forward in their protracted search for peace.

Mammadyarov stated late last week that the Almaty meeting will focus on time frames for Armenian withdrawal from the Azerbaijani districts surrounding Karabakh. Yerevan swiftly denied that. Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharian said Azerbaijan must first “accept Karabakh’s status in accordance with the results of an expression of the Nagorno-Karabakh people’s will.”

Armenian leaders say a key element of the Madrid principles is a future referendum in which Karabakh’s mainly ethnic Armenian population would decide whether to reaffirm its secession from Azerbaijan or return under Azerbaijani rule.

Mammadyarov insisted on Friday, however, the proposed framework accord contains no such provisions. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev echoed his foreign minister on Tuesday.

“In the issues discussed during the negotiations, there is and there can be no mechanism related to Nagorno-Karabakh’s secession from Azerbaijan,” Aliyev reportedly told a cabinet meeting in Baku. The Azerbaijani leadership will never agree to any settlement that would not lead to the restoration of Azerbaijan’s control over Karabakh, he said.

Aliyev also repeated his regular threats to win back the territory by force. “We must be prepared for the liberation of our lands from the occupiers at any moment,” he said. “I am absolutely sure that Azerbaijan has such capacity today.”

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12 Comments

  1. Rammy said:

    While Armenia speaks of peace we can’t hear but the echo of war from Azerbijan

  2. Vacheh said:

    This appears to be a mouse and cat game, where it is hard to believe anyone, neither the Nalbandian’s story nor the story from the Azeri side. The physical reality remains in the hands of the government and army of NKR. The future actions will show what is going on behind curtains.

  3. Barkev Asadourian said:

    Where is Russian respond,how come Armenian lands given to Azeris,
    yes we know,given by Head of Commenist Party Joseph Stalin,
    no longer that Party, have the Russian polotitians to pronounce by saying
    the JUSTICE, Armenians they Liberate their Historical Lands by BLOOD and Won,
    No No No single square Inch of our land, Have Russian to substute from their own lands to
    Azeris, call that Donation!!!!!

  4. ashot yerkat said:

    When are we going to call Karabakh by its Armenian name? Why are we perpetuating separateness? Artsax is an integral part of Armenia; it was an Armenian region; we faught for it; we shed blood for it; we took it back, period! Hey, Asparez, wake up! You are supposed to set the pace. You are a newspaper and people read your pages. You should insist that Nalbandian, shmalbandian, and whoever represents us calls it Artsax, an integral part of Armenia, an Armenian province. Davayte, ha?

  5. Arn. Sweden. said:

    Typical Mongol mentality.

    They always steal peoples,
    as in the case of –

    Hungary – Bulgaria – Turkey – Turkmenistan – Uzbekistan – Cyrgysistan.

    They should go back to Mongolia !!!.

    Arn. Sweden.

  6. manooshag said:

    Hye,
    1 – Azeris initiated war against Artsakh, Azeris LOST this war.
    2 – Azeris STILL don’t know they lost their war – today Artsakh is freed of Azeris, advancing/thriving!
    3 – Turks committed Genocide of the Armenian nation (19th, 20th, 21st centuries – still pursuing);
    a. Ottomans’ subsequent leaderships still seek to eliminate fledging Armenian nation;
    b. Turks make a claim that Muslims not commit Genocides of Armenians, Kurds…Huh?
    4 – Seems a Turkey has a problem recognizing their inhumanity – their own history over the centuries;
    5 – Azeris think Azeris have a history for more years they have been a nation!
    6 – Seems the mentality of Azeris and a Turkey agree to agree – committing and using Genocides and wars which Azeris and Turkeys offer to our world: Man’s inhumanity to man, to gain their own convoluted goals… ongoing – unabated… sadly.
    7 – But yet, all the innocent victims of the Azeris and the Turkeys… what of their lives?
    8 – Thus cycle of Genocides continues with Azeris and Turkeys leading the cycle – unending in 2010! Why?
    Manooshag

  7. manooshag said:

    Hye, also,
    Serge and Nalbandian your leaderships are not of the strengths needed today in Armenia. You are not the patriots as we have had – and whom we need today to advance the cause of Haiastan. As a matter of fact, Artsakh’s government, thriving and advancing – proceeding in all and many directions as it is able, FOR ALL THE CITIZENS of Artsakh – is a fine example for ALL the citizens of Haiastan! Serge, Nalbandian, when you leave governance of Haiastan you shall have best served our Haiastan… soonest, better, for yourselves AND for our Haiastan. Manooshag

  8. Dave said:

    Russia will sell out Armenia & Artsakh if Russia gets something significant (oil, gas, etc.) in return from Azerbaijan. Russia will then use its leverage to try to force Armenia to concede.

    • Arn. Sweden. said:

      YOUR TALKBACK SEEMS AS US PROPAGANDA,
      TO DIVIDE AND RULE !!!.

      RUSSIA ARE IN NEED OF NOTHING OF THE LIKE.

      RUSSIAS NATIONAL INTERESTS DO NOT STAND WITH THE TURKS.

      IF RUSSIA WITH THE HELP OF ARMENIA,

      CAN CLOSE THE CORRIDOR BETWEEN TURKEY IN THE WEST OF KAUKASUS,
      AND AZEBADJAN AND ALL THE REST TURKISH NATIONS TO THE EAST,

      THEY WILL PREVENT THE TURKISH CENTRAL ASIAN NATIONS TO BECOME A POWERHOUSE,
      AND AGAIN TRY TO BUILD UP THE “PAN-TURKISH STATE”,
      FROM THE MEDITERRAINIAN IN THE WEST TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN THE EAST.

      IRAN IN THE SOUTH WILL ALSO BE PLEASED AND BENEFITED IN THIS,
      AS THEY WILL CLOSE THE TURKS WAY TO THE SOUTH.

      CHINA WILL BE PLEASED AND BEBEFITTED IN THIS,
      AS THEY WILL CLOSE THE TURKISH WAY TO THE EAST.

      Arn.SWEDEN.

  9. Ashot Baghdasaryan said:

    You can take all of those plans and put those in the toilet. Not a centimeter of Armenian liberated lands to Azeri-Turks.

  10. Ashot Baghdasaryan said:

    Barev Dave,

    The Turks and Azeris have been fooling the United States all this long and they may try to fool the Russians as well. As long as Armenians are strong and know who the enemies of Armenian Nation are and as long Armenians do not give in all these fools will come to their senses and support Armenia and Artsakh.

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