Azerbaijan Stalls Peace Talks Again

Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian and his counterparts at the OSCE Foreign Ministerial meeting.

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (Combined Sources)—Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian blamed Azerbaijan’s “non-constructive” posturing Monday for the stalemate that followed two days of talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with his Azeri counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov.

Nalbandian and Mammadyarov began talks Friday night on the sidelines of an informal OSCE Foreign Ministerial meeting. They continued the talks Saturday morning, this time attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, who was representing the US at the meeting in Almaty.

Following the talks, which ended without real progress toward a peace deal, Lavrov, Kouchner and Steignberg issued a statement saying, “the efforts made so far by the parties to the conflict have not been sufficient to overcome their differences,” and urged more action by the two sides.

The Heads of Delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries “deplored recent developments which have increased tension in the region, including the serious armed incident of June 18-19, 2010 and inflammatory public statements. They warned that the use of force created the current situation, and its use again would only lead to suffering, devastation, and a legacy of conflict and hostility that would last for generations.”

The Heads also “urged a greater spirit of compromise to reach agreement on a common basis for continuing the negotiations. Additional actions by the sides are needed to reinforce the ceasefire of 1994 and to create a more favorable atmosphere for further political dialogue and reaching agreements.”

“In the course of many years Azerbaijan has been refusing to reinforce the ceasefire. The co-chair countries once again stressed the necessity of it to create a more favorable atmosphere for further political dialogue and reaching agreements,” said Nalbandian, in response to the OSCE co-chair countries’ statement, which he praised.

“The statement refers to the provocation of the Azerbaijani side on June 18-19. I think it’s obvious to everyone who the statement is addressed to, because it refers to inflammatory public statements, which aggravate the situation and do not contribute to the settlement of the conflict,” added Nalbandian.

The representatives of the Minsk Group Co-Chair countries “recalled the joint statement on Nagorno-Karabakh of December 1, 2009 at the OSCE Ministerial meeting in Athens and reminded the sides of their commitment to seek a peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the principles contained in the Helsinki Final Act, particularly those related to refraining from the threat or use of force, the territorial integrity of states, and the equal rights and self determination of peoples. They reiterated that the elements articulated by Presidents Medvedev, Sarkozy, and Obama on July 10, 2009 at L’Aquila and repeated at Muskoka on June 26, 2010 must be the foundation of any fair and lasting settlement to the conflict. These proposed elements have been conceived as an integrated whole, and any attempt to select some elements over others would make it impossible to achieve a balanced solution. Foreign Minister Kouchner and Deputy Secretary Steinberg expressed appreciation for the efforts of President Medvedev and Foreign Minister Lavrov to bridge the differences between the parties, taking into consideration the positions discussed during the meetings in Sochi on January 25, 2010 and in St. Petersburg on June 17, 2010.”

Prior to this weekend’s meeting, Mammadyarov angered Armenians when he announced that a he and Nalbandian would discuss the withdrawal from the liberated territories surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic during the Almaty talks, specifying the regions of Lachin and Kelbajar, the two regions that border Armenia.

Nalbandian swiftly responded last week by calling Mammadyarov’s remarks “absolute lies,” and explained that at no time has there been discussion of withdrawing from those regions.

“They [the Azerbaijanis] pick out one of six [peace] provisions and exploit it,” Nalbandian said. “The co-chairing countries stated in a very simple and open manner that this is a non-constructive approach, that it is wrong to discriminate between these principles and provisions, and that it wrong to take a selective approach,” reported RFE/RL.

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13 Comments

  1. Minas said:

    Can someone somewhere say exactly what Armenia and Azerbaijan are talking about in view of the fact that NKR says it will settle for nothing less than self-determination while Azerbaijan says that it will never allow that?

    These two goals have nothing in common since RNK will never vote to be part of Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan will never accept RNK’s splitting off from Azerbaijan.

    Surely the two parties do not sit across from each other month after month, year after year, and simply say No to each other. do they?

    Until we can answer this simple question, I claim that there is little sense in speculating or in the negotiations continuing. I am sick and tired of reports that say either that there is no progress, or that there is progress but do not say exactly what that progress is.

    • john said:

      Don’t get sick and tired of “reports” please. this is simply a prearranged public theater to give the impression of “negotiations”. Nothing will ever come out of this. this similar to Israeli Palestinian peace process. this too is a “process”. it not the goal that matters it’s the journey to nowhere.

    • Arthur said:

      Azerbaijan is looking to get back NKR and the 7 regions surrounding NKR. Armenia publicly is saying we will give back the 5 region keeping Lachin and Khelbajar as a corridor to NKR but we want Azerbaijan to recognize the Status of NKR before we return the 5 regions. Azerbaijan wants the 7 regions back and then wants to vote on the Status of NKR. But for Armenia holding on to all those regions is a strategic move because its easier to defend so I dont understand why they are even considering giving an inch of land back.

  2. Ishkhan Babajanian MD said:

    Turkeri nenghutyunere yev otarnneri mer mejkits Dashunaharume PARMAKAN PAST E
    YEV KAROGH E NOREN KERKNVEL. Amen jam, amen rope nrank karogh yen “YANKIPURI ” nman mer Ghekavarutyan yev Joghovurdin ANAKENKALI BEREL

    MNUM E VOR MER GHEKAVARUTYUNE YEV MER JOGHOVURDE GHISHER – TSEREK ARTUN YEV ZGHON MNAN U PAYTN El DZERKUM PAHEN

  3. John K. said:

    The whole idea of this talks is eventual return of all liberated territories to Azerbaijan.The current Armenian government is working very hard to achieve that. More prudent approach would have been recognizing Artsakh’s independence and preparing for war. Azerbaijan is…

  4. Norin Radd said:

    That land will never be relinquished to Azerbaijan, it belongs to the native inhabitants, namely, the Armenians. The world will face the wrath and retribution from Armenians worldwide if attempts are made to violate our people’s right to self determination and geographic autonomy. Armenians already proved in the 20th century that we are very capable of not only defending ourselves, but more importantly, seeking vengeance on those that have violated our human rights in the past, if we are threatened once more in the 21st century, then we will do what is necessary as a united people.

    Not only the Azeris, but the world should know this, Armenians in Armenia, Arstakh (formerly known as Nagorno Karabagh, and in the Diaspora worldwide are ready to defend our rights and punish our persecutors if the need arises.

  5. Samuel D said:

    First of all armenian & Artsakh armed forces must be in full alert to respond any azeris suspicious activities, & all those who are in contacts with turks & azeris need watch their own security.
    Next must remember more than 20 years ago Artsakhi people from Sovet leaders pracefully requested
    their separation from azeri rule, azeri leaders responded differently, they overnight attacked armenians homes in the cities Baku Sumgait & elswhere terrorising, killing those poor armenians created
    400 000 refugees for Armenia, after that azeris started attack & kill Artsakhi people hopping they wiil
    escape, but azeris encontered with brave Artsakhis determination & forced azeris sign armistice, right now Alieve claims Armenia occupyed Azerbaijan, he is unable to explain how? why Alieve suddenly
    quited talks with Artsakhi representatives? another lies of alieve that Artsakhis are settled by Peter the great1682-1725) while azeri state history is less than 100 years,Alieve on his fraud & fabrcation conspiracy,never encountered bumpy road, because of Armenias soft, retard & deficit politlcs, he become more aggessive, he wants the whole world understand that Artsakh is an island inside azeri territory, so azeri teritorial integrity is superior to Artsakhi peoples self determination & following
    this idiology they are in great hurry tochip out Karavajar (Kelbajar) & Then they will say you are
    inside our teritory illegaly creating another country, this is what Alieve is hurry to accomplish.

  6. Ashot Baghdasaryan said:

    VOCH MI TIZ HOGH SHOON AZERI-TURKIN. LONG LIVE FREE AND INDEPENDENT ARTSAKH.

  7. Nora Armani said:

    Well said. There is a lot going on that we are not being informed about I think. In which case all speculation is pointless. The most important issue here is the will and right of a people to self determination, regardless of who that action harms or helps in the end.
    The only voice that counts here is the RNK voice.
    Thanks for an insightful comment.

  8. George Apelian said:

    The OSCE supervised talks may continue until into the next century, without any results.
    Mr. Nalbandian has done fine, at last. Yes, Azeri lies had to be identified as such.
    Sometimes it’s better to walk away, rather than smile and listen to lies and threats.
    It’s certain ,that there will be no agreement on the Nagorno issue, even if Levon der Bedrossian returns to power.
    Let’s think something more constructive to finalize the Armenian identitiy of Artsakh!

  9. manooshag said:

    Hye,
    1 – Azeris are newcomers to the Caucasus – but lie and claim a history which does not exist…
    2 – Artsakh/NK is Armenian lands for centuries – AND Artsakh won the war Azeris initiated…
    3 – Azeris lie to the world, Azeris lie to themselves – without end, ongoing…
    4 – A Stalin,his convoluted mentality ‘gifted’ Artsakh to Azeris, to destroy Armenians
    5 – Artsakh/NK is the ancient and advanced Armenian nations’ roots – many, many centuries!!
    6 – Azeris, oil rich, allied with a Turkey, too, is bullying and lying – even believes its own lies
    7 – Azeris do well to attend to their own citizens who are NOT receiving the benefits of their oil fields…
    8 – Azeris leaderships are deceiving their citizenry-not advancing nation – pocketing profits from oils…
    9 – Azeris emulate their Turk ‘ally’ – bullying agendas – world watches Azeris’/Turks lies… ongoing.
    Manooshag

  10. Azada said:

    Minas: First of all, Azerbaijan is negotiating with Armenia, not NKR. In fact, Azerbaijan does not recognize NKR at all, so there is no chance that the two parts will sit together and discuss anything.

    On the other hand, you are absolutely right. Everyone is sick and tired of fruitless discussions. If the two sides want opposite things, and none of them wants to tolerate anything, the only solution is fighting. OSCE should step aside, since they have not accomplished ANYTHING up today. USA, Russia, and France should simply step aside and let the two countries solve their problem by their own means. It seems that the war is the only choice, so let it be. At least the war will have some result.

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