Karabakh Must Consent to Basic Principles, Says Nalbandian

Nalbandian during his meeting with Bildt Tuesday

YEREVAN—“It will be impossible to move to the second stage of the negotiations without Karabakh consent on the basic principles,” said Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian during a joint press conference Tuesday with his Swedish counterpart Kart Bildt.

Nalbandian was speaking days after a meeting he held with Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Moscow mediated by their Russian counterpart Igor Popov ahead of presidential summit on Karabakh scheduled for later this month in Kazan, Russia.

“I agree with Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Bako Sahakian that it will be impossible to move to the second stage of negotiations without Karabkh’s consent on the basis principles. The peace treaty is going to be worked out in the second stage, and Karabakh’s participation in this stage is a must,” said Nalbandian who was responding to a reporter’s question regarding Sahakian telling the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen that a final resolution cannot be achieved without the participation of the Karabakh

“The cornerstone of settlement is right of the people of Nagorno Karabakh to be the master of its destiny,” the Minister added.

Minister Nalbandian reminded that the Foreign Ministries of Armenia and Azerbaijan issued statements following the meeting in Moscow that the parties managed to bring positions closer on a number of pivotal issues. “If the momentum is maintained in Kazan, we’ll be able to register progress,” Minister Nalbandian declared.

As for Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov’s statement regarding the deployment of peacekeepers, Edward Nalbandian said: “The statements of Presidents Obama, Sarkozy and Medvedev issued in L’Aquilla and Muskoka provide for the deployment of peacekeepers around Nagorno Karabakh. However, the details of the issue have not been discussed over the past three years. Therefore, no agreement could have been reached.”

Meanwhile, authorities in Karabakh expressed confidence that it is still early to speak about a final agreement on the principles. They said said the current stage of the negotiation process will take another two to three years, since Azerbaijan benefits from maintaining of the status quo.

“They understand that the issue cannot be settled without the participation of the Karabakhi side. The current stage is not the final one. This is a small step of a long process,” explained Karabakh presidential spokeperson David Babayan.

“The most that can happen in Kazan is a show of good will on some principles,” added Babayan.

“2012 is a unique year for all – the parties, the mediating countries and the region. Elections are expected in Russia, the United States, France, Artsakh and Armenia. Therefore, the parties will not be ready to take any abrupt steps in that period. Even if the parties reach some agreement in Kazan, it will simply help maintain the status quo for another two to three years,” added Babayan.

“I can’t predict what will happen but I do not expect any breakthrough,” said Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Foreign Minister Georgi Petrosian.


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  1. Svetlana Swanson said:

    Karabakh on the Road to Statehood

    Both the Republic of Karabakh and the Republic of Armenia could become more powerful counties if they develop the necessary laws and the procedures to invite back some of the ethnic Azeri’s who fled the country.

    This reintegration of the ethnic Azeri’s should proceed in organized, systematic developmental stages.

    Repatriated Azeri’s should undergo intense orientation and education of the laws of the land and the responsibility of its citizens.

    This will distinguish Karabakh and Armenia from countries like Israel, and other less tolerant states, and will greatly enhance the international public support for independent statehood for Karabakh.

    • Bob Yoder said:

      Invite back ethnic Azeris? … and who is talking about inviting back ethnic Armenians from Sumgait and Baku, among other places, unless for the purpose of being slaughtered at Alyev’s convenience some dark night? Who, furthermore, is talking about the forced “Turkification” of ethnic Avars, Lezgidis, and others within Azerbaijan?

      Karabakh and Armenia should be distinguished from Israel??? Israel says, to Europe and the West, “Clean up the mess that you have made in Kosovo!” Would you care to look at the burnings, lootings, and murderous rampages that have taken place in Kosovo in 12 years under NATO, the UN, and EULEX’s watch, Svetlana? … and what was more shameful than Russia’s cowering under the bed in 1999 under Yeltsin?

    • Haig said:

      I agree with you in principal. The azeri govt would never agree to your statement.

      There is alot of mistrust… the people dont want another war, but the azeri govt, in my opinoin, wants to use the former population as a tool to retake karapagh.
      There president has repeatedly stated that the independance of Karapagh is non-negotiable.

      This is there goal, they have made it very clear.