BY HASMIK MARTIROSYAN
James Warlick is an experienced diplomat and he would never make accidental statements, Spokesman for the President of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic David Babayan said in response to an earlier tweet by US Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick.
“Greek and Turkish Cypriots announced they will have full-fledged negotiations on a settlement. Why can’t this happen for Nagorno-Karabakh?” Warlick asked in a Tweeter post last week.
“The statement has been made in the form of classical diplomacy and it would be wrong to think it was the personal initiative of the American Co-Chair,” Babayan said.
“Therefore, we’re entering a new process, which assumes ‘returning to the past.’ That means the settlement of the conflict will be impossible without Artsakh’s direct participation in all stages of the negotiations,” David Babayan said in comments to Public Radio of Armenia.
According to him, such statements give us ground to conclude that the negotiation format will be restored. “It will certainly be a long process, but the initial steps have been outlined,” he added.
Another tweeter post by Ambassador James Warlick reads: “Leaving today for Ankara. I look forward to hearing Turkey’s views.”
Commenting on the statement, David Babayan said one should not make hasty conclusions.
“The statement may have been made in the context of the Cyprus issue, as all conflicts serve as precedent for each other,” he said, adding that there is one nuance here. “First of all, Turkey cannot act as a mediator country, as it’s not unbiased.”
As for the Cyprus issue, the Spokesman said “there should be a clear understanding that the talks on the level of communities are unacceptable to us; it is necessary to restore the decision of the Budapest summit.”
Even if Warlick discusses the Karabakh conflict within the framework of the visit to Turkey, it has been clearly declared (by Warlick among others) that Turkey can play a positive role in the Karabakh conflict, but only when it accepts that Armenian-Turkish relations have nothing to do with the conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh, as the two are different processes.
“We have our position, and they share it. We believe that making inter-related statements on the two issues is excluded,” Babayan concluded.