STEPANAKERT (PanArmenian)–The current format of the peace talks are not targeting a long-term resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict–Arman Melikian–special Karabakh presidential advisor said Wednesday in an interview with PanArmenian.net.
Melikian said despite optimistic statemen’s by the OSCE mediators made in early 2006–the resolution of the conflict is–indeed–far away. He added that–in fact–the meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan The settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict seems to be far away despite the optimistic statemen’s by the mediators made in early 2006.
The presidential advisor explained that while the OSCE Minsk Group-proposed plan envisions the return of the liberated territories to Azerbaijan and makes provisions for the return of Azeris residing in those areas–it does not address the issue of Armenian refugees displaced as a result of pogroms in Baku–Kirovabad and Sumgait.
Melikian emphasized that the so-called Azeri refugees were not subjected to ethnic cleansing as were the Armenian victims of the above pogroms. In fact–the advisor explained–those allegedly displaced Azeris joined the Azeri forces and left the region when the Azeri army retreated.
Melikian said the co-chairmen were bypassing the Armenian refugee issue. "I would like to point out that a recent poll revealed that Armenian refugees would not return to the territories under the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan (namely Baku–Kirovabad and Sumgait)," stressed the advisor.
He cited an effort by the Refugees and International Law human rights organization–which appealed to the Minsk Group co-chairmen and the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to include the issue of the 500,000 refugees displaced as a result of the Azeri pogroms of Armenia’s in the later 1980’s and early 1990’s.