News from Karabagh


Azerbaijan’s Aliyev, Armenia’s Pashinian discuss Karabakh issue at Davos
/Jan 23/Daily Sabah, Turkey/

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian held an informal meeting Tuesday on the sidelines of the 49th World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The neighboring leaders reportedly discussed the current situation surrounding the resolution process of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The discussion follows a meeting on the same issue between the two countries’ foreign ministers in Paris last week, which was mediated by Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and U.S. officials, according to the Azerbaijani foreign ministry.

Karabakh, a disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia, is recognized as Azerbaijani territory by the international community. It was taken over by Armenian secessionists during the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991 with military support from neighboring Armenia, and a peace process has yet to be implemented.

The conflict between 1992 and 1994 led to the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians and soldiers on both sides, in addition to displacing hundreds of thousands of people, mainly Azerbaijanis. Some 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory remains occupied.

Three U.N. Security Council resolutions (853, 874 and 884) and U.N. General Assembly resolutions 19/13 and 57/298 refer to Karabakh as being part of Azerbaijan. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe refers to the region as being occupied by Armenian forces.

The Armenian occupation of Upper Karabakh led to the closing of the frontier with Turkey, which sides with Baku in the drawn-out dispute.

Political ties between Ankara and Yerevan remain frozen owing to the Karabakh conflict as well as the legacy of killings during World War I, which the Armenian diaspora and government describe as “genocide” – a description that Turkey refutes.

While newly-appointed Prime Minister Pashinian has expressed readiness “to establish direct relationships with Turkey without any precondition,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has maintained solving the Karabakh problem as an “absolute precondition” for improving ties.

Analyst: Meeting of Armenian, Azeri leaders another step of ‘post-escalation stabilization’
/Jan 23/Panorama/

Like all the other meetings between the Armenian and Azerbaijani leadership held after the 2016 April flare-up, the Davos meeting between the Armenian prime minister and Azerbaijan president can be called another step of post-escalation stabilization aimed at taking the region back to its initial starting position, political analyst Stepan Safaryan told a news conference on Wednesday.

According to the expert, the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) peace talks have stalled because of the extremely opposite positions of the parties to the conflict. He says a process is underway to restore and establish contacts, correct the rhetoric and agree upon various details in negotiations.

Highlighting the continuation of peace talks as a tool to control the situation, the analyst stressed at the same time the new Armenian authorities should not allow Azerbaijan to distort the essence of the conflict or the negotiation process itself.

Safaryan says it’s too early to talk about substantial talks on Artsakh in the near future. Meanwhile, he urges a maximum transparency in the negotiation process.

Touching upon the issue of returning Artsakh to the negotiating table, Safaryan stated the former authorities attempted to settle the issue many times but in vain.

“The return of Artsakh to the negotiating table is the minimum which Azerbaijan cannot object to. Whether the Armenian authorities will succeed or not is a matter of question. It will be a little bit incomprehensible if the Armenian prime minister takes a path other than the one he has announced. I believe Nikol Pashinyan understands well what statement he has made on the topic: Armenia doesn’t decide instead of Artsakh,” he said.

Commenting on the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs’ statement on ‘preparing the population for peace’ agreed by Armenian and Azerbaijani FMs in Paris, Safaryan stressed the talks cannot yield any results if after the meetings Ilham Aliyev announces that the only way to settle the conflict is a war. “A resolution cannot be imposed from above. It is for the societies, the Artsakh people to decide,” he added. 

Pashinyan in Moscow: I am not authorized to negotiate on behalf of Artsakh
/Jan 25/Panorama/

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia reiterated in Moscow that he is not authorized to negotiate on behalf of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) as he was asked to comment on the question whether he has discussed the issue of returning Artsakh to the negotiating table at the informal talks with the Azerbaijani president in Davos.

“I have repeatedly stated that I represent and can represent the Republic of Armenia in the negotiation process. I cannot represent Artsakh for the simple reason that its citizens have not elected me as their prime minister,” he told a briefing.

He stressed that the Artsakh citizens elect their own president, have their own government and parliament. “That’s why I can’t hold talks on behalf of Nagorno-Karabakh,” he said.

The Armenian leader noted everyone is naturally interested in all the details of the Davos meeting, but it is “unacceptable to reveal them for ethical reasons.”

“In general, you all know what we have talked about. The framework of the conversation corresponds to my public statements,” Pashinyan said.

Touching upon the launch of official negotiations with Azerbaijan, the PM said the foreign ministers of the two states are working on it, but there is no exact arrangement yet. 

Azerbaijan will never agree to Artsakh’s return to table of negotiations: expert
/Jan 25/Aysor/

Artsakh’s return to the table of negotiations stems from Armenia’s and Artsakh’s interests but at the same time it is clear that Azerbaijan will refuse to participate in the process in such case, political analyst, expert in international affairs Suren Sargsyan told, referring to the statement of Armenia’s PM that he cannot represent Karabakh in talks.
According to him, as far as Azerbaijan does not recognize both Nagorno Karabakh’s sovereignty and Artsakh authorities, it will not agree to participate in the talks.

The expert reminded that not negotiating on behalf of Artsakh is the principle position of new authorities of Armenia with Pashinyan having stated about it immediately after becoming a PM and during the presentation of the government’s program as well.

“It is a position he grounded still at the former parliament. Nikol Pashinyan claimed that Artsakh must become negotiating side but it is clear that Azerbaijan will not agree to it,” Sargsyan said.

The expert noted that a situation has been created when Azerbaijan claims that Armenia should negotiate on behalf of two, while Yerevan claims it cannot negotiate on behalf of Artsakh.

“Pashinyan’s groundings may be either acceptable or not, but the voice of the Artsakh people must be heard at decisive phase in talks,” Sargsyan said, stressing that the possibility for Artsakh to become negotiating side is extremely small.
“Azerbaijan has many times voiced its decision, saying that it is not going to negotiate with anyone but Armenian authorities,” the expert said, adding that it is also its strategy to show that the conflict is between Armenia and Azerbaijan and not Artsakh and Azerbaijan.

“If it shows that Artsakh and Azerbaijan are conflicting parties it will mean it recognizes the rights of people fighting for the implementation of their right to self-determination and the circumstance that still in 90s the Azerbaijani authorities exerted pressure on the people of Artsakh,” the expert said.

The presentation of the book by David Babayan “Hydropolitics of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict” took place.
/Jan 31/Arminfo/Tatevik Shahunyan/

The authorities of  Soviet Azerbaijan carried out a policy of hydro-terrorism against the  population of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region, press secretary  of Artsakh President David Babayan said at the presentation of his  monograph “Hydropolitics of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict”.As  David Babayan noted, as a result of this policy, 80% of the water  resources of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region were concentrated  in the hands of Azerbaijanis, while the Armenian population was  deprived of the possibility of irrigation and the development of  agriculture. 

According to him, Baku, under various pretexts, refused to build reservoirs. The only exception was the Sarsang Reservoir, but even here, as Babian noted, the central authorities went to the trick – the reservoir and the hydropower plant were managed from Mirbashir. < A very interesting story, as in the hands of Azerbaijanis was the territory where Arpa and Vorotan originate. We did not find any documents on the transfer of these sections of the AzSSR>, said David Babayan. When the Karabakh liberation movement began, he stressed, Baku did go for a crime.

For two weeks, half of Stepanakert was deprived of drinking water, «Babayan recalled. According to him, now Baku is actively pushing the idea that, allegedly, Armenia is carrying out the burial of nuclear waste in Karvachar and other places. will be immediately concocted the criminal activities of the Armenians. And this means that in no case should they be allowed to flow to the sources of rivers that ensure the security of Armenia and Artsakh, «he concluded.