We Can Be Good Neighbours But…


Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)

Recently the regular round of the Dortmund consultation on the
settlement of the Karabakh conflict took place in Moscow. A special
group on the settlement of the regional conflicts was formed within
the framework of the consultation, the co-chairmen to which are Harold
Sonders (USA) and Vitaly Naumkin (Russia). The representatives of the
non-governmental organizations of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorni
Karabakh take part in them. Member of parliament of Karabakh Maxim
Mirzoyan participated in the last, as well as the previous three
meetings. M. Mirzoyan told during the interview that the aim of the
consultation is survey of the public opinion in the conflict
countries. The data are processed and passed to the OSCE Minsk Group
on Karabakh settlement. According to Maxim Mirzoyan, this is already
the sixth round of meeting between the representatives of Armenia,
Azerbaijan and Nagorni Karabakh. The parties had a common opinion
concerning the peaceful settlement of the conflict and with the
participation of Karabakh. But now, he mentioned, no attempts were
made to touch upon the main problems: the causes of the conflict and
expertise of the legal package. Although, he said, during the third
meeting the Karabakh delegation passed the legal package of the
conflict to the organizers of the meeting. The parties were offered to
work out a definite outline of the peaceful process before the next
meeting, including two obligatory points: establishment of effective
levers with the participation of all the interested parties and means
for maintenance of mutual trust by the official bodies of the
authorities and the local citizens. According to the authors of the
document, the parties must assume responsibility to achieve such an
agreement that would not ignore the rights of neither of the
parties. The temporary maintenance of the status of Nagorni Karabakh
should be sought for. As to the technical means, these include the
gradual withdrawal of forces from the area of military actions,
stationing of the international peacemaking forces, providing of
conditions for the return ofthe refugees, agreement on maintaining the
borders of the new formation according to the borders of the former
autonomous region. In this reference we asked a number of questions to
Maxim MIRZOYAN. – Mr. Mirzoyan, recently much is said about the change
of the format of negotiations for the settlement of the Karabakh
conflict and in this reference about the coordination of the relations
between Armenia and Karabakh. Don’t you think that such considerations
lack ground? – It should be noted that Armenia was involved in the
conflict artificially. That idea was brought into being under the
pressure of the parties interested in the aggravation of the
conflict. Soon, as the consequence of this logic, Karabakh was
relieved from the `responsibility’ for the conflict and the
responsibility was cast on Armenia. This format is in effect up today
because for many it is favourable to describe the conflict as
Armenian-Azerbaijani. The permanent delay of the conflict settlement
resulted in the fact that nobodydeals with the essence of the
problem. Moreover, the international organizations use the problem for
the settlement of their own problems in the region; the settlement of
the Karabakh problem seemed to have become an obstruction to the
solution of other problems. The invisible confrontation between the
West and Russia has become quite open recently. Azerbaijan does not
miss the chance to use its own and others’ forces for aggression
against Armenia. And Armenia has nothing else to do but to become the
guarantor of the security of Karabakh and defend its
independence. Thus, the approach of Armenia is a precaution for
defence of its own security in case of aggression on the part of
Azerbaijanagainst it. – And nevertheless, the question of
participation of Karabakh in the negotiations has been more frequently
touched upon – Without doubt.During 12 years the Minsk Group
co-chairmen became convinced that the talks have come to a deadlock
because the real conflict party, Karabakh, does not take part in them.
You may not hide a needle in the sack. And the reason for this is the
weak position of the Armenian diplomacy and the inert behaviour of the
Minsk Group. – Mr. Mirzoyan, in the interview to the agency `De Facto’
thesecretary of the NKR Security Council Karen Baburian stated that
connected with the offer of reporteur of the Council of Europe Pierre
Garton to recede the five regions liberated by the Karabakh army in
return for opening the railway suggestions were made in the corridor
talks of the Karabakh parliament about passing the regions under the
authority of NKR. What is your attitude towards such offers? – I agree
to this opinion. It is necessary to grant a status of factor of
peaceand military balance to these territories providing our
security. It is necessary to clarify the demarcation line and explain
the adequacy of this step.` Is this possible in our
parliament? – This is very important. Currently there is a situation
when the members of parliament are not interested in a question of
such importance for the country. During 12 years the parliament has
not adequately discussed the problem of Karabakh and the approach of
the Karabakh party. This is also the evidence to the fact that the
process is directed from the outside. The high officials of the
European organizations (they try to holdthe initiative of the Karabakh
settlement) make statements showing that in the approaches of the
mediators the humanitarian aspect prevails over the political and
legal aspects. In particular, the special reporteur of the European
Union Terry Davis announced during his visit to Stepanakert that the
most important task is the solution of the problem of refugees. In
this situation isn’t the essence of the Karabakh problem distorted? –
The conflict in Karabakh occurred from the desire of Azerbaijan to
force out the Armenian element out of its borders. Thus, the main
constituents of the conflict are the territorial and ethnic-demographic
factors. The restoration of the former status of these territories
would mean returning to the causes of the conflict, and hence the
war. We may be good neighbours but not members of the same family.