NAGORNY KARABAKH HOPES FOR EUROPEAN INTEGRATION
RIA Novosti, Russia
May 15 2004
YEREVAN, May 15 (RIA Novosti) – A two-day seminar entitled “European
integration as a guarantee of peace and stable development” closed in
Stepanakert, the capital of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorny
Karabakh. The seminar was dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the
armistice in the Armenian-Azeri conflict area in Nagorny Karabakh,
an enclave region with mainly Armenian population. The region claimed
its secession from Azerbaijan after the Soviet Union’s collapse.
The roundtable resulted in a number of proposals which will be
submitted to the Nagorny Karabakh government, the republican foreign
ministry said on Saturday.
Nagorny Karabakh Prime Minister Anushavan Daniyelyan and Speaker of
the National Assembly Oleg Yesayan met with seminar’s participants
and organizers. They welcome such forums and pointed out their
importance. Mr. Daniyelyan expressed readiness for the implementation
of seminar’s proposals.
“I believe the seminar will contribute into the research of nature
and prospects of regional and all-European political developments,
in particular, European integration and the role and tasks of Armenia
and Nagorny Karabakh in this process,” said Oleg Yesayan.
The seminar was organized by the Nagorny Karabakh committee “Helsinki
initiative-1992”, the European Integration public association,
Nagorny Karabakh and Armenian permanent commissions for foreign
relations and the Foreign Ministry of Nagorny Karabakh.
On May 9, Victory Day, President of the self-proclaimed republic Arkady
Gukasyan claimed Nagorny Karabakh armed forces’ readiness to rebuff
all Azerbaijan’s attempts to reclaim the enclave. This provocative
statement echoed in Baku and Nakhichevan, an Azeri enclave separated
from the country by Armenian territory. Azerbaijan’s President Ilkham
Aliyev told Nakhichevan residents that Baku would never put up with
the loss of Nagorny Karabakh. According to him, the Azeri army is now
strong enough to take Nagorny Karabakh back by force. However, Gukasyan
and Aliyev’s statements should not be taken seriously. No country,
first of all Russia and the USA, would stand the recurrence of the
1990s tragedy. Besides, one should not forget about the Baku-Ceyhan
pipeline, which is highly important for the economic development of
Azerbaijan and the South Caucasian region. The international consortium
allocated money on this project on the security of peaceful settlement
of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict.