Armenian paper says Astana talks made no difference in Karabakhsettl

Armenian paper says Astana talks made no difference in Karabakh settlement

Aykakan Zhamanak, Yerevan
17 Sep 04

The third meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents that took
place in Astana yesterday [as received, actually, on 15 September]
mainly differs from the previous ones by the participation of Russian
President [Vladimir] Putin and by the excitement generated around it.

[Passage omitted: reported statements by officials]

Is it possible that any arrangement was made as a result of Russian
President Putin’s participation? Some analysts simply rule out such
an outcome and think that this meeting between [Armenian President
Robert] Kocharyan and [Azerbaijani President Ilham] Aliyev, like the
previous ones, was not of any significance in the sense of driving
the negotiations out of the deadlock. The supporters of this viewpoint
are sure that the statements about the importance of the meeting are
made to create a certain impression. In reality, today the approaches
of the conflicting parties are so different that it is impossible to
come to agreement.

The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents are forced to imitate agreement
and progress, as the world community presses them to hold new meetings
and continue peace talks. This viewpoint seems to be substantiated
because according to trustworthy sources, during the [Armenian Foreign
Minister Vardan] Oskanyan – [Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar]
Mammadyarov meeting [in Prague on 30 August], Azerbaijan’s foreign
minister set before Oskanyan the pull-out of Armenian troops from the
so-called occupied territories as a precondition for peace talks. (By
the way, when after the Prague meeting Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister
Elmar Mammadyarov tried to disclose some details of its content,
the Armenian party immediately denied them, saying that this was
the desire of the Azerbaijani party. This once again proves the fact
that no arrangement was made in Prague.) According to a trustworthy
source, at all meetings Ilham Aliyev raises firmly the problem of
occupied territories.

Thus, if Vardan Oskanyan’s enthusiasm after the 30 August meeting was
not imitation, this means that the Armenian authorities have agreed
to settle the Karabakh issue in accordance with the step-by-step
option. But many people think this option is unreal. On the other
hand, immediately after yesterday’s meeting, Ilham Aliyev did not
say it was of a great significance, and Robert Kocharyan said that
they could not boast of success. As for the participation of the
Russian president, according to analysts, it had the same PR meaning
as the whole fuss around the Astana meeting. Today Putin thinks only
about the Beslan tragedy and the image of the Russian Federation
because of that tragedy, and by taking the role of an intermediary
in the Kocharyan-Aliyev meeting Putin simply tried to raise Russia’s
authority.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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