We need more determination

We need more determination

Interview by Karine Mangasarian

October 29, 2004

The options for resolution of Nagorno-Karabagh conflict are regularly
discussed by the Armenian political circles. However, a certain
deficit of proposals exists among our political leaders and
analysts. What do our politicians think about the options of
resolution of Nagorno Karabagh conflict?

We asked some of our political leaders the following questions:

1. The status quo is preserved and the negotiations do not seem to
yield any tangible results. What should Armenia do in this context?

2. In case the negotiations result in a consensus and some of the
liberated territories are required in return for Karabagh’s
self-determination, what should Armenia’s response be to this

3. What if the negotiations end in a deadlock and peace is threatened?
If Azerbaijan starts a war what should Armenia do both at the external
front and in terms of its domestic policies?

We interviewed leader of Republican Party’s parliamentary faction
Galust Sahakian.

1. There can be different ways of resolution of Nagorno Karabagh
conflict. If all our political forces show determination and offer one
solution, then it will be favorable for Armenia. The option we support
is a package solution with a stress on Karabagh’s status. This will
contribute to the speedy resolution of the conflict and establishment
of favorable economic environment in the Caucasus.

After the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is put into exploitation,
Azerbaijan will have significant profits. In this context ensuring
economic equilibrium and security in the region will be connected with
the settlement of the Karabagh conflict, and this will be favorable
for Armenia. We prioritize the determination of our domestic political
forces regarding the Karabagh conflict.

Some political forces completely ignore the Karabagh issue, others
support a stage-by-stage approach as opposed to the package option,
which we cannot accept. This is why I believe our internal unanimity
and determination are so important. Karabagh has never been a part of
Azerbaijan and can never become one.

2. We cannot accept this option and this is why we stress the
importance of Karabagh’s status. The rest of the issues can be settled
through open negotiations. Whenever we speak about mutual concessions,
especially when we speak about them domestically, any such statements
create certain opinions with the international community.

And these opinions hold that concessions can be made connected with
the liberated territories or better say the territories that ensure
Nagorno Karabagh’s security. Well, this might be an option, but I
think concessions can only be made once Karabagh’s status is
specified. We can negotiate on issues like economic relations between
Armenia and Azerbaijan, clarification of customs regimes, use of
roads, etc. But Karabagh’s status is a non-negotiable issue.

As to the question that Armenia must necessarily give up some
territories, first of all, no such proposals have ever been made. This
is an option supported by some forces in Azerbaijan and this is what
confuses some of our political forces. I think the continuous
circulation of this idea in Armenia is very dangerous.

3. There are no reasons for starting another war now because the
Karabagh conflict cannot be solved militarily. No wars can solve
conflicts: in any case, the warring sides end up sitting at the
negotiation table.

War can have unpredictable consequences. It will be disastrous for the
entire Caucasus region. Moreover, none of the states interested in the
Caucasus will accept the option of war. It’s just a theoretical
contemplation. Asto the militaristic statements periodically made by
Azerbaijan, that’s merely Aliyev’s attempt to consolidate his power

4. Only determination can contribute to achieving a solution of the
Karabagh conflict that will be favorable for us. De facto, the
Karabagh conflict has been resolved. All we need now is
determination. Some political forces in Armenia do have that
determination. I think the most important thing is that people have
the necessary determination. As to the economic development of the
country, we are experiencing steady economic growth.

By the way, even if Azerbaijan’s budget is larger, I think we, withour
small budget but given the mentality of our people will be in a more
favorable economic situation than Azerbaijan. The international
community, including the European Union, is increasingly concerned
with ensuring economic balance throughout the world. This concern will
contribute to a favorable solution for Nagorno Karabagh conflict.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress