Azerbaijani Experts For NKR’s Involvement Into Negotiations For Sett


2007-08-17 11:59:00

Azerbaijani experts are for involving Nagorny Karabakh into the
negotiation process.

Azerbaijani newspaper Zerkalo reports that South Caucasus Research
Center and website have recently organized another
closed Roundtable of experts devoted to Karabakh conflict. The
experts discussed the "Prospects of involving the Armenian community
of Nagorny Karabakh into the peace process and the role of popular
diplomacy in the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict." The
source reports that the greatest part of the experts came out against
direct participation of Nagorny Karabakh representatives in the present
stage of peaceful negotiations as a conflicting party. However, all of
them, actually, allowed the ‘participation of the Armenian community
of Nagorny Karabakh in the peaceful negotiations after a political
agreement is signed on the interstate settlement of the conflict,
withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the territory of Azerbaijan,
and release of all the occupied territories around NK.’

Most of the experts believe that Azerbaijan must discuss the future
final status of this territory only with representatives of the
Armenian community of Nagorny Karabakh. Discussion of the issue
with official Yerevan would mean recognition of Armenia’s right to
interfere into the domestic affairs of Azerbaijan. The experts think
that OSCE Minsk Group format and the stage-by-stage settlement-scheme
allow the participation of Nagorny Karabakh representatives in the
following stages of negotiations. The newspaper reports a transitional
status of Nagorny Karabakh is likely to be established to involve
the Armenian community representatives into the implementation of the
Great Political Agreement. Afterwards, if Nagorny Karabakh fulfills
the terms of the Great Political Agreement, official Baku may start
direct negotiations with leaders of the Armenian community of NK.

Some experts say that recognition of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity
must be the major condition for direct negotiations with the Armenian
community for determination of the final status of NK. Before this,
Azerbaijan can maintain the relations with the Armenian community
through the Interior Ministry or militaries to settle the cease-fire
and security-related issues.

At the same time, some experts propose taking advantage of Georgia’s
experience of the stick and the carrot policy, for instance, to restore
the NK Autonomous Region. This will allow granting an official status
of the Azerbaijani community of NK. Alongside with this, Azerbaijan
could express readiness to issue pensions and other benefits to the
Armenians citizens of Azerbaijan residing in the territory of Nagorny
Karabakh. As regards the use of popular diplomacy in the settlement
of such conflicts, the experts called it insufficient. In addition,
they came out for continuation of visits to NK and Armenia. Among
the participants in the Roundtable were such well-known politicians
as Rasim Musabekov, Zardusht Alizade, Arif Unusov, Alekper Mamedov
as others. The permanent spokesman of the Roundtable is political
observer of Zerkalo Rauf Mirkadirov.