U.S. Proposal On Karabakh Issue

U.S. PROPOSAL ON KARABAKH ISSUE
Naira Hayrumyan

Story from Lragir.am News:

Published: 11:25:19 – 06/06/2012

Today, U.S. Secretary will arrive in Baku, where she is going to call
on the Azerbaijani leadership to refrain from use of force to settle
the Karabakh issue. She told about her intention in Yerevan stating
that the use of force is not a solution. But Clinton made another
interesting statement. She informed that Washington will make new
proposals and “the citizens of both countries should contribute”.

Clinton expressed concern that the skirmishes may escalate to a
confrontation which will have tragic consequences for everyone.

Apparently, the U.S. and Europe are trying to keep the negotiations
frozen and open the borders without a final solution. This option is
not new. This is something like an “intermediate status” for Karabakh,
lifting the blockade of Armenia by Turkey, ensuring transparency
of borders, regional projects and perhaps also an agreement on
non-resumption of hostilities in exchange for some concessions
by Armenia.

Azerbaijan understands that at a certain a moment it will be forced
to accept this option and so it is trying to get as many concessions
as possible. Official Yerevan has mentioned that Baku demonstrates
readiness to use force despite Clinton’s authority.

However, Baku also understands that the alternative to this option
might be not only the large-scale war in which the West will support
Azerbaijan. This war may lead to a new phase of closed borders in the
region, not in favor of Azerbaijan. And Baku will have to accept the
“intermediate” option. Surely, unless it succeeds in getting Russia’s
support and the Western initiative fails.

Is such a scenario beneficial for Armenia? The status quo, though
temporary it may seem, is the best option for Armenia. The opening
of the border may also have a positive result, except the option of
return of territories, i.e. kilometers of security.

Apparently, the U.S. and the European Union will adopt resolutions
condemning the actions of Azerbaijan. OSCE is still silent but it is
apparently preparing a special document which will enlarge its mandate.

Prime Minister Sargsyan has already called on the European Union
to impose sanctions on Azerbaijan. American congressmen called to
suspend the deal on sale of police surveillance military hardware for
helicopters to Azerbaijan. No official condemnation has been issued
so far but it seems everyone is waiting for what Aliyev will tell Mrs.
Clinton.

But the proposal has already been made public. The foreign ministers
will meet in ten days in Paris. Will they discuss the “intermediate”
option or will Azerbaijan choose the use of force and the worst way for
itself? It will depend on whether Clinton will call Aliyev a “brilliant
leader” like she called Serzh Sargsyan. Aliyev and Sargsyan need such
guarantees not to become victims of their own nation in case of an
“intermediate option”.

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