HRANT MELIK-SHAHNAZARYAN: SHOOTING DOWN CIVILIAN PLANES WOULD MEAN DECLARING WAR
“The meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers
with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in Paris was of working nature,
political scientist Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan told a press conference
today. According to him, the meeting was important, as reference was
made to the issue of exploitation of the Stepanakert Airport.
Last year’s events deadlocked the negotiation process on the settlement
of the Karabakh conflict, it is obvious that the political solution
of the issue is impossible at this point, that is why the mediators
laid the main emphasis on humanitarian issues during the meeting in
Paris, Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan said.
The political scientist attaches particular importance to the
discussion of the issue of the Stepanakert Airport. “Judging from the
fact that President Serzh Sargsyan declared the day after the meeting
that the Stepanakert Airport will be exploited in the near future,
one can conclude that progress on the issue has been reached at the
meeting. The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs also referred to the issue
in their statement,” Melik-Shanhazaryan said.
“It’s not only Armenia that wants security. The predictability of our
region is important to the US and Russia. In this respect the position
of Armenia goes in line with that of the international community.
Purely technical solutions are needed here to pressure Azerbaijan. I
think some mechanisms have been found, otherwise the President would
not make the statement, especially in this pre-election period,”
the expert said.
Actually, hitting a civilian aircraft would mean declaring war on the
two Armenian states, but the political scientist considers Azerbaijan
is not ready for that.
“I’m more than confident that official Baku will not take that step.
If it was really ready for war, it would not wait for the exploitation
of the airport and would use other opportunities. Therefore, these
statements should be treated as mere populism aimed at solving domestic
problems,” Melik-Shahnazaryan said.
The political scientist does not expect any progress in the
negotiation process in 2013. The talks will be less intensive connected
with the elections expected in both countries. According to Hrant
Melik-Shahnazaryan, the Minks Group Co-Chairs face a serious task of
maintaining the negotiation format in the dangerous year of 2013. The
Paris meeting was a step in that direction, he said.