Non-participation of Armenian President in NATO summit shows unwillingness to resolve Karabakh conflict

Non-participation of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in the NATO summit has proven his unwillingness to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, director of the Center of Political Innovations and Technologies, political analyst Mubariz Ahmedoglu told Trend.

He said the Chicago NATO summit expressed support for the territorial integrity of Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

"Thus NATO expressed its attitude to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The statement of NATO requires regulating regional conflicts only by peaceful means, other options are regarded as a threat to regional stability," the analyst said.

He said Armenians have always attached special importance to the absence of alternative ways of peaceful settlement of Karabakh conflict. In a NATO statement this point was underlined more than Armenians expected. Therefore, Armenia treated the document adopted by the summit with disrespect.

"Sargsyan refused to participate in the NATO Summit for this reason. Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbadyan explained the reasons for this during a meeting with representatives of the Armenian diaspora in Chicago. Armenia is not satisfied with NATO's position in connection with the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict," the analyst said.

Armenian leadership does not accept the support for the territorial integrity of Armenia. According to Armenians, support for the territorial integrity of the country creates obstacles to union with Nagorno-Karabakh, Ahmedoglu said.

> Nagorno-Karabakh Map
Non-recognition of its own territorial integrity can get Armenia into other nuisance. Armenian politicians and experts are concerned about the growth of Azerbaijan's military potential. According to one of the main experts of the Ministry of Defence of Armenia, if Azerbaijan starts the war over Nagorno-Karabakh, no one can guarantee that it will not outgrow in the war for Zangezur," the analyst said.

He recalled that Zangezur was historically the territory of Azerbaijan, connecting Nakhchivan with the rest of Azerbaijan, but in 1923 in order to interrupt communication between Azerbaijan and Turkey on the land, Stalin gave Zangezur to Armenians.

"An intelligent man can draw the following conclusion from what was said by one of the main experts of the Ministry of Defence of Armenia: Sargsyan knows the history of Zangezur and therefore does not accept support for the territorial integrity of Armenia. From all this, the mediators on the Karabakh conflict and the international community can make a clear conclusion: Armenia will not solve the Nagorno Karabakh conflict," Ahmedoglu said.

According to the analyst, the Karabakh clan, which seized power in Armenia, is no longer preparing to solve the Karabakh problem, but rather to instability in the region.

"Non-participation of Sargsyan in the NATO summit has shown reluctance of Armenia to the peaceful settlement of the conflict. At the same time it showed the start of the geopolitical isolation of this country," the analyst said.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France and the U.S. - are currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.