Experts: Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must not be resolved by Kosovo analogy

Kosovo's precedent cannot be used in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as historical facts do not permit this, Turkish Center for Strategic Studies head Celal Cem Oguz said A round-table on "Kosovo and the Nagorno-Karabakh: Differences and Contradictions" was held at the Azerbaijani Presidential Center for Strategic Studies with the participation of Cem Oguz and Turkish professors from Bilkent University.

The analyst said the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict cannot be resolved by analogy with Kosovo, as the stories of these two conflicts differ greatly.

"Turkey does not want to use the Kosovo precedent in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. The historical facts do not allow this," Cem Oguz said.

British Professor of International Relations at Bilkent University Mark Almond agrees with his Turkish counterpart that it is impossible to solve the Karabakh conflict with the Kosovo analogy.

In his view, the main difference lies in the role of the international community in resolving these conflicts, in particular the participation of NATO peacekeeping forces in events in the Balkans. The international community views these conflicts differently, he said.

The analysts also raised the issue of observing international law in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Lecturer at the Bilkent University Journalism Faculty David Barchard said it is important to respect the rights of Azerbaijani refugees while resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

> Nagorno-Karabakh Map
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.

The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the United States - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.

Kosovo is Autonomous Province in Serbia, mostly populated by Albanians. It declared itself an independent republic with its capital in Pristina in February 2008. Belgrade's officials have not recognized the unilateral proclamation, while most European countries, as well as the United States, supported the move. Fifty-four countries had recognized Kosovo's independence by February 2009.
World media monitoring