“It is considered progress if Nagorno-Karabakh’s self-determination issue is acceptable to Azerbaijan” – said the leader of Free Democrats Party, PM Khachatur Kokobelyan in an interview with Tert.am referring to the OSCE Minsk Group’s Co-Chair, James Warlick’s stance welcoming President Aliyev’s statement on Nagorno-Karabakh’s status.
Mr. Kokobelyan is confident that Azerbaijan will have to accept that Nagorno Karabakh is an independent state. “I think, sooner or later, Azerbaijan will have to admit that NKR is a self-sufficient and independent state with all state attributes, functions, and institutions put in place that operate even better than those of Azerbaijan,” he said.
Note that James Warlick mentioned both in Baku and Yerevan that by this statement President Aliyev opened a discussion on Nagorno-Karabakh’s status. “We should welcome this approach and held honest discussions on this issue. Views and opinions might not necessarily be identical; however, they should be presented to the societies. We welcome President Aliyev’s statement, “Warlick said today.
According to Mr. Kokobelyan, “Parallel with this, Azerbaijan continues its destructive approach distorting even this standard statement. In general, arrangements reached in the negotiation processes, i.e., points and provisions that are on the table cannot be considered separately. This is a complex process and all figures and the most important players interested in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should refrain from commenting on a single provision”, he said.
Asked whether any progress is noticeable in the settlement process, Mr. Kokobelyan expressed dissatisfaction with noticeable flaws. “Had there been an adequate and appropriate assessment and response by the Co-Chairs to Aliyev’s rhetoric of commencing a war as well as the four-day actual war, Azerbaijani side would not dare to continue with the same rhetoric. Of course, both sides are trying to explain that there is a need for caution, not to impede progress towards a settlement but accurate and adequate assessment is a must not to harm the process “he said.
Mr. Kokobelyan specifically highlighted the issue of delays in installation of monitoring devices along the Line of Contact. “I do not consider it a positive fact because such devices actually need installing, and it must at least be done with the co-chairs’ efforts, if not under their pressure. It would preclude numerous questions as to which of the sides commit violations and resorts to provocations. The Armenian side has repeatedly given its consent, and the reasons for Azerbaijan’s objections are clear. With respect to similar details, the co-chairs have much to do besides their declarative statements, to set the ball rolling,” the MP said.
Commenting on the OSCE Minsk Group format, Mr. Kokobelyan said they have always been confident that there is no better format. “It is important to do everything possible to maintain this format that is obliged to undertake steps to neutralize the threat of war,” he noted.