Will Pashinyan’s excuses about the negotiations save him?

Will Pashinyan’s excuses about the negotiations save him?

12 June 2018, 17:55 341
Occupier Armenia has tried to maintain the status-quo with under various pretexts during the negotiation process over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that has been going on for 20 years. New Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has maintained this policy as well. Wanting to strengthen his rule, Pashinyan doesn’t want to participate in Nagorno-Karabakh talks under the current difficult situation. At the same time, he has voiced silly thoughts about involving "Nagorno Karabakh” regime in the talks. But these talks have been going on between Armenia and Azerbaijan for years. Armenian Armed Forces are in the occupied territories and the invasion was carried out by them, too. So, what does Pashinyan want to achieve by involving in the negotiation process? 

MP and political scientist Rasim Musabeyov told "Kaspi” that Nikol Pashinyan has several reasons for making such statements: "Firstly, I should note that not only Pashinyan but all Armenians want the illegitimate regime to participate in talks. Armenia wants to hide behind the so called "Nagorno-Karabakh” and show to the world that it is not them but the unlawful regime that is waging a war against Azerbaijan. But it is the Armenian army that has occupied our lands. It is Armenians’ goal. If an agreement is reached in the future, they will show it to the world that the so-called regime had made the agreement. But Pashinyan understands that this is impossible. His second goal is to divert the talks. Pashinyan is going to the parliamentary elections. He would, of course, want to have some success in the talks and present it to the people as victory. But this, too, is impossible. As for giving up occupation and agreeing to peace, Pashinyan cannot do that at the moment. So, he is interesting in imitating talks and gaining nothing. This is why he has suggested involving the so called regime in the negotiations”. 

Musabeyov noted that if Azerbaijan agrees to the participation of the illegitimate regime in the talks, the OSCE Minsk Group wouldn’t object either: "But Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that it won’t engage with the Nagorno-Karabakh community as long as Armenia keeps our territories under occupation. In accordance with the stage-by-stage solution to the conflict, Armenia would first have to pull its army out of the occupied territories. Only after that, we can hold discussions with the Armenian community about the status of Karabakh and their security. As long as the occupation continues, we will not negotiate with Karabakh Armenians”. 

Head of "Atlas” Research Center and political scientist Elkhan Shahinoghlu said Pashinyan means to prolong the negotiation process: "He doesn’t want the talks to take place. Because, his current situation is not stable. And there are new ideas regarding Karabakh. He also wants to hold snap parliamentary elections before the end of the year. So, he is not ready for talks. He knows that he will disrupt the talks by suggesting that so called regime also take part in negotiations. Azerbaijan will not agree to this. It appears this is what Pashinyan needs, too. His idea is not supported by Russia, either. It’s no coincidence that Armenian Foreign Minister was recently in Moscow. Russian FM Sergey Lavrov, whom I’ve often openly criticized, stated that if Armenia and Azerbaijan agree to the proposals, we would not object to involving Karabakh Armenian community in the talks. This means that if Azerbaijan doesn’t agree to the plan, then it will not happen. So, Pashinyan wants to prevent the talks so that he can hold parliamentary elections and strengthen his position. Then he would take part in negotiations. Starting the negotiation process under current circumstances promises nothing good for Armenia. In this respect, Pashinyan’s proposal is just a pretext”. 

Shahinoghlu added that the visit of the Minsk group to the region was to get familiar: "Main purpose was to meet with the new members of the government in Yerevan and find out about Pashinyan’s positions. But I do not think that the co-chairs will support Pashinyan’s suggestion. They do not want to change the format of the talks. Azerbaijan does not rule out the possibility that the Armenian community in Karabakh would take part in talks at some point. But it would have to happen in later stages. Azerbaijani community should take part in them too. These are our two main conditions. Co-chairs understand our conditions. So, I do not think they will support Armenia’s request. I think it is impossible”. 

Bakhtiyar MAMMADLI