Matthew Bryza says he would resign if he was mediator in Karabakh conflict

Matthew Bryza says he would resign if he was mediator in Karabakh conflict

13 September 2019, 16:33 164

According to political experts from different countries, the OSCE Minsk Group, which mediates the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, should not remain silent towards contradictory statements made by Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the settlement of the conflict. On the contrary, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs sometimes think they have fulfilled their obligations by making off topic statements.

Commenting on the issue, former US co-chair Matthew Bryza said the Armenian government's position is not consistent with meaningful talks. In his view, this position is completely unacceptable for Azerbaijan.

Bryza noted that Pashinyan is making weird remarks. "His statements contradict each other. He says either Nagorno-Karabakh is independent or it is part of Armenia. If I were a mediator, I would openly protest and resign. Progress is not possible with this position. This is not fair,” he said.

How can this statement of former co-chair Bryza be assessed?

Political scientist, MP Elman Nasirov said that former US co-chair Matthew Bryza's critical statements regarding the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group reflects the reality. "Pashinyan has even surpassed his predecessors Kocharyan and Sargsyan by making absurd and populist statements about the conflict settlement process. This also shows that Pashinyan's situation is very tense and an atmosphere of mistrust has formed in the country. The mass that brought Pashinyan from the street to the power becomes disappointed with his actions. Disappointment and regret are followed by protest, which eventually leads to the beginning of the next revolution.From this point of view, Bryza's statements confirm that Pashinyan has in an extremely irresponsible and adventurous position. At the same time, they express how much the Minsk Group has positioned itself without any principles. In other words, if Pashinyan says "Karabakh is part of Armenia" in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, it crosses out all efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group since 1992. If Pashinyan says this, then what is 27 years of activity for? Why were the talks at the presidents level? In general, why was the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group necessary? It turns out that the Minsk Group has not only taken one step forward in the settlement of the conflict but on the contrary, it has gone down two steps. Unfortunately, this is a bitter reality," the MP emphasized.

Nasirov said that the OSCE Minsk Group must put in principle, objectivity and determination to maintain its image. "In particular, it should make targeted statements. People are justified in thinking that "the co-chairs are preparing to come to the region as tourists for the next time" or "tourists make another statement". People now evaluate the Minsk Group co-chairs as "tourists" rather than mediators. I think that Bryza's statements also coincide with the position formed in society. This is a very sad situation. The most frightening aspect of this is that Pashinyan, despite making such irresponsible statements, sees that he has not been punished for it. He also does not see any addressable statement or critical approach of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. As a result, as President Ilham Aliyev says, it makes Pashinyan confident about his actions. I think that the OSCE Minsk Group should draw conclusions from all these realities, otherwise, events can develop in the most undesirable scenario. In this case, the responsibility will fall on Armenia and the Minsk Group," he noted.

Zaur Mammadov, head of the Baku Club of Political Science, agreed with Matthew Bryza’s statements. "Of course, not responding to Pashinyan's inappropriate statements is a stain on the image of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. Unfortunately, the US, Russia and France, as always, make only general statements against the aggressive policy of Armenia. The main goal of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs is to prevent war in the region at all costs. That is to keep the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in its current state. This directly means that the co-chairs are trying to keep the conflict frozen. Unresolved conflict can lead to war. Therefore, you have to be careful,” he said.

Mammadov stressed that the Azerbaijani lands were occupied by Armenia and the co-chairing countries are well aware of it. "In current situation, uniting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia is not in the interest of hegemonic countries," he said.