By Ruzanna Stepanian
Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian said on Tuesday that he expects no imminent breakthrough in the stalled peace talks on Nagorno-Karabakh and does not think the Armenian side should be worried about that.
Sarkisian pointed to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev’s reported statement that Baku is in no hurry to achieve a compromise solution to the Karabakh dispute because he believes its consequences are more damaging for Armenia.
“I think that the young president took the right decision and we must by all means support him on this issue,” Sarkisian told reporters in a remark that is both straightforward and puzzling. He did not specify whether that means Yerevan should help Aliev drag out a peaceful resolution of the conflict sought by France, Russia and the United States.
A team of mediators from the three nations are expected to step up their activities this year. Visiting Russia last week, Aliev urged the mediators to come up with new peace proposals that would restore Azerbaijan’s control of Karabakh. He also reportedly ruled out major concessions to the Armenians.
According to a senior official from the Council of Europe who visited Baku last week, the new Azerbaijani leader sees less urgency in the Karabakh settlement than his late father and predecessor Heydar Aliev did. The official, Pietro Ago, said in Yerevan on Friday that Ilham wants to “concentrate on internal problems like the economy and social affairs so that he could improve his own position and popularity” at home.