“Golos Armenii” says the U.S. administration’s intention to replace Steven Mann, the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, by another diplomat suggests that Washington no longer believes in a speedy resolution of the Karabakh conflict. The paper says Mann’s removal may have marked the end of the so-called Prague process that fueled hopes for an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace accord.
“Aravot” tries to decipher Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s remark that Azerbaijan is “losing its chance to resolve the Karabakh conflict by peaceful means.” The paper suggests that Sarkisian’s message was this: “Azerbaijan, unlike us, has adopted a tough and maximalist approach to solving the problem. If all goes on like this, negotiations will become pointless.”
“The minister clearly meant that the Azerbaijanis had a chance to regain several districts adjacent to Karabakh but refused to make appropriate concessions in return,” comments “168 Zham.” “Namely, to recognize the Karabakh population’s right to self-determination … In other words, the territories-for-independence formula was indeed on the agenda but was rejected by Azerbaijan.”
In an interview with “Aravot,” deputy parliament speaker Vahan Hovannisian also blames Azerbaijan for the failure of the Bucharest talks. “This is the reason why [Aliev-Kocharian] meetings always take place in a cordial atmosphere but end without any results,” he says.
“I don’t consider Armenia to be my homeland, even though I was born and grew up here,” Musa Guliev, an Armenian-born member of Azerbaijan’s parliament tells “Haykakan Zhamanak.” Guliev says he is nostalgic not about Armenia as a whole but his birthplace, the village of Urut. Turning to the Karabakh conflict, the visiting lawmaker says Azerbaijan is only ready to grant Karabakh “the highest degree of autonomy.” The paper objects that President Robert Kocharian has repeatedly ruled out this option. “We will wait for the next president,” Guliev jokes.
“Hayots Ashkhar” a quotes a second Azerbaijani parliamentarian visiting Yerevan, Asaf Hajiev, as arguing that if the Karabakh Armenians were given the right to self-determination Armenians in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the world could lay similar claims to their places of residence. “Montenegro’s secession from Serbia is not a precedent for them,” comments the paper. “The Azerbaijanis do not want to see the logical connection [with the Karabakh conflict] because in Hajiev’s opinion, ‘If Serbia and Montenegro have decided to separate, then we respect that choice, but if Armenia considers Karabakh to be part of its territory, then that is not self-determination.’”