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Armenia Recognizes South Sudan


Sudan -- A South Sudan flag is prepared for South Sudan's Independence Day celebrations in Juba, 08Jul2011

Sudan -- A South Sudan flag is prepared for South Sudan's Independence Day celebrations in Juba, 08Jul2011

Armenia rushed to officially recognize South Sudan on Saturday, with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian touting its declaration of independence as a blueprint for resolving other ethnic and territorial conflicts.


“The declaration of independent statehood in South Sudan is a realization of peoples’ equality and impregnable right to self-determination and yet another example of the civilized resolution of conflicts,” Nalbandian said in a special written statement.

The Armenian government as well as Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian leadership welcomed last January an internationally recognized referendum in South Sudan that cleared the final hurdle to its secession from the country’s north. Nalbandian said the referendum outcome highlighted “the victory march of the right of self-determination.”

Official Yerevan and the Karabakh Armenians hope that the emergence of a new state in Africa will set another precedent for a resolution of the Karabakh conflict sought by them. Nalbandian insisted in January that South Sudan’s independence will strengthen the Armenian case for international recognition of Karabakh’s secession from Azerbaijan.


SUDAN, Juba : Women from a cultural dance troupe parade through Juba, the capital of soon-to-be independent South Sudan, on July 8, 2011, a day before South Sudan secedes from the north and becomes the worlds newest nation.

The principle of self-determination has long been championed by the Armenian side in its negotiations with Azerbaijan. The United States, Russia and France -- which have been jointly mediating those talks -- recognize it along with the territorial integrity of states. A combination of the two principles is at the heart of the “basic principles” of a Karabakh settlement put forward by them.

A key element of the proposed settlement is a future referendum on Karabakh’s final status. Armenian officials say that the disputed territory’s predominantly Armenian population would be able to vote for independence or reunification with Armenia. However, Azerbaijani leaders say, at least in public, that the would-be vote should only determine the extent of Karabakh’s autonomy within Azerbaijan.

The Armenian and Karabakh leaderships similarly hailed last year a United Nations court ruling that upheld the legality of Kosovo’s secession from Serbia. President Serzh Sarkisian said in October that the non-binding ruling, handed down by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in July 2010, should serve as a blueprint for the Karabakh settlement.

Still, the Sarkisian government has so far stopped short of recognizing Kosovo. Analysts believe that it is anxious not to irk Russia, Armenia’s closest ally strongly opposed to the Albanian-populated territory’s independence.
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