By Anna Saghabalian
A senior member of the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Galust Sahakian, claimed on Tuesday that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will not be resolved in the near future despite international mediators’ persistent peace efforts.
“I think we should expect solutions to that problem no sooner than in 2012,” Sahakian said in a most pessimistic statement on the issue made by a senior Armenian official in recent times.
Although Sahakian leads the parliament faction of Armenia’s largest government force, he and other senior Republicans are hardly as privy to details of the Karabakh peace process as Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian or Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian are. The two men have been far less downbeat on peace prospects.
Oskanian said last week that the American, French and Russian mediators believe that the conflicting parties may still reach a framework peace accord later this year or early next. A lot depends on the results of his planned meeting next week in New York with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. Oskanian has threatened, however, to boycott the talks if Azerbaijan succeeds in pushing through anti-Armenian resolutions at the ongoing session of the UN General Assembly.
A spokesman for Mammadyarov denounced the threat. “The statements by the head of the Armenian Foreign Ministry expose the real extent of Armenia’s engagement in regional and international politics,” the Baku daily “Zerkalo” quoted the official, Tahir Tagizade, as saying on Monday.
David Shahnazarian, a prominent representative of the former ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh), described the issue’s inclusion on the UN agenda as a “very bad” development for the Armenian side. He cited Sahakian’s remarks to repeat long-standing HHSh claims that the current Armenian leadership is not interested in a compromise solution to the Karabakh dispute.
“At some point in the future, the Armenian authorities will have no choice but to agree to much worse peace terms,” said Shahnazarian.
But Sahakian countered that the international community is no longer trying to place Karabakh back under Azerbaijani control. He also claimed that it believes the Armenian-controlled territory is now “much more democratic” than Armenia.