A senior re presentative of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) dismissed on Monday former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s latest calls for Armenian concessions to Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, saying that Baku is not willing to reciprocate them.
“Today it’s wrong to speak of a return of territories controlled by us,” said Artak Zakarian, who is also the chairman of the Armenian parliament’s foreign relations committee.
Zakarian rejected Ter-Petrosian’s claim that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is a “rational statesman” who can agree to mutual concessions on Karabakh. He said Aliyev not only publicly opposes the Karabakh Armenians’ right to self-determination but also refers to Yerevan and other parts of Armenia as “historic Azerbaijani lands” that will eventually return under Azerbaijani control.
“There are no signs of rationalism in Aliyev’s policy,” Zakarian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “There are only totally irrational and destructive statements and actions which the Armenian society cannot see as leading to a peaceful settlement of the problem.”
In a weekend speech, Ter-Petrosian said Armenia’s leadership and public should accept a compromise solution which is advanced by the U.S., Russian and French mediators and calls for Armenian territorial concessions to Azerbaijan.
Zakarian insisted that President Serzh Sarkisian’s government is committed to the conflict’s resolution based on this peace plan. He said that Sarkisian was ready to sign such a framework peace deal at a 2011 meeting with Aliyev in Russia but that the Azerbaijani leader scuttled it “at the last minute.”
“The international community and the [OSCE] Minsk Group in particular have no doubts about our readiness [for a compromise,]” he said. “Our constructive approaches have always been appreciated.”
Visiting Nagorno-Karabakh last week, Sarkisian said that Yerevan and Baku have held no “serious” peace talks since August 10. He appeared to refer to his August 10 meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It came nearly two months after Putin hosted an Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in Saint Petersburg.
In a joint statement with Putin issued in the Russian city, Sarkisian and counterpart Aliyev hinted at progress towards a compromise solution to the Karabakh conflict. It was expected that the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders will meet again soon and try to build on the apparent progress. However, they have still not scheduled follow-up talks despite repeated appeals from international mediators.