Karen Nahapetyan

Hayots Ashkhar Daily
Published on Aug 02, 2008

Yesterday, Special Delegate of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Heiki
Talvitiey announced that "the OSCE hopes that after Azerbaijan
holds presidential elections in October, the Karabakh peace talks
will resume."

We believe the legal contents of the Karabakh conflict - the trump
card of the Armenian party, should be laid on the table in autumn.

It includes the following arguments:

a. The NKR has never formed part of the independent state of
Azerbaijan; therefore the recognition of its territorial integrity
has nothing to do with Nagorno Karabakh.

b. Both Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan declared independence almost
at the same time (with Karabakh getting ahead a little) based on the
USSR Constitution and laws, therefore there are two independent states
formed in the territory of the Soviet Azerbaijan.

c. The legal bases of the NKR independence are flawless; therefore
it is necessary, in such circumstances, to put them to discussion
and find a clear-cut solution instead of speculating the issue of
the stereotyped "mutual concessions", a term frequently used by the
international community.

d. From the point of view of the maintenance of peace, it is only
the package solution of the problem vs. the existing status quo that
contains smaller risks. Therefore, any violation of the20latter
will inevitably lead to the decrease of the parties' motives for
achieving a final settlement, without including the most important
issues concerning the NKR conflict in the given agreement. And it
may have unpredictable consequences.

As shown by the sum effect of these arguments, Armenia may try to solve
three principal issues at the current stage of the negotiation process.

First: reiterating its commitment to provide a political solution
to the problem, Armenia should introduce itself to the international
community as a constructive party ready for mutual concessions.

Second: getting ahead of Azerbaijan in terms of abiding by the
constructive agreements, the Armenian party clearly marks the
borderline not allowing for further retreat.

Third: Since the attempts of revising the agreements were initiated
by Azerbaijan, the Armenian party may propose the international
community to transfer the issue to the legal domain for achieving a
breakthrough in such situation. That's to say, instead of searching
the "golden mean" the Armenian party is required to determine which of
the parties Nagorno Karabakh, a state that declared its independence
in strict compliance with all the laws, belongs to from the point of
view of international law.

We believe this is the only way enabling us to achieve the speedy
and effective solution of the Karabakh conflict. That's to say,
examining the legal bases of the NKR in dependence and estimating
them as flawless, Europe can solve all the problems with a single
blow and penetrate our region.

In that case, Azerbaijan will have no other way out apart from
recognizing the accomplished fact because the subject matter of the
debate, i.e. the Nagorno Karabakh issue, will be discussed beyond
the framework of the rivalry between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Europe may use its real weapon, i.e. its world-wide reputation, and
by recognizing the independence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic,
ensure sustainable peace in the whole region.