LETTER OF RA NA SPEAKER HOVIK ABRAHAMYAN TO NATO PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT JOHN TANNER

NOYAN TAPAN
JULY 29, 2010
STEPANAKERT

YEREVAN, JULY 29, NOYAN TAPAN. Letter of RA NA Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan
to NATO Parliamentary Assembly President John Tanner.

"Dear Mr. Tanner,

I am addressing you in regards to a possible report on the
Nagorno-Karabakh issue, which is envisaged to be prepared for the
discussion at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Talking frankly,
I am surprised that such a step may have been taken without proper
consultations with the members of the Armenian Delegation to the NATO
Parliamentary Assembly.

As is known, currently the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process runs under
the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen - USA, France and
Russia. It is our strong conviction that given the confidentiality,
specificity and delicacy of the negotiations, the initiatives held in
formats other than the Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, even with a good
intent, preclude a great danger of jeopardizing the negotiation process
and undermining the mediation efforts. Therefore, any initiative on
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution requires prior consultations
with the Co-Chair States of the Minsk Group, having in view that the
USA and France are both NATO members.

The attempts of Azerbaijan to raise the Nagorno-Karabakh issue within
different international formats are aimed at advertising Azerbaijan's
own perception of the conflict resolution with disregard of the
entirety of principles proclaimed by the Co-Chairs as the basis for
the conflict resolution. It is worth mentioning that the Co-Chair
countries voted against the resolution proposed by Azerbaijan at
the UN General Assembly session in March 2008, by stating that the
"resolution selectively propagates only certain of the principles
[of the conflict resolution] to the exclusion of others".

Just a few days ago, exactly on July 17, Minister of Foreign Affairs
of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs
of France Bernard Kouchner, and Deputy Secretary of State of the
United States of America James Steinberg issued a statement where they
reconfirmed the principles and elements of the conflict resolution
stated by the Presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group's Co-Chair countries
at the G8 Summit convened on June 26, 2010 in Muskoka. They once
more stressed the point that the mentioned principles and elements
have been conceived as an integrated whole and that any attempt to
give preferences over other principles would make it impossible to
achieve a balanced solution.

With due respect to such an authoritative organization, as the NATO
Parliamentary Assembly, we consider it our duty to remind that not in
the distant past we had already experienced that the NATO PA report on
Nagorno-Karabakh had provoked selective references, unsubstantiated
interpretations, and wrong speculations. I believe that the report
in no way has contributed to the creation of a favorable environment
for the settlement process. I do not see any reason why this new
initiative may yield a different result.It was due to the clear
understanding of the sensitivity of the issue that the Secretary
General Rasmussen and other NATO high ranking officials voiced their
strong support for the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group on different
occasions and stressed that NATO did not have direct involvement in
the issue nor did it play a role of its own in the mediation process.

Based on these concerns, Honorable Mr. President, I would like to
strongly advise and suggest that the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
refrain from addressing the issue on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "




From: A. Papazian