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V Hovhannisian: Unpleasant, Dangerous Statements in Atkinson Report

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  • V Hovhannisian: Unpleasant, Dangerous Statements in Atkinson Report


    01 Feb 05

    Vahan Hovhannisian, deputy speaker of RA National Assembly, thinks
    that there are a number of unpleasant and dangerous statements in the
    PACE formula on Karabakh issue. "But the most dangerous thing is that
    David Atkinson ascribes the blame on the OSCE Minsk group,"
    Hovhannisian said at the National Press Club.

    Atkinson stated with concern in the interview to BBC that the
    activities of the OSCE Minsk group that lasted for over 10 years
    yielded no results. "As the past ten years showed the efforts of the
    Minsk group were not enough. And we thought that we can have some
    ideas that can be applied in the course of the Minsk process that can
    contribute to the settlement of the issue. I have always emphasized
    that the suggestions we make on behalf of the CE do not replace those
    of the Minsk group and, of course, they never hinder (its
    activities). We would only like to enlarge the Minsk process," he

    Vahan Hovhannisian, representative of ARF Dashnaktsiutiun, reminds
    that since 1998 there hasn't been a suggestion that were not accepted
    by Armenia. Thus, according to Hovhannisian, the OSCE suggestions were
    rejected by Azerbaijan, so the OSCE is not to be blamed. Azerbaijan
    understood that if the structures skilled in the settlement of such
    issues deal with the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, they (the Azeris)
    lose. That is why Baku tries to transfer the issue to other
    organizations that aren't that skilled in the Karabakh issue,besides,
    Turkey and a number of other countries support Azerbaijan at the CE.

    Hovhannisian is especially concerned with the extract in the interview
    to BBC where Atkinson said: "It is obvious that the Azeri authorities
    will never agree to meet the demand of Nagorno Karabakh for
    independence. That is why the CE can not support the independence of
    Nagorno Karabakh."

    "You can never know," he said in response to Atkinson's report and
    added that by making such a statement the British parliamentarian not
    only supports Azerbaijan's position, but also gives them an
    opportunity to make it stricter.

    Anyway, Hovhannisian points out that there are positive elements for
    the Armenian side as well in the PACE resolution on Karabakh issue,
    "but only elements." In particular, Hovhannisian welcomes the extract
    where they callfor the Azeri authorities to establish relations with
    NKR authorities in order a dialogue is unfolded. "We would be glad to
    contribute to beginning that dialogue here in Strasbourg," Atkinson
    said in the interview to BBC.

    Accepting the fact that the PACE resolution is unfavorable for the
    Armenians in general, Hovhannisian doesn't think that the Armenian
    parliamentary delegation at PACE lost.

    Hovhannisian thinks that Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh should not be
    against the activities of the OSCE monitoring mission in the regions
    under the control of Karabakh forces. He reminded that the Armenians
    that fled from Baku, Sumgait, Dashkesan and other regions of
    Azerbaijan settled down there. "What could these people do? If it is a
    crime (settling down in those regions), it means nothing changed in
    the world since the XX century," he said.

    He said that Nagorno Karabakh's absence at the negotiation process is
    a conditional one, more precisely, "the Karabakh side was left out of
    only one stage of the negotiations," when in Paris and Key West they
    were discussing the issue of Karabakh unification with Armenia, and
    senior Aliyev broke the promise he gave preliminarily. Naturally, the
    Karabakh side should be actively involved in the negotiation process
    in the current stage, Hovhannisian said.

    By Tatoul Hakobian