Haykakan Zhamanak, Armenia
Oct 15 2005

"Peace soldiers"

While the opposition and pro-government officials are commenting on
the coincidence of the Armenian constitutional referendum and the
Azerbaijani parliamentary election (both will take place in November),
our sources say that the terms were fixed as a result of consultations
with the West. The reason for this choice is a desire to avoid waste
of time in the Karabakh talks. That is to say, it was clear from the
outset that in the pre-election and post-election periods, Ilham
Aliyev will not be able to take part in the Karabakh talks and in
order not to have such a break because of the Armenian constitutional
referendum, they decided to hold the referendum in November as well.

Incidentally, our sources say that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen
and the two presidents agreed to intensify the Karabakh talks from
January. It becomes clear that Robert Kocharyan and Ilham Aliyev feel
more confident due to this agreement. The logic of this confidence
is if the West is going to provoke a revolutionary mood in Armenia
or Azerbaijan in November or to support the opposition very much,
what is the use of making the January working schedule with Kocharyan
and Aliyev?

According to our sources, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen put a
condition to the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents to sign a document
on the Karabakh settlement during 2006 and Kocharyan and Aliyev agreed
to this condition. The co-chairmen told Armenian president that the
delay of settling the conflict would be destructive for Armenia as
after the functioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the
balance of forces will change in favour of Azerbaijan that may have
serious consequences for Armenia.

Moreover, after the Karabakh settlement, the construction of the
Iran-Armenia-Europe gas pipeline will become highly realistic and
will bring billions of dollars in income to Armenia and will be a
definite counter-balance to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan [oil pipeline].

Our sources say that after the signing of a peace agreement, both
parties were promised investments and direct aid.

It is also expected that about 10b dollars will be given to Armenia if
events develop in this way. According to our information, the world
community do not even forget about personal encouragement of the
two presidents. If the Karabakh issue is settled, the two presidents
will be granted security guarantees for life and will be nominated
for the Nobel Peace Prize.

However, it is also obvious that though Yasir Arafat and Iskhak Rabin
were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for signing an agreement on the
Arab-Israeli conflict settlement in 1994, the conflict has not been
settled up to today and Arafat and Rabin have not only left the
political scene but also dead.