by Oksana Musaelyan

Wednesday, June 29, 15:47

ArmInfo's exclusive interview with Laurence Broers, expert at
Reconciliation Resources British NGO

What are your expectations from the meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijan
presidents in Kazan?

The Minsk process works in a kind of boom and bust cycle, so it is
always going up and down. It is just in the nature of the process.

There is a reasonable chance that there will be some kind of document
signed but I don't think these will be the Madrid Principles as we
understand them, this will be may be some commitments or affirmation
of the Madrid principles that gives the peace process another window
of may be 5 years to take it forward.

In terms of conflict results, I don't think it is either Ilham Aliev's
or Serzh Sargsyan's interests at this moment that the peace process

There is an opinion that Aliyev needs military rhetoric to stay in
power. Do you think that any real progress is possible in the Karabakh
process during Aliyev's presidency?

There is a certain level of military rhetoric, that any leader of
Azerbaijan at this moment in time needs to perpetuate. But I think
this is a very destructive tendency. But for the peace process,
Madrid principles to move forward there is a need to be a change in an
official rhetoric. Just taking Azerbaijani position on its own terms,
they want to reintegrate Karabakh, they want to share some space with
Armenians, so they need to find a way to express that. Azerbaijan
can be a place where Armenians can live. Instead, quite the opposite
is happening.

Military rhetoric is quite dangerous. You have a perception that
Azerbaijan is becoming economic power, new military equipment, at
the certain point they have to use this. This is a very big risk for
Azerbaijani leadership. I don't think it is in their interests to
launch a military invention right now.

What component is the most important one in resolution of the conflict
at the current stage?

Karabakh society is an essential component. They are the heart of
this conflict. Their perceptions of insecurity, of injustice and the
lack of representation are the drivers of the Karabakh conflict. And
their opposition articulated many times that the peace process and
its current structure institutionalizes those inequalities.

I was in Nagorny Karabakh a few days ago, and talking to the people
living there. There is a limited appreciation of what's actually being
talked about. The expectations of the Madrid principles, when you
talk to people from one side and the other are diametrically opposed,
so there is a lot of work that we need to do to educate the public
on all sides of this conflict as to what the Madrid principles really
mean and how their interests and the basic needs can be Secured.

Karabakh Armenians except through some symbolic way through the fact
that the president of Armenia is a Karabakh Armenian don't have a
voice. A way for Karabakh Armenians to become part of this peace
process is extremely important, I can't comment what can be the
modalities of that, but it is absolutely essential because they have
a veto power on the peace process and in the end we have to bring
everybody in this process.

In his speech at PACE, Serzh Sargsyan said that the document on the
negotiating table is not a dream for the Armenian party supposing
that concessions by the Armenian party must guarantee constructive
negotiations. Whose dream can it be, in fact?

This much depends on the subjective understanding of what is the
Armenian dream. The Armenian dream can be understood to be maximalist
or it can be understood as pragmatic. I am sure that it is also not
an Azerbaijani dream. There is no dream solution in this conflict.

Everybody has to compromise at some level.