, Azerbaijan
July 2 2011

When no choice is left... there is always a choice!

Sat 02 July 2011 07:31 GMT | 3:31 Local Time
by Farhad Mammadov, Political scientist.

The Kazan meeting on the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani
conflict over Nagorno Karabakh will add to history as the most
highlighted meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in
world mass media.

Joint statements of the US, Russian and French presidents for over a
year have created conditions for changes in the resolution of the
conflict and breakthroughs in the process.

There were hopes for changes at least in the status quo which creates
a deadlocked situation in the settlement process. However, all hopes
were blown away by the status of Nagorno Karabakh, which remains
unsettled and makes all reached agreements irrelevant.

It still remains unclear what the co-chairing countries hoped for in
this cornerstone issue. The conflict parties voice polar positions in
the status of Nagorno Karabakh. All other issues including return of
adjacent regions, opening of communication, presence of international
peacekeepers are just an entourage of the conflict essence.

The Minsk group co-chairs have held a huge work in smoothing sharp
corners and coordinating resolution principles, but failed to advance
in the status of the region.

We have to stress the increased attention to the process ahead of the
meeting: the calls from Obama and a message from Sarkozy, hundreds of
articles in world's most influential mass media and TV footages on all
famous TV channels.

But where is the result? The world has seemingly no other countries as
strong as the Minsk Group co-chairs. They are the states that make
major decisions in the world, participate in processes and undertake
duties on peace settlement. But they fail.

The co-chairs have repeatedly made accurate messages to the conflict
parties about the need to change the status quo, that is to make steps
to form a new situation, new conditions, new picture in the region.

For this, there have been a number of proposals from opening of
borders to return of several Armenian-occupied regions. Here, the
co-chairing countries demonstrated an openly controversial position:
on the one hand, they did not agree on the current situation and on
the other hand, they sponsor one of the conflict parties-Armenia (US
aid and EEC stabilization fund, attempts of unilateral opening of
border with Turkey, new arms supplies to support seeming parity with

Meanwhile, real pressure remains solely in statements, speeches and
mass media pages. Nothing definite has been done, hence, the impudence
of Armenian side on results of talks.

Certainly, representatives of the co-chairing countries were
obstinately speaking about the nonuse of force and this message refers
solely to Azerbaijan. But for some unknown reason, no one speaks about
the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the regions on which the UN
resolutions were passes?

On the other hand, who is to judge? The co-chairing countries
themselves settle their international issues with arms and violence.
Such concepts as `forcing to peace', `spreading democracy through
overthrow', `support of rebels' have emerged among modern mechanisms
of solving the problem.

For this reason, the spokesmen who insist on nonuse of force in
process of Karabakh settlement should at least change formulations in
the statements of structures and states they represent.

The only reason of not putting at least minimal pressure on Armenia is
the fact of uncertainty in the situation to establish after the
conflict. Probably, not all co-chairs wish sincerely the changes in
status quo, since they have no resources and strategy for the
post-conflict South Caucasus?

Steps toward preventing threat by Azerbaijan in the post-conflict
period are not understood completely. Azerbaijan's membership in the
Non-Aligned Movement and the statement of the Foreign Ministry about
the country's unwillingness to join military and political blocs are
not enough for the forces that have real potential to press on the

It turns out that while holding a real independent foreign policy
based on national interests, Azerbaijan almost gets no chances for
peace settlement of the Karabakh conflict and restoration of the
territorial integrity through diplomatic ways.

The country is , in fact, facing a choice: either to join a military
and political bloc and disavow an independent policy or live without
Karabakh and hope for changes in the world and the collapse of
Armenia's patrons.

The third way is the same-war. In fact, if the co-chairs have failed
to reach effect throughout all those years, while the heads of the
strongest countries of the world failed to bring the parties to peace
in Camp-David, Rombauer and recently in Sochi and Kazan, they have to
admit their inconsistency as mediators and abandon the settlement
process, leaving Azerbaijan and Armenia on-on-one. International
policy is illogical and lacks common sense.

The world's strongest states have been supporting the nations that are
ready to fulfill their masters' will for centuries and suppressing the
nations that wish to be independent.

However, history shows that historical cycles repeat and time comes
when patrons are losing their power and puppet countries feel the
whole burden of their previously chosen way.

Thanks to its development, growing role in regional geopolitics and
increasing number of allies can afford waiting and consolidating in
military sphere, economic potential and raising international

Geopolitical and geoeconomic conjuncture is formed the way that
Armenian patrons find it more and more difficult to maintain a
bankrupted country, whose parasitism is set as a state ideology.