RESUME OF THE WEEK: STALEMATE IN THE KARABAKH CONFLICT
Karine Ter-Sahakyan

PanARMENIAN.Net
28.02.2009 GMT+04:00

Maintaining friendly relations both with Turkey and Armenia, Syria
can mediate between these states only in the initial stage.

In spite of the optimistic statements of American Mediator Mathew
Bryza, the regularly scheduled visit of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs
will unfortunately be identical with all the previous ones. Similarly
unsuccessful, at least for the society, will also be the assumed
meeting between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Seemingly,
there has arrived the time when neither of the conflict sides is
ready to yield "a single inch".

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The current stalemate may urge the conflicting
sides to seek for Â"foreignÂ" mediators, which, by the way, is
already happening. Statements of Official Tehran on readiness to
join the negotiation process already have a long history, and lately
Ankara has begun to speak of it too. However, for participation in
the negotiation process, Ankara has one negative point - absence of
Armenian-Turkish relations. But even here there are some variants:
Ankara wants to play first fiddle in the Near East, and the role
of a mediator is the most relevant one. Though Turkey failed to
start a dialogue between Syria and Israel, Syria may achieve more
success. During a recent visit to Syria Armenian Foreign Minister
Edward Nalbandyan declared to President Bashar Assad that Armenia would
be pleased to see Damascus in the role of a mediator between Armenia
and Turkey. Observers believe that Armenia's top-priority task must
be regulation of relations with Turkey, and Syria can help her with
it in the initial stages. However, Official Baku believes that the
Â"principle of territorial integrityÂ" is as eternal and invariable
as the existence of the Planet Earth and the all the intermediary
efforts of any country will come to a naught the moment the question of
territorial integrity comes to the fore. According to Turkish experts,
maintaining friendly relations with both Turkey and Armenia, Syria
can mediate between these states only in the initial stage, because
she cannot have the necessary instruments for further regulation of
the negotiation process without considering Azerbaijan's interests. It
is quite interesting however, what Damascus has to do with Azerbaijan.

This week also marked the trial start-up of Iranian nuclear power plant
"Bushehr" and, strange as it may seem, this fact was rather quietly
received by the USA. The US has acknowledged that Iran's activities
at the Bushehr nuclear plant do not cross the boundaries of peaceful
nuclear technology, Iranian Agency "Press TV" reports. At that Iranian
journalists refer to the statement of US State Department Spokesman
Robert Wood, who declared that "the trial start-up of the Bushehr
nuclear plant in southern Iran is in the realm of peaceful use of
nuclear energy."

Iran received Wood's statement with great satisfaction as a sign of
apparent approval of her peaceful nuclear program. According to Iran,
a peculiar role in the approval played the fact that the Bushehr
reactor is equipped with the help of Russia, which must provide a
firm guarantee to the US that the plant is of exceptionally peaceful
character.

And the week ended with the 21st anniversary of Armenian pogroms in
Sumgait. The Azeri-led program that targeted the Armenian population
of the seaside Town of Sumgait in Soviet Azerbaijan during February
1988 was the first mass killing of ethnic population in the history
of the newly-established Soviet Union. The pogroms continued for 3
days and were accompanied by mass violence, robbery and killings,
which resulted in the first flows of refugees from Azerbaijan to
Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. No investigation was carried out and
the guilt of the offenders was not established, which allowed the
situation to worsen. According to official data, the pogroms resulted
in the death of 32 people.

By concatenation of circumstances these days Azerbaijan "commemorates
the events" in Khojaly... According to the officially recognized
variant in Baku, "On the night of February 26 the Armenian Armed Forces
attacked and occupied the town of Khojaly. Occupation was followed with
unprecedented brutalities against the civilian population. In a few
hours the aggressors killed and took hostage about 2000 people." Let
us leave the lie about Khojaly on the conscience of the Baku Agitation
and Propaganda Department; God will fix them. As we have been writing,
for all her misfortunes Azerbaijan has recently been blaming only
Armenians ...

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress