Trend News Agency, Baku, Azerbaijan
April 29, 2011 Friday

Expert: Leaders' political will necessary to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

by T.Konyayeva, Trend News Agency, Baku, Azerbaijan

April 29--The Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders must demonstrate
political will to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Professor at
the University of Haifa Brenda Shaffer said at a roundtable on "The
Barack Obama Administration and the Armenian-Azerbaijani
Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict," organized by the Azerbaijani Presidential
Center for Strategic Research in Baku on Friday.

"However, in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, one should
consider the U.S.- Russia relationship, Russia's desire to help, given
that Moscow being one of the major players in the region, may
influence the internal situation in the region," she said.

The United States is interested in resolving this conflict by virtue
of its economic interests in the energy-rich region, through which,
also the hydrocarbons transit to Europe passes," she added.

However, Shaffer said, many questions arise about the conflict.

"One of the key points is that the money allocated by the Congress to
Nagorno-Karabakh may not be used for the needs of the population," she

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988
when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian
armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992,
including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The
co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group -- Russia, France, and the U.S. --
are currently holding the peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four
resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the
surrounding regions.

From: A. Papazian