The Armenian government is concerned over the Upper (Nagorno) Karabakh conflict being tabled at the United Nations again.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry has responded harshly to Azerbaijan’s efforts to achieve adoption of a new resolution at the UN General Assembly condemning the country’s occupation of neighboring Azerbaijan’s territories.
Yerevan claimed that Baku was thus impeding a peaceful settlement of the long-standing Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
The UN is expected to table the draft resolution in mid-September. The document says that displaced Azerbaijanis driven out of Nagorno Karabakh and other occupied regions around it during the war in the early 1990s reserve the right to return to their native lands. The OSCE, which is brokering the ongoing peace talks through its Minsk Group, is requested to delegate a fact-finding mission to the conflict zone to scrutinize the extent of the parties’ compliance with international humanitarian law.
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Tigran Balayan, the spokesman for the Armenian Foreign Ministry, has told Radio Liberty that if the resolution passes, this would allegedly be a dire blow upon international efforts to settle the Karabakh dispute. He said Armenian diplomats are already working to counter passage of the document.
Yerevan also said that no international organization other than the Minsk Group should be drawn to the conflict settlement process.
Alexander Arzumanyan, an opposition leader who served as Armenia’s envoy to the UN in the 1990s, says it will be impossible to prevent the resolution on Karabakh from passing.
“According to the General Assembly by-laws, only if five countries vote for a resolution while other UN members stay neutral, the resolution passes. In such situations, usually most countries abstain.”
The UN GA passed a similar resolution on the situation in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, drafted by Baku, in March 2008. The document recognized Karabakh as an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan and urged a full, immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian forces, which occupy 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands, despite four standing UN resolutions on their unconditional pullout passed earlier.
39 countries, mostly members of the Organization for Islamic Conference (OIC), voted for the document, while seven opposed the initiative, and 100 member states abstained.
Armenia clinched defense deal with Russia ‘forcibly’ - analyst
Armenia concluded a deal with Russia extending Moscow's lease on a military base on its soil as it is in a difficult situation, a British expert has said.
Thomas de Waal, a senior associate on the Caucasus at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the author of the “Black Garden” book on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno Karabakh, was commenting on last week’s defense pact in an interview with Armenia’s Azatutyun (Liberty) radio station.
Regarding the Karabakh conflict, the analyst said its settlement is deadlocked.
“Azerbaijan is raising uproar on the matter,” de Waal maintained. “Russia therefore took advantage of the situation and imposed the agreement on Armenia. Armenia had to agree to cheap security because of the country's lack of money, economic predicament and absence of funds needed to purchase ammunition.”
The Armenian and Russian presidents last Friday signed a protocol extending the term of the Russian military base in the Armenian town of Gyumri until 2044, though Moscow was previously set to withdraw in 2020. The protocol also commits Russia to updating Armenia's military hardware and ensuring its security.
De Waal went on to say that Russia has economic interests in the region.
“The Russian share in the Armenian economy is a crucial issue. Overall, Russia has lost Georgia, which maintains serious and real political relations with Azerbaijan.
“Armenia has a number of allies as well. Yerevan participates in NATO programs and is on good terms with the United States and the European Union. In a nutshell, it has a plethora of allies in the foreign policy realm and has no intention to cede everything to Russia.”
Russia, Azerbaijan to sign border deal during Medvedev's visit
Russian and Azerbaijani presidents will sign a border delimitation deal during Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Baku to be held in September, the Russian foreign minister said in an interview with Azerbaijani media.
The exact date of the visit is yet to be announced.
"The main point on the agenda of the forthcoming visit will be signing the Agreement on state border and the Agreement on the rational use of water resources of the Samur River," Sergei Lavrov said.
He said the leaders of the two states have been working hard on the document in the past years. The agreement was finalized during last year's meeting between Medvedev and Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev in Baku.
The Russian foreign minister praised Azerbaijan as "our important strategic partner in South Caucasus and in the Caspian Region."
"Our relations are on the rise. They are multifaceted, so the whole spectrum of these relations is traditionally being discussed at a meeting between the two leaders. I'm sure this meeting will not be an exception," Lavrov added.