This was the opinion shared by Arsen Kharatyan, governing council member of the Civic Contract public-political union, at the Media Center hosted discussion entitled ‘Armenia’s New Foreign Policy Vision’. The second keynote speaker was Armen Aghayan, political analyst, member of Hayazn party.
‘The Madrid Principles also involved the return of seven regions, proposing a phased approach, something which missed from James Warlick’s statement,’ emphasizes Aghayan, recalling the 2007 Madrid Principles.
Warlick’s speech featured six items, which, if materazlized, may lead to a lasting and peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, according to the US co-chair. The return of the seven territories surrounding Nagorno Karabakh to Azerbaijan emphasized by Warlick stirred discontent, ultimately resulting in protests during Warlick’s regional tour to Karabakh.
‘We should protest against the current Armenian administration instead of American, French and Russian officials,’ believes Arsen Kharatyan.
John Heffern, the US Ambassador to Armenia, issued a statement following James Warlick’s speech. The statement clarified why the US co-chair should have proposed the six crucial settlement principles at the particular moment. In addition, on May 19, Richard Morningstar, the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, spoke on the topic noting that the subsequent negotiations will determine the ultimate status of Nagorno Karabakh.
‘Heightened attention to the Nagorno Karabakh conflictmay have been induced by such underlying factors as regional tendencies within CIS, aggravation of US-Russia relations, vague and changeable standpoint of the Armenian authorities,’ stated Armen Aghayan, political analyst.
With respect to e interview with Richard Morningstar, US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Arsen Kharatyan emphasized that the Ambassador's statement over the necessary stationing of peacekeeping forces in Nagorno Karabakh was targeted towards Russia, which comes to testify that the American party attempts to move the issue to the geopolitical landscape. 'We must make sure that Nagorno Karabakh issue is not abused,' exhorted the speaker.
The American diplomat's interview deserves attention also because Richard Morningstar is the first Western diplomat to state openly that the increased efforts aimed at the conflict settlement are directly related to the recent Ukrainian events.
Drawing lines between Crimean Status Referendum and Karabakh Independence Referendum held on December 10, 1991, Armen Aghayan noted, 'The case of Crimea and that of Karabakh have only some outside similarity since Crimea would never have held a referendum with such results but for the presence of the Russian forces. In addition, the Crimean people lacked the determination Artsakh’s people to enter a war to achieve its goals. By comparisons we are devaluing our self-determination .’
Arsen Kharatyan called for maximum efforts to maintain the sovereignty of Armenia.
‘The weakest point of our foreign policy is our inclination to include our security problem within the foreign policy realm,’ added Armen Aghayan.