Why did the Negotiations Between the Authorities and the Armed Group Fail? Experts
Negotiations between RA authorities and the members of the armed group with the mediation of the Nagorno Karabakh National Assembly MP Vitali Balasanyan failed for several reasons. The main problem was the incomplete organization of the process. The experts of the negotiation process said during the discussion at "Media Center" on July 26.

There is no new procedure after the failure of the negotiations. On the contrary, tension is growing on both sides. Helicopters are flying around the area of the regiment and a part of the walls was destroyed. This, according to experts, is a psychological attack, which is often used in the negotiations process. The goal is to make pressure on the opponent by revealing the power. According to experts, if an attack occurs, a new situation will arise.

Judging by the recent statements of Balasanyan, NSS and the police that are more of an ultimatum character, it can be said that the negotiations are currently going to the background. Voices about compromise sound more and weaker at the background of mutual ultimatums and harsh statements.

What advantages and disadvantages did the negotiation process have between the government and the armed group? Why was it interrupted can it be restored? Stepan Grigoryan, Head of the Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation, Political Scientist, Arthur Martirosyan, Expert on Negotiations Procedure, Chief Consultant at CM&Partners Company (He will join the discussion via video call), Ashot Khurshudyan, Expert on Negotiations Procedure, took part in the discussion about these issues at Media Center.

“The first thing that needs to be done in terms of negotiations between the government and the "Sasna Tzrer" boys is understanding the issues. There used to be a hostage problem, there is a problem of armed rebels, there is a demand of protesters. Depending on the tasks, the sides should be selected," he said, pointing out the difference between crisis talks, in which case not all the problems need to be addressed. According to him, extraneous issues should be immediately deleted and only the most important ones should be left.

Vitali Balasanyan was a reliable tube, who was able to build confidence between the parties. "He had experience in negotiations, but could he alone apply his skills? In this situation, professional team was required but there was no one. As a result of the efforts of all those involved, the mediation failed, and now again they seek a mediator,” Khurshudyan said.

According to Arthur Martirosyan, from the point of view of the negotiations, the process should be arranged so that the sides did not go the way of fixing extremist positions. "In other words, the process should not turn into a zero-sum game where one side's victory means another one’s complete failure or defeat. The society should be informed about the negotiation process not from the armed group but from the negotiators," he said. 

All the critical negotiations are conducted by the extremist approach. "The negotiators aim is to change the game, to some extent take the situation into their own hands. But the game cannot be changed if the information is not concentrated in one place, instead the public fixes the extremist approaches of the parties," Martirosyan said. 

Speaking of "Sasna Tzrer" group actions and the necessary conditions for negotiations to resume, Stepan Grigoryan said that snipers should be removed from the territory in order to resume the negotiations and be more reliable. Nevertheless, he does not see that the government has the desire to resume negotiations. "As far as I realized, it was decided to solve the issue by force," he said, adding that it is contrary to the norms of international humanitarian law.

To release the situation of tension, according to him the head of state should deliver a statement and indicate that within the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, no territorial devolution has been planned. "This fact is the most important for "Sasna Tzrer" guys," he said.

Arshaluys Mghdesyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to [email protected].

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