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Vardan Oskanian - “We have entered a process over which we have lost all influence”

mercredi 13 mai 2009

Nagorno Karabakh important politics, Anahit Danielyan

At a reception for the launch of his new book, “Speaking to be Heard” (Armenian version - “An Unfinished Decade”), former RoA Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian stated, “We started out solving the Karabakh issue in the fixed parameters of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and ended up with Mountainous Karabakh’s right to self-determination.”

This is how the former foreign minister described the achievement resulting from ten years of negotiations during his posting at the reception for his book, a collection of his speeches during the period.

“However many issues are contained in the Madrid document that may appear unacceptable to us and which must be discussed there is one principle contained in it which allows me to rest easy. For the first time there appears in document form that which we have always sought - in black and white it clearly states that Karabakh itself must decide its own fate on the basis of the right to self-determination,” stated Mr. Oskanian.

At the request of those present, the former minister also touched on the issue of the territories. Mr. Oskanian stated that the issue was a constant subject of the talks.”Without including the territories as a part of the overall ; settlement process negotiations just aren’t possible. Either you are not going to negotiate as a rule or if you do engage in talks, naturally these issues must be broached,” he noted.

When asked to comment on regional developments, of which the process to normalize Armenian-Turkish relations is of the utmost concern of many, Mr. Oskanian pointed out that, “While it is correct that our government will not go so far as to discuss the Karabakh issue with the Turks, we have entered into such a process over which we have already lost any influence and oversight.”

Mr. Oskanian added that after the statement issued on April 22 Turkey “wishes to pry something out of the Karabakh issue so that they can open the border and not anger the Azeris”.

He concluded by noting that the major diplomatic shortcoming of Armenian diplomacy lies in the fact that this ongoing process has been transformed from secret negotiations to a public discourse. “When the talks were secret the Turks didn’t have the possibility of speculating with the content or the process. Today, when everything is public, all are expressing an interest and that isn’t in our best interests.”

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