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Will Nagorno-Karabakh settlement pass through Camp David?

11 July 2014 [13:35] - TODAY.AZ
By Claude Salhani

Senior editor of the English service of Trend Agency


Outside Caspian-Caucasus region, just a few people may have ever heard of Nagorno-Karabakh region which has been the center of a dispute over the last three decades.

The Minsk Group was set up with the aim of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which evolved after Armenia's unfair territorial claims towards its neighbor. Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions. Comprised of United States, Russia, and France the group has not yet managed to produce any progress.

The Minsk Group was set up with the aim of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which evolved after Armenian . Comprised of United States, Russia, and France the group has not yet managed to produce any progress.

Therefore, it's now the time to move forward and look beyond Minsk. Where does the road beyond Minsk lead or rather, where should it lead? The answer is to Camp David, the US presidential retreat in Maryland, just outside the District of Columbia.

US President Barak Obama should take the lead from former Democrat President, Jimmy Carter, who invited Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin to discuss their dispute at the camp. Carter even sent back the helicopters telling the two leaders that they could not leave the highly guarded retreat until they resolved the crisis.

The Camp David accord was eventually reached and peace was signed between Egypt and Israel. But Carter was unable to draw other Arab countries into a peace bond with Israel particularly Syria and the Palestinians. As a result, the situation in the region remains tense even today. Since then, there have been a number of wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Each time, each side proclaimed victory but at the end, this was violence which was raging on.

In 1982, Israel launched an operation called "Peace for Galilee." Israel invaded Lebanon and forced the Palestine Liberation Organization out of Lebanon and into exile in Arab countries. The war backfired and just a few years later the PLO was indeed no longer sitting on Israel's northern border, but the Palestinian hierarchy found its way into the West Bank, setting itself up in Ramallah, just a 10 minutes drive from Jerusalem, or a few seconds as the mortar shell flies. The Lebanon War paved the way for establishment of the Hezbollah Movement.

What we learned from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was that a conflict becomes more complicated with time. Unresolved conflicts have the tendency to produce more tense situations and more complicated problems. So, it is in the national interest of both the United States and Russia - who supports Armenia - to convince the Azerbaijanis and Armenians to settle this issue once and for all.

Allowing the flames of injustice to continue to burn will at some point lead to a far deadlier situation. As we have seen in other unresolved conflicts, there is never a shortage of people who are willing to give up their lives for the sake of their country or cause.
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