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OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs cannot deal with Armenia?

15 May 2010 [09:42] - TODAY.AZ
They say that when Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan was shown Wi-Fi for the first time, he was very happy because he thought it was invented in Armenia. When he was shown how the word is spelled (Wi-Fi, not Wai-Fai), he got a little sad. But he still sticks to the thought that Wi-Fi was first invented in Armenia.

It has always been hard to seriously negotiate with these kinds of people. It is a living hell to have a conflict with such a person. And we know this from experience. Azerbaijan would not have been so patient had it not been for the so-called OSCE Minsk Group mediators...

The co-chairs have really stepped up their efforts in recent years. They have come up with solutions and projects to resolve the conflict. When they put forward the Madrid principles, it seemed the end was near. But something was wrong with these principles. The co-chairs updated the principles and submitted them to the parties. Azerbaijan accepted them and announced its willingness to negotiate on their basis.

However, Yerevan announced that it wanted two weeks to think a little. But Armenia has delayed its answer for several months without saying "yes" or "no." The reasons for this indecision are unclear. One can only assume that Yerevan would gladly say "yes," but is afraid to anger the diaspora. It would be terrible to give a firm "no." Sargsyan fears Baku’s patience will run out one day.  

We are accustomed to indecisions and prevarications by the Armenian side during negotiations. They are used to sending the president to the restroom to exclude him from vital negotiations. They are used to eating dolmas at the Turkish prime minister’s house, participating in football diplomacy and disrupting the process of normalizing ties with Ankara upon returning to Yerevan. So, the absence of a response from Yerevan to the principles is understandable.

However, the behavior of the OSCE Minsk Group is not understandable at all. No matter whether they are negotiators or mediators, they are professional diplomats above all else and therefore people with common sense.

So, common sense should have it that if one of the sides accepted the updated principles and the other side did not, then the group should work with the latter.

Why then did they invite Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov to the next meeting with his Armenian counterpart already present? What would they discuss? The attitude of the Azerbaijani side is already clear.

Maybe they want to meet for the sake of meetings? But we do not need this in the least. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry reported that the minister will not attend a meeting with the co-chairs due to his busy schedule. On the other hand, it is clear that if the meeting had at least some sense, the schedule could be changed. In addition, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry makes it clear that Azerbaijan has announced its attitude toward the Madrid principles and “the co-chairs should do more work with the Armenian side."

It might be difficult for the mediators to deal with the Armenian side and they want Azerbaijan to persuade Nalbandian and his bosses to soberly review the updated Madrid principles. In this case, why do we need you?

Leave us alone with the aggressor, and you will see how quickly we will stop their occupation of our lands. Moreover, it is unlikely that we will have to use force. As soon as Armenia realizes that it has to face Azerbaijan without any intermediaries, it will immediately liberate all the occupied territories to the last centimeter.

So, maybe the OSCE Minsk Group should be abolished or at least the sides should renounce their services? If the three co-chairs, who hail from respected powers, cannot cope with Armenia, then maybe it is better if they just step aside.

H. Hamidov

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