Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Karabakh Progress?

There may have been progress in the Karabakh peace process:
"Until now, the barrier to the resolution of the Karabakh conflict has been the unwillingness of the Armenian side to return all occupied regions outside of Karabakh. Official Yerevan has long insisted that only five out of seven regions would be returned, and Kalbajar and Lachin would be kept until the final resolution of the conflict. Both of these districts have special importance from a geostrategic perspective, as Kalbajar, with its high mountains, forms a natural defense system for Karabakh and Lachin provides a land corridor between Armenia and Karabakh. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan has insisted on the liberation of all territories, with the possibility of providing joint usage to the Lachin corridor.

"Oskanian’s statement indicates a possible change of attitude inside the Armenian political establishment and a small hope for the resolution of the conflict. Both sides are aware that the year of 2006, considered by local observers and international community as a 'window of opportunity' due to the absence of elections in both countries, is rapidly coming to an end. The independent daily Zerkalo in Baku has even speculated that the Armenian authorities have started to lay the foundations for explaining the terms of the settlement to the Armenian public, as the 'tone of Oskanian was more that of calming the members of Parliament.' Zerkalo compared this act by the high-level government official with the attempt by former Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosian to sell a 'step-by-step' proposal to the Armenian public."


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