There is no need to rush to resolve the Karabakh conflict, Armenian expert says

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YEREVAN, February 20. /ARKA/. The discussion of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at security conference in Munich earlier this month by Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev and Armenia’s prime minister Nikol Pashinyan has tightened the positions of the parties and narrowed the possibilities for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, Tevan Poghosyan, an aide to president of Armenia, told a news conference on Wednesday.

According to him, the discussion showed that expecting peace negotiations from Azerbaijan is impossible. ‘Baku has not abandoned the idea of resolving the issue by military means hoping that the two Armenian states will get as weak as to allow it to take advantage of the situation,” Poghosyan said.

He said Aliyev’s reference to the tactics of ex-presidents Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan to preserve the status quo once again proves the need for rational use of time.

“The Armenian side should use the time correctly so that the international community accept the Armenian version of the Karabakh conflict, recognize its independence and allow the two Armenian states to reunite. For that, all Armenian state structures should painstakingly work,” the expert said.

“There is no need to rush to resolve the Karabakh conflict. It is better to maintain the status quo until a situation is favorable for resolving the problem. Otherwise, after a certain time, future generations will again be forced to defend the right to life in their homeland, but in completely different conditions,” said Poghosyan.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict erupted into armed clashes after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s as the predominantly Armenian-populated enclave of Azerbaijan sought to secede from Azerbaijan and declared its independence backed by a successful referendum.

On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations. A truce was brokered by Russia in 1994, although no permanent peace agreement has been signed. Since then, Nagorno-Karabakh and several adjacent regions have been under the control of Armenian forces of Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is the longest-running post-Soviet era conflict and has continued to simmer despite the relative peace of the past two decades, with snipers causing tens of deaths a year.

In the early hours of April 2, 2016 Azerbaijan, in gross violation of the agreements launched a large-scale offensive along the entire Line of Contact between the armed forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan, using heavy weaponry, artillery and combat aircraft. Only thanks to the decisive actions of the Defense Army, which gave a fitting rebuff, on April 5, Azerbaijan was forced to ask, as in 1994, through the mediation of the Russian Federation for the cessation of the hostilities. It has been generally maintained, despite the recurrent violations by the Azerbaijani side.

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