Analyst on Vienna Meeting: Preconditions to be discussed, not about peace negotiation

Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan / Photo: Photolure

A possible meeting in Vienna between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan will relate to preconditions proposed by the Armenian side connected with the negotiations over the Nagorno Karabakh issue, political analyst Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan said Monday.

Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan went to Vienna on a working meeting through the efforts of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. There is a possibility that among several meetings set to take place in the capital of Austria there will be one between the presidents of the two countries.

It should be noted that the possible event is a meeting, and not a negotiation phase. For the start of negotiations Sargsyan has put forward three conditions: the introduction of mechanisms to investigate border (line of contact) incidents, addressed statements as well as guarantees that Azerbaijan will not commit a new aggression, and an end to terrorist acts against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.

According to Shahnazaryan, the possible meeting in Vienna aimed at discussing the preconditions put forward by Armenia.

“The main problem is to increase the functions of security and confidence-building measures. So far no one is talking about the formation of the peace process. Even the statements of the Russian side and the co-chairs show that this is just a talk and is not the beginning of negotiation process, whereas the Azerbaijani press tries to present the contrary,” Shahnazaryan told mediay.

According to him, Sargsyan will try to put forward strict requirements, which will be aimed at containment of Azerbaijan’s active actions.

David Babayan, spokesperson for the President of Nagorno Karabakh Republic, commenting on the possible meeting, told that now the most important task is to safeguard peace and stability in the Karabakh conflict zone and the meeting should contribute to it.

“The Vienna meetings are crucial for reinforcing peace and stability in the region. We have long said, and the co-chairmen stated, that there is a need for mechanisms to investigate the incidents. This may require additional technical and human resources, but it is impossible to go ahead without that process and approach to solving complex problems, such as issues linked with borders and (general) status,” he said.