BAKU (Trend)–Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, on Friday attempted framed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a dispute solely between Armenia and Azerbaijan, a tactic often used by official Baku to marginalize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and prevent it from regaining its seat at the negotiating table as a party to the conflict.
“There is no other side in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, besides Azerbaijan and Armenia,” Aliyev said. “That fact,’ has been always well known, and was confirmed by the signature of the Armenian President in the Moscow Declaration,”
Aliyev’s statemen’s came during an international conference in Baku entitled "Azerbaijan in the 21st Century: Strategy of Success."
Less than two weeks ago the president of Armenia Serzh Sarkisian and Aliyev, were joined by their Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow to sign a declaration pledging to step up their efforts in seeking a negotiated peace. The nonbinding document, in particular, referred to the principles drafted by the Minsk Group and presented to the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan at the OSCE summit in Madrid in November 2007 as a likely basis for continued talks on a peace accord.
The Nagorno Karabakh Republic was not invited to the summit.
Less than a week after the signing, a leading member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation raised serious concerns over the declaration’s failure to mention the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as a party to the conflict.
The absence of any mention of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is a serious issue, Vahan Hovannesian, a member of the ARF Bureau told reporters during a press conference on November 6, explaining that the failure to properly note that Karabakh was a party would paint the conflict as one between Armenia and Azerbaijan, rather than one between the indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan.