STEPANAKERT (RFE/RL)–The failure of the latest international push for a Nagorno-Karabakh settlement has demonstrated that international mediators are interested in preserving the status quo, a spokesman for Karabakh President Bako Sahakian claimed on Friday.
The official, Davit Babayan, said the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s leadership did not expect Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s presidents to cut any deals on the sidelines of this week’s OSCE summit in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.
Babayan said Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev failed to do that because the parties are still far apart on key issues and because the mediating powers — the United States, Russia and France — lack a “common approach” to the Karabakh conflict.
Babayan said that is why Aliyev and Sarkisian did not even meet on the sidelines of the summit. “What should they have talked about, if Aliyev claims that Armenia was created on Azerbaijani lands?” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.
“All this proves one thing: everyone is interested is maintaining the status quo, something which vividly manifested itself at Astana,” claimed the Karabakh official.
“Given that there could be unpredictable consequences as a result of any attempt to change the balance of forces, everyone is interested in maintaining what exists now. It is predictable, it is working. Why should we look for some other mechanisms?” he added.
Asked whether the no-war-no-peace situation is good for Karabakh, Babayan said, “We have no issues with Azerbaijan, but they do. If they want to settle those issues, they must first negotiate with us.”
Baku has long been refusing to directly negotiate with Karabakh’s leadership. Azerbaijani leaders say the historic Armenian territory is ruled by an “illegitimate regime” controlled by Armenia.