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Safarov's case may hit on Karabakh2012-09-11 15:27
After extradition and pardon of Azeri serviceman Ramil Safarov, sentenced to life imprisonment in Hungary for the brutal murder of an Armenian soldier Gurgen Margaryan in 2004, experts and politicians began to seriously wonder how this would affect the process of negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The expert community, both domestic and foreign, in general, believes that Yerevan can use the advantage of Safarov's case in the negotiation process. It is also possible that the fragile process of settlement, which is already on the verge of collapse, can and does stall and spin out of control.
"The process of the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is threatened. Following the meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in June 2011, there was no progress. Ramil Safarov's extradition and the subsequent pardon struck a fatal blow to the process", a senior fellow of the Carnegie Foundation Thomas de Waal said on this occasion.
Armenia's approaches to Karabakh may change
Recently, at the meeting with the Ambassadors of the OSCE member countries accredited in Armenia, the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan spoke on the possible impact of Safarov's case on the Karabakh process. "Recent event makes us change some of our approaches (to Karabakh)", said the head of the Armenian state. Sargsyan added that the release of Safarov and Baku's attempts to interpret the three principles of the Helsinki Final Act (the right of peoples to self-determination, territorial integrity and non-use of force or threat of force) are intended to gain the time to accumulate a large stockpile of weapons and to solve the problem by military means.
Deputy Director of the Caucasus Institute, an Armenian political scientist Sergey Minasyan told GTimes that from the statement of Armenian President we can be conclude: the Madrid principles must be upgraded. Madrid document includes some rather vaguely formulated provisions on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which deal with such issues as the definition of the final status of state entity and the return of refugees. "Statement by the President on the possibility of changing some of the Armenia's approaches to Karabakh problem is aimed at upgrading the Madrid document in order to achieve a more precise wording on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh", the analyst said.