ArmInfo. The new Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan took a tough stance on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. British journalist, expert of the Carnegie Foundation Thomas de Waal, expressed point of view in his article.
He stated that the stalled peace process on the conflict settlement definitely needs a shake-up, but not too strong.
According to the British expert, Pashinyan's first statements on Karabakh stirred the situation, as he spoke more like a man from the crowd than a diplomat, saying that Karabakh is an "inseparable part" of Armenia.
De Waal recalled that the first visit of the newly elected prime minister, on May 9, took place in Nagorno-Karabakh, where he stressed that Artsakh should be directly involved in the negotiation process. "The tough position of the new prime minister may be conditioned by the internal political situation." Pashinyan came after two Armenians who fought in Karabakh in the 90s and led Armenia for 20 years. "Clearly, Pashinyan feels the need to confirm his mandate to ensure national security and convince the Karabakh Armenians that he is with them, but he is probably also quite sincere, most Armenians share a "no compromise" position, and moreover, in one of his interviews in 2016 Pashinyan stated that "there is no land for I am transferring to Azerbaijan," the expert recalled in his article.
De Waal believes that the danger is that if the Armenian leader openly declares the sovereignty of Karabakh and says that the lands can not be returned, there are no questions for negotiations with Baku, and both sides return to war. He added that the four-day April war in 2016 is a gloomy reminder of how costly this war can be.
The analyst emphasizes that over the past 15 years the negotiations have entered a state that one old diplomat called "Kabuki talks" (Kabuki, the most famous type of classical Japanese theater art-Ed.), When each side becomes in a pose and does enough to that OSCE mediators work, but serious work is not done, as well as there is no real progress. "The conflict went off the agenda in the United States, although, fortunately, Trump's administration resisted the temptation to abandon the mediation role and appointed a new co-chairman from the United States, Andrew Schofer." However, the new Armenian government with public legitimacy began to change this cozy situation. Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, undoubtedly capable of aggressive rhetoric, while he remains silent, only allowing his defense minister to make typical bellicose statements for him. But for how long has the President of Azerbaijan will remain silent", the expert inquired.
De Waal believes that during the electoral campaign, which may be protracted, Pashinyan and his associates will not want to voice a conciliatory approach, fearing that their patriotic powers will be called into question. At the same time, he expressed the conviction that many more months will pass before a new, consolidated policy of Armenia regarding the conflict appears. "If the process survives in the short term, a positive scenario is possible, a new thinking is needed, which can be presented by the new Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, who will replace the hyper-cautious Edward Nalbandian." Mnatskanyan was the leading negotiator in negotiations on the Association Agreement with the EU, which was terminated in 2013. The EU is one of several actors who can breathe life into this process by playing a more active role in supporting the official negotiators of the Minsk Group. conductive peace process needs to be activated, but the new leaders of Armenia have to be careful in how to use the legitimacy which they won on the streets of negotiation process on Karabakh - a sensitive issue, and its collapse would only lead to a new conflict", concluded the de Waal.