Monday, May 25 2020 14:29
David Stepanyan

Diplomat: It`s worrying that reasons for the change in Pashinyan`s  negotiation moods remain unknown 

Diplomat: It`s worrying that reasons for the change in Pashinyan`s  negotiation moods remain unknown 

ArmInfo. The recognition by the  political team of Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, of his  communication with his Azerbaijani counterparts as negotiations  indicates serious changes in the position regarding the process of  resolving the conflict. Former head of the Artsakh Foreign Ministry,  Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Arman Melikyan expressed  a similar opinion to ArmInfo.

"For already several days, representatives of the ruling political  team in Armenia began to characterize their meetings with the  Azerbaijani side and the mediators of the negotiation process as  negotiations rather than communication, as had been stated  previously. And this happens in the light when Stepanakert continues  to be absent from the negotiations, and trilateral format of the  negotiations has not been restored yet, "he stressed.

The diplomat also pointed out the absence of any signs of a response  from the OSCE Minsk Group co- chairs to Prime Minister Pashinyan's  demand regarding clarification of some points of the Madrid  principles. In his opinion, all this together indicates a change in  approaches voiced earlier by the country's political leadership. Or,  at least, their substantial mitigation. Moreover, a lot of people are  concerned that reasons for such a change in the mood of the  authorities remain unknown.

Since 1992, the OSCE Minsk Group, represented by the co-chairs from  Russia, the USA and France, has been engaged in the settlement of the  Karabakh conflict. Currently, the settlement process is nominally  proceeding on the basis of the "Madrid principles" put forward by the  OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in 2007 in Madrid and updated in 2009,  which, among other things, envisage the deployment of a peacekeeping  contingent in the conflict zone.

The diplomat recalled that until recently, both Pashinyan and his  immediate circle, including Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan,  basically referred to their meetings with the Azerbaijani negotiators  on Artsakh as consultations. And they categorically refused to define  this process as negotiations.

"Such a line, in all likelihood, was caused by the need to adhere to  Pashinyan's statement that he didn't have the right to represent  negotiators and Artsakh people at the table. He also claimed that he  could not characterize the existing process as negotiations until the  mediators gave him satisfactory explanations regarding the essence of  the negotiations and the Madrid Principles Agenda, "the former  Foreign Minister of Artsakh summarized

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