Why Is Nalbandyan Leaving For Karabakh?
By Naira Hayrumyan
Story from Lragir.am News - 28/06/2012
By the time Serzh Sargsyan is negotiating with Katherine Ashton in Brussels, the minister of foreign affairs Edward Nalbandyan is travelling to Karabakh.
What is this unusual visit determined by? Most likely, there are issues, which Nalbandyan needs to explain to the Karabakh leadership.
There are suspicions that the visit is related to Karabakh's possible participation in the negotiations.
The fact that the Karabakh settlement, unlike all the skepticism, is progressing, is evident. The point is not about the final settlement, but about the so-called "cooperation without recognition" when the parties come to compromises opening the border and launching communication projects, while the final peace issue is postponed.
The absence of such a decision will hinder Armenia and Azerbaijan to sign the Association agreement with the EU, which is scheduled in autumn. And, most likely, Edward Nalbandyan is leaving to talks about this with the Karabakh leadership.
The issue is painful: Azerbaijan will most likely demand some symbolic territorial concessions to be able to justify its policy in front of the nation. The point is about one region or half a region. Will the Karabakh leadership do this step? Moreover, prior to the presidential elections set on July 19?
In exchange, Armenia is going to achieve Karabakh's participation in the negotiations. No accident, on June 22, the Armenian TV air was dedicated to Arkady Ghukasyan. It is not ruled out that he will represent Karabakh in the negotiations. Perhaps, a special position will be set up for him - special envoy of the president of Armenia on the Karabakh issue - foreign minister of Karabakh.
The fact that the decision of these issues has not been postponed after the elections means that Armenia is hurried. Just half a region and the large-scale format of the talks will be restored, regional projects will be integrated and may other benefits. Apparently, Nalbandyan will say all this in Stepanakert.
What will the Karabakh leadership answer? A categorical "no" will deprive Bako Sahakyan of Yerevan's support at the elections, though, presenting the situation publicly, he may ensure the people's support.
Agreement to such a step will mean Bako Sahakyan's end since his comrades in arms disagree with territorial concessions.
Nalbandyan's mission is hard. Though, it is not ruled out hat Nalbandyan won't try to persuade anyone, but he will just present the situation to Arkady Ghukasyan and that's all. No one will learn anything.