No expectations from Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting, political scientist says

Anna Nazaryan
Public Radio of Armenia

The Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan will smile to each other, hating each other, says political scientist Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan, who has no expectations from the Vienna meeting.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is leaving for Austria tonight to meet with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Before that Armenian and Russian Foreign Ministers Edward Nalbandian and Sergey Lavrov are scheduled to meet in Moscow today.

A few days before the meeting the Azerbaijani side opened fire in the direction of Armenia’s Tavush region to make it clear to the international community that it’s a conflict with Armenia, not Karabakh political scientist Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan says.

Remind that on Saturday the Azerbaijani armed forces opened intensive fire at civilian vehicles on the road towards Vazashen village. The incident took place hours after the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs presented a report to the OSCE Permanent Council. In the report the Minsk Group Co-Chairs reiterated the position of the co-chairing countries that there was no alternative to a peaceful settlement. Also, they stressed the importance of the meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents, which, they said, could give new impetus to the negotiation process.

According to Vice-President of the Armenian National Assembly Edward Sharmazanov, the violation of the ceasefire regime is another proof of the fact that Azerbaijan aspires to frustrate the negotiation process.

“Such actions of the Azerbaijan armed forces shattering regional stability and peace should be strongly condemned by the co-chairing countries and the international community,” Sharmazanov said.

Political scientist Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan considers, however, that the incident pursues a different purpose. “The ceasefire violations before presidential meetings or during the visits of high-ranking officials to region are meant to call the attention of the international community to the fact that it’s a territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia, not Artsakh,” he said.

Many analysts consider that Armenia had to pose preconditions for the Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting after axe-murderer Ramil Safarov was released and glorified. Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan has studied the judicial aspect of the issue and concluded that although Safarov’s extradition and his further release and glorification was strongly condemnable from the moral point of view, there were no legislative violations either on the part of Hungary, or Azerbaijan.

What should be expected from the Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting? “The Minsk Group Co-Chairs will express their satisfaction that it became possible to organize a presidential meeting after a long break. They will note that the Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting will give new impetus to the negotiation process, and that’s all,” Levon Melik-Shahanzaryan said.

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