The presidential meeting could be a new starting point in the negotiations, political scientist says

Lusine Vasilyan
Public Radio of Armenia

The very fact of the meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents after a break of two years is an achievement, political scientist Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan says. He finds it hard to say whether the meeting broke the ice or not, but considers that the fact of the meeting is positive in itself.

According to the political scientist, the meeting could serve as a new starting point in the negotiations. “Azerbaijan shows it does not want to go for negotiations. Armenia and mediators have a task to make Azerbaijan refuse from its provocative policy,” Melik-Shahnazaryan told a press conference today.

The political scientist considers that the improper reaction of the mediators to the ceasefire violations has contributed to the continuation of Azerbaijan’s provocative policy.

“The Minsk Group Co-chairs should realize that every shot in the direction of the Armenian positions is a challenge not only to Armenia, but also the Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship,” he said.

Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan does not expect drastic changes in the Azerbaijani policy after the presidential meeting. He considers that the border incidents will maintain unless the pressures on Azerbaijan grow.

The political scientist does not share the opinion that the lack of interest is to blame for the failure to resolve the conflict. He is confident that the mediators and the neighboring countries have all reasons – both political and economic – to be interested in the peaceful settlement of the issue.

According to Melik-Shahnazaryan, regional stability and predictability is a priority for all. And the absence of a solution is a result of divergence of the parties’ positions.

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