'The war might not lead to peace' - Paul A. Goble clarifies the current situation on Karabakh talks | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

14 July, Tuesday

'The war might not lead to peace' - Paul A. Goble clarifies the current situation on Karabakh talks

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Consecutive meetings of top officials from Azerbaijani and Armenian side increased the tempo in Karabakh talks. Starting from March to April several meetings and statements escalated the tension between both sides.

Threatening statements coming from Armenian side counterattacked by the Azerbaijani side. The situation could even lead the war. On 15 April meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers in Moscow achieved certain measures for de-escalation of the tension.

Eurasia Diary took the opinion of political expert Paul A. Goble for the evaluation of the current situation in Karabakh talks.

Paul Goble thinks that there has been less real progress than many imagine in March-April. Goble doesn't see the positive relations between Moscow and Yerevan.

"My sense is that Moscow is trying to move toward backing Baku because it no longer is happy with Yerevan but that there are real limits on its ability to make this change. What I think is happening is Moscow is putting out happy talk and others are happy to pick it up," the political expert said.

Azerbaijani FM Elmar Mammadyarov met with Armenian counterpart in Moscow with the participation of Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. In the result of the meeting, ministers made a joint statement on the mutual interest of further stabilization in the conflict zone and to allow agricultural activities. They also agreed to allow families to have access to their relatives held in custody in the respective detention centers of the parties.

Related: Certain decisions were made during discussions - Elmar Mammadyarov told

"Such people to people contacts are always welcome, but they are unlikely to have any short term consequences. If a decision is taken and then these happen, that is one thing; but if these things are done in order to push forward something, they seldom have that effect," Paul Goble expressed his attitude on the Moscow meeting.

Paul Goble thinks that the current situation which is estimated as a frozen conflict will not change until either land is exchanged or international supervision is introduced over an Armenian autonomy with Azerbaijan.

"Short of that, I suspect we will have talks about solving the Karabakh problem for many years to come. The alternative, of course, is an outright military victory by one side or the other, something that might lead to an armistice but not to peace and that would result in serious refugee flows," American analyst told.

Armistice is an agreement made by warring parties in a war to stop fighting for a certain time. It is not necessarily the end of a war, since it may constitute only a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace. 

In contrast to the armistice, peace is a formal agreement to end the war.

Paul Goble also shared his view about his own plan proposed for negotiation process during the war. The plan called "Goble Plan" which constitutes the transfer of lands. He suggested transferring of Zangazur a corridor between Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan to Azerbaijan for giving the control of Nagorno Karabakh to Armenia.

"I made the suggestion which some call the Goble Plan in January 1992, less than a month after the USSR had ceased to exist. Many things were fluid at that time that aren’t any more," the political expert said.

Paul Goble doesn't think that this plan is realistic now.

"But I will say this: if Armenia hopes to maintain control of Nagorno Karabakh and live in peace in the Caucasus, it will have to yield something Azerbaijan wants. I suggested Zengezur, the land bridge between Azerbaijan proper and Nakhchivan. Perhaps there are alternatives," Paul Goble concluded his opinion.


Paul A. Goble is an American analyst, writer and columnist with expertise on Russia. He is the editor of four volumes on ethnic issues in the former Soviet Union and has published more than 150 articles on ethnic and nationality questions. Goble served as special adviser on Soviet nationality issues and Baltic affairs to Secretary of State James Baker.


Ulvi Ahmedli

Eurasia Diary

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