Political Background Discussion with Araz Azimov

Berlin, April 12, 2011

Araz Azimov, Deputy Foreign Minister and President’s Special Representative for Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, met with representatives of federal ministries, government agencies and selected think tanks to discuss current challenges and perspectives of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict as well as the role of the international community in its resolution.

The discussion began by examining two criteria crucial to the resolution of the conflict. These were Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and the return of the original inhabitants. In this context the participants broached the idea of an autonomous government capable of integrating all sections of the multi-ethnic population. There was general agreement that war was not a good option to resolve conflicts, and that a peaceful resolution of the dispute was the only viable option. However, the question arose of whether the parties to this protracted conflict of over a few decades, were beginning to lose patience.

The participants bemoaned the fact that on an international level the Nagorno-Karabakh issue had been relegated to the back seat, even though last year there were more ceasefire violations than ever before. And the conflict was no longer a purely domestic or regional dispute, but it now has security ramifications for the international community. While Russia had taken an active role in multinational efforts in the mediation process, it had not made any significant progress to resolve the conflict. At the same time, the engagement of Western governments had declined significantly. Some participants thought that there should be more active involvement by Germany and the EU, especially if evaluated against the background of the European energy interests associated with Azerbaijan and the Nabucco pipeline. However, other participants pointed out that on account of its onerous decision-making processes, the EU was not particularly effective. Most participants held the view that an early conflict resolution was not in the offing.

Körber Foundation regularly invites a small circle of high-ranking actors within Berlin’s foreign policy community to its Political Background Discussions. As in the Bergedorf Round Tables, the discussions take place shielded from the public, so as to enable a confidential, frank, and constructive exchange.

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