But it seems that both Washington and Moscow are equally active in wanting to offer the parties their vision of a consensus between the negotiating parties.
For instance, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had phone calls with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in January. Furthermore, the US Secretary of State appointed his new special envoy for Caucasus negotiations.
Later, the Armenian side reported that Azerbaijan had presented a new version of the peace treaty, and the text was being elaborated in Yerevan.
And today, February 14, Igor Khovayev, Special Representative of the Russian Foreign Minister for Azerbaijan-Armenia negotiations, visited Baku. During the meeting between the high-ranking Russian diplomat and President Ilham Aliyev the parties exchanged views on the progress in the negotiations on normalization of relations between Baku and Yerevan and preparation of a peace treaty. Khovayev later briefed President Aliyev on his visit to the region and “the steps Russia has taken to support the negotiation process for the preparation of a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
Meanwhile, Secretary of the Armenian Security Council Armen Grigoryan told journalists that the Armenian side would soon complete work on the text of the peace treaty presented by Azerbaijan and send it to Baku. Grigoryan also said that the draft mentions the “Karabakh issue,” but, according to him, this is not the final version and it is being negotiated.
The Secretary of the Security Council once again reiterated the position of the Armenian side to insist on the establishment of a negotiating mechanism between Khankendi and Baku to “ensure the rights and security” of ethnic Armenians in Karabakh.
“Armenia is working with its international partners to develop this mechanism,” Grigoryan stressed.
As we know, official Baku rejects this approach of Armenia, consistently arguing that the rights and security of ethnic Armenians in Karabakh should be ensured only on the basis of the Constitution of Azerbaijan, and that any other mechanism or international guarantee is absolutely unacceptable.
In this regard, it is still unclear in what form the text of the peace treaty presented by Baku and discussed in Yerevan mentions the “Karabakh issue”.
Tatul Hakobyan, an Armenian journalist and head of Ani analytical center, told the Armenian service of Radio Liberty that the text of the peace treaty included a new wording called “constructive ambiguity“, which, according to him, is often used where complex decisions are needed.
“There remains a constructive ambiguity, and each party interprets it in its own way,” the Armenian journalist pointed out. “That is, the parties want to sign a document, but there is a clause that does not allow them to do so. That is why a controversial point was included in the negotiations, so that Baku could say, ‘Yes, Armenia de facto recognizes Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan,’ and Armenia could say, ‘The issue of Karabakh’s status is still “suspended”.’ To the best of my knowledge, that is the constructive ambiguity included in the document.”
Hakobyan also stressed that when Igor Khovayev had visited Baku last September, the mention of “Karabakh” was already on the negotiation agenda. The journalist specified that the Russian version then had featured a paragraph about putting the issue of “the status of Karabakh” on hold indefinitely, which the Azerbaijani side firmly rejected.
“We’ll see what happens now,” Tatul Hakobyan said at the end of the interview. “Hopefully, the parties will be able to agree at least on this element.”
Based on what the Armenian journalist says, there is every reason to believe that the text of the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace treaty currently under discussion is modeled on the version proposed by Russia.
At the same time, given that Armenia has already signed the Prague statement, in which it officially recognized Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, it is reasonable to assume that this fact has been taken into account and adapted in the “Russian version” of the peace treaty.
Translated from haqqin.az