February 25
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to the South Caucasus region stirred up the expert circles of the countries in the region, became the reason for a variety of assessments, opinions and commentaries, often completely contradicting each other. The hottest topic of discussion is related to Clinton’s announcement that the parties of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict ‘will be proposed new approaches’.

Chairman of the Public Council for Foreign Policy and Security of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), Masis Mailyan commented on Clinton’s visit and the ‘new approaches’ in the interview to Armenian

Before the visit some experts announced that the visit has a more formal than substantive character and that the Karabakh conflict will only briefly be touched upon. However, Clinton announced about some ‘new’ approaches will be presented. How serious should those words be taken?

The skepticism of the experts was due to the fact that the negotiations entered a rather passive stage. This is because of electoral periods in the mediators’ as well as the conflicting countries. As for the Secretary’s words about new approaches on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the announcement itself proves that the previous approaches, including the Madrid principles and their elements, were not realistic.

What can the new approaches be? Is it possible to completely cross over the outcome of the negotiations that lasted nearly 20 years?

During the last 20 years the mediator countries have made many proposals on the settlement of the conflict. However, none of those proposals was contemporaneously accepted by all conflict parties. OSCE Minsk Group uses an outdated methodology of conflict resolutions, it does not reflect modern approaches of international law and the realities of the precedents in international relations. There is a completely new situation, which began to take shape after the recognition of Kosovo under the patronage of the majority of Western countries, as well as the subsequent recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Russia. It is clear that new approaches must be based on new realities and must lead the people of the region to peaceful coexist and not to fight.

Can these new hypothetical approaches cause disagreement to the NKR authorities, and if so, what could it lead to?

Based on previous experience, we can conclude that today’s NKR authorities are unlikely to give a clear and unambiguous assessment of possible new approaches. But the expert community, civil society and the individual political parties of Artsakh, of course, will express their views. If the new approaches are against the interests of Armenia and NKR then they shall be refused. Let us hope that during the development of the new approaches about which Clinton mentioned, the mistakes of the last 20 years will be taken into consideration.

As Armenian reported earlier, during her regional visit to the South Caucasus region US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had announced that ‘new approaches will be presented to the conflicting parties on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict’.

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