Little things can make big difference in the South Caucasus, former OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair from U.S. Carey Cavanaugh believes.
In case of Georgia, a small mistake can lead to the massive wave of protests in Tbilisi, in case of Karabakh conflict, it leads to new victims, he said in an interview with the Voice of America Armenian service.
Speaking about the talks over Karabakh, the diplomat said although no movement was recorded during the meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijan foreign ministers in Washington, co-chairs’ call for restraint was of much importance. As for the contradictions of the parties over the content of the mediator’ proposals, he believes that each of the party quotes the desirable point. They are probably reading the same document, but in a different way. Otherwise, it is impossible to think that different documents were presented to the parties, he said.
Cavanaugh noted that although Baku is rejecting Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan’s demand that the Karabakh party has to be at the negotiation table, Baku made some steps in this direction internally. He noticed that Baku had changed the composition of the delegation and added presence of the representative of Azerbaijan’s Karabakh community. The diplomat believes this move is a sign of preparation for changing the format in the future.
He recalled that the present format was formed during the first days of Robert Kocharyan’s presidency. It was easier to work in that way, because Kocharyan was presenting both Armenia and Karabakh, he added. The trend continued during Serzh Sargsyan’s presidency. Meanwhile, it was Pashinyan who said he could not hold talks on behalf of Karabakh, and he was representing Armenia only.
Speaking about the 2001 negotiations in Key West when the so-called “Meghri exchange option” was discussed, Cavanaugh who was the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair then, said the reality was different and the proposal on the table was not that primitive. It was not expected to sign a document in Key West, he said. If talks were a success, the parties had to sign an agreement on a neutral territory, in Europe probably.