Armenia: a state seeking peace and development, surrounded by antagonistic neighbours which are ready for war and reluctant to hold a dialogue – this is how Armenian president presented his country on the recent UN forum.
At the 66th regular session of the General Assembly held on Friday, September 23, in New York, Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan took the floor. This is the second time when he has blamed Azerbaijan for lack of progress in negotiation process regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The president has also accused Turkey of hindering normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations.
“Azerbaijan’s utter unwillingness to reach an agreement and its ‘everything or war’ position have stalled progress in the peace talks,” said Serzh Sargsyan while addressing the UN Assembly. In his speech, he referred to the June meeting in Kazan – a summit of Caucasian countries, coordinated by President Dmitry Medvedev – and held President Ilham Aliyev responsible in person for its failure. Armenian head of state called the political mode of operation adopted by Baku officials “armenophobic.”
In his comments on Yerevan-Ankara relations, Armenia’s president highlighted his own efforts, as well as those of international circles, towards building cooperation between both countries. Serzh Sargsyan openly expressed his regret over Turkish absolute refusal of ratifying the agreements on normalization of diplomatic relations from 2009. In such context, a reference to the Armenian Genocide – events which so far has not been recognized by Turks as a crime against humanity – could not be avoided.
President closed his speech with a sentence, in which he pointed, in a diplomatic way, the direction Armenia is currently taking: ”Freedom, peace, and democracy are our choice, and we are committed to this path… Above all, we are convinced that we are on the right path, a path that is irreversible.”
Any commentary on this statement would seem to be useless and trite. Experts on conflict in the Southern Caucasus call it “a cold conflict,” which brings to mind the Cold War not by accident. Armenia and Azerbaijan are linked in a toxic relation through joint history, borders and territorial enlargements. Somehow, the long-standing international efforts do not result in the end of the strife. Perhaps it is naïve to think that the only solid chance is the young, well-educated generation who, in the name of its own future, will leave the warpath.