The director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has shared his thoughts and concerns over the recent international calls for preparing the Armenian and Azerbaijani societies for peace around Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).
In a statement on his official profile on Facebok, Aram Hamparian stressed the need of transparency in the process to allow for public evaluations.
The full text of his statement is below:
Rhetoric around “preparing populations for peace” rings hollow unless matched with the transparency needed for the public to actually make informed judgments.
Without transparency, such calls can come across as something between “you can trust me” and
“you don’t need to know.”
Here are a few questions, to start:
— Are the Madrid Principles the basis for current talks?
— What are the outlines of the deal under consideration?
— What role will Artsakh play in this process?
— Has Aliyev stepped back from his NeverArtsakh stand?
— Which elements of a deal are upfront, which are deferred?
— What enforcement is envisioned for deferred commitments?
— What guarantees can be offered against renewed aggression?
— What are the realistic expectations regarding peacekeepers?
More broadly, how would a deal – if implemented – play out, over the short, mid, and long terms?
For example, if Artsakh were to surrender land/security upfront, would Azerbaijan respond in good faith by keeping its commitments regarding Artsakh’s future status. Or would Azerbaijan take this concession as a sign of weakness, leveraging its new advantage on the ground to secure (as Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly pledged) further territorial gains, until all of Artsakh is brought under Baku’s control – with or without Armenians?
We may hope for the best, but must – given our history and geography – prepare the worst.
This is not a time for careless thinking.