Matthew Bryza explains reasons for Armenian Foreign Minister Mirzoyan's demarche at UN Security Council meeting
Baku, September 23, AZERTAC
"Although impolite, Minister Mirzoyan’s exit from the Security Council meeting during Minister Bayramov’s speech was not an unprecedented gesture. I interpreted it as a desire to avoid the humiliation and emotional distress of listening to the foreign minister of a country that has just delivered a crushing political-military defeat to Mirzoyan’s own country. Of course, if Mirzoyan meant the gesture as a protest against the peaceful future that his boss, Prime Minister Pashinyan, is urging Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian community to accept, then Mirzoyan should resign. But in reality, Mirzoyan has been echoing and even anticipating Pashinian’s conciliatory rhetoric, for example, by publicly suggesting that Armenia recognizes Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity long before Pashinyan did so," an international expert, board member of the Jamestown Foundation and former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza told AZERTAC.
"If the Armenian side fully implements Wednesday’s ceasefire agreement, I am optimistic about the future of the South Caucasus, at least as far as Azerbaijan and Armenia are concerned," Bryza said.
"It is obvious that both President Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister Pashinyan seek a peace treaty. Their main obstacle has been extremist political forces in Armenia and in Karabakh, who had been holding the rest of the ethnic Armenian community of Karabakh as political hostages. As long as Armenian militia were present in Karabakh, Pashinian’s extremist political opponents could pressure him to remain instransigent and prepare to use military force in the future. This approach, of course, was a violation of the November 9/10, 2020, ceasefire statement. Now, with this most serious obstacle removed, the past to a peace treaty is significantly clearer.
Indeed, under today’s circumstances, with Azerbaijan about to regain full control over all its territory and with Armenia’s prime minister calling on Karabakh Armenians to prepare for peace, and by extension, reintegration into Azerbaijan, there is new and significant momentum toward a peace treaty. Pashinyan nevertheless will continue to face intense opposition to the peace process from extremist political forces in Armenia who prefer conflict to peace," the former US ambassador to Azerbaijan noted.