Azeri State Committee for Refugees: Issues of the return of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev and the transfer of Hasan Hasanov's dead body are under control of President Aliyev

Armenian Government tries to repay its debts by transferring state-owned enterprises' assets to a U.S. company

Armenian environmentalists comment on Red Book apes imported to Armenia

All U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Armenia are strongly encouraged to enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

The ICRC has already started talks to return Azeri saboteur's corpse, Azerbaijani State Committee says

Stepan Safaryan: OSCE Minsk Group prefers stroking naughty Azerbaijan

Edward Nalbandian advises his Azerbaijani counterpart not to use international arena for propaganda

Political expert: OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs want to lobby the meeting between Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan

Shmuel Meirom: Israel is willing to contribute of its experience in the field of economy, but it cannot force Israeli business to invest in Armenia

OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs express their serious concern about the increase in tensions and violence in Karabakh conflict zone

Heritage Party considers Volodya Avetisyan to be a political prisoner

Rostelecom expands its sales and customer service network

Arthur Grigoryan appointed commercial manager of mobile communication division at Beeline Armenia

Edward Nalbandian: Armenia wants to start a dialogue on abolishment of visa regime with EU

Edward Nalbandian: Unlike Azerbaijan, Armenia has been consistently proving its adherence to the principles of international law

No third tailing dump in Tukhmanuk

Edward Nalbandian: Turkey, which is striving to the EU, has shut down the border to the neighboring state, whereas a principle of free movement at the EU territory is one of the basic norms

Ali Hasanov: If international organizations can not resolve the conflict, let them step aside and the two neighboring states solve the problem themselves

Vladimir Dorokhin: None of the Azerbaijanis detained at the territory of Armenia are Russian citizens

"Mika cement" to replace owner

Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan: The Azerbaijani people do not believe the OSCE Minsk Group

OSCE representative concerned about Armenia court decision forcing media outlets to disclose sources

The NKR Minister of Foreign Affairs received the Head of the ICRC Mission in Nagorno-Karabakh

Members of Karabakh parliament made a statement to protect Levon Hayrapetyan

"Vallex" Group celebrates Miner's Day

Commandos: Levon Hayrapetyan's arrest is a result of hard work of Azerbaijani and Russian secret services

Ivan Kukhta: The government of Ukraine owns irrefutable evidence of separatists' blame for the crash of the Malaysian Boeing

According to the results of the first half of 2014, growth rates of Ameriabank's indices exceed average market level

ACBA-CREDIT ACRICOLE BANK and American Express have announced the launch of new card "The ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK American Express® Cash Back Card"

No visa regime between Georgia and Armenia

Vahagn Hovnanyan: It is necessary to hold a protest action in front Russia's Embassy in Armenia to support Levon Hayrapetyan

Political expert: Growth of tension at the border is a regular ill-fated expression of complexes by Azerbaijan

James Warlick: The number of incidents and resulting deaths and injuries is also a setback in our efforts to work with parties to find a lasting peace

Lake Sevan is on the verge of environmental disaster

Life of the three persons injured in Kashatagh as a result of a landmine explosion is out of danger

EU welcomes ruling of Turkish Constitutional Court regarding investigation into the 2007 murder of Turkish- Armenian journalist Hrant Dink

Armavir mayor's car explodes in mine-studded territory of Kashatagh

Newspaper: Armenian oligarch's company worked in the shadow

Nagorno-Karabakh Police publish details of the case of Azeri saboteurs

Eastern Partnership countries cannot join European Union within the next 5 years

Expert: Decision to increase water release from Lake Sevan to 270 mln cu m is a shady transaction

RESO Insurance Company compensates for damage under hull insurance in 90.9% of cases

VTB Bank (Armenia) and Visa announce the launch of Summer with VTB campaign

Orange Foundation opens a Youth center in Chinari and a computer center in Zorakan in Tavush region

ICRC Yerevan Office holds negotiations to organize a meeting with Azeris detained in Armenian territory

Hakob Sanasaryan: Armenia has chosen the path of destroying its water resources

ICRC Yerevan Office maintains regular contacts with residents of borderline villages

Areximbank-Gazprombank Group's profit increases by 56.1% and capital grows to 21.9 bln AMD

Levon Ter-Petrosyan: the authorities of Armenia are going to replace the "carrot" of the PAP by the "stick"

Ankara has put forward a plan to form a free trade zone with the Customs Union


Georgian Parliament Speaker to Visit Israel

Jury to Pass Verdict on Accomplices to Georgian General's Murderer in Moscow

Municipal Transport Drivers to Hold Protest Rally Throughout Georgia

The National Press Day

Saakashvili's Party States it is Important to Conduct the Second Round of Elections till July 19

Historical Changes Have Occurred in Georgia - President

Israeli Minister of Agriculture is Paying Official Visit to Georgia

Power Restrictions Imposed in Tbilisi since June 23, 2014

Ramadan begins on June 29

Azerbaijan's democratic forces calling for the Association with the EU

Georgian MFA Responds to U.S. Embassy's Statement, Connected with Incidents during Election Campaign

Georgian Ambassador Demands Explanations from Turkish MFA

Georgian Citizens Abroad not to Participate in Local Elections

Georgian President Delegates Prime Minister to Sign Associated Agreement

Georgian Leadership Welcomes Presidential Elections in Ukraine

We do not Need Saakashvili's Type Mediators in our Relations with Ukraine - Lavrov

Caucasian Muslims Department (CMD) opens an office in Iran, next will be Saudi Arabia

Poroshenko States he Has not Offered Georgian Ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili Adviser's Post

Russia not to Punish Georgia for Signing Associated Agreement with EU-Kosachev

James Appathurai Writes about Georgia in his Page in Facebook

Blogger Abdul Abilov sentenced to five and a half years

Vugar Aliyev committed to strengthening the responsibility of Internet resources

Civil society urges Aliyev to defend democracy

Dennis Sammut: It is important that those involved in Nagorno-Karabakh peace process if they do not like the message should not try to shoot the messenger, but rather address the substance.

  • by Emmanuil Mkrtchyan

  • Wednesday, May 7, 17:21

The recent statements by senior officials of the Government of Azerbaijan criticising the United States co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Process, Ambassador James Warlick have created a controversy around the process, says an article by Dennis Sammut, Executive Director of LINKS and political editor of 

There has in the past been other criticisms of the Minsk Process from the side of the Azerbaijani government, usually expressed through senior members of Parliament. This criticism usually targeted the three co-chair and the process as a whole, and on occasions was even justified. Last week's direct attacks against one of the co-Chair, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov are however of a more serious nature. Azimov is a tough and experienced diplomat who is not however prone to reckless talk. His statement must therefore be taken seriously.

Ambassador James Warlick has joined the Minsk Process only recently. He has since been on a steep learning curve. Like many others before him he is learning that though the Karabakh conflict may at first look like a straightforward dispute, with straightforward solutions, it is in fact a complex, multi layered conflict, deep rooted in history, and still an open wound. This is also one of those situations where a spade is often not called a spade, despite the fact that everybody knows that that is exactly what it is.

Warlick has in the short time that he has been co-Chair of the Minsk Process tried to reach out to media and civil society in the conflict affected areas and beyond. This is commendable. His choice of words in his famous tweets may not necessarily have always been the best, but his effort to make the Minsk Process more open and understandable to the outside world is to be praised. More information means more scrutiny, so reaction from either or both of the sides is to be expected.  
Armenia directly, or through its diaspora community in the United States, has in the past had the occasion to criticise some of Mr Warlick's predecessors, although it remains a staunch supporter of the Minsk process in its current format. Mr Warlick's decision to meet Armenian and Azerbaijani diaspora communities in the United States was therefore always going to be controversial. Certainly somebody should reach out to these communities on the Karabakh issue - and to other parts of the diasporas of the two countries in other parts of the world.  Whether Mr Warlick should be the one to do it is however another question.

In any case it is important that those involved if they do not like the message should not try to shoot the messenger, but rather address the substance.
This controversy is likely to remain a storm in a tea cup. However the bigger question of the efficacy of the Minsk Process in its present format as the best medium for a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is more serious and pertinent. With a cease fire and a peace process that has been ongoing for more than twenty years everybody has the right to now ask this question. The answer often given is that since replacing, or even making minor changes, in the format of the Minsk Process is going to be extremely difficult if not impossible, sticking with what exists is the only option. So the international community finds itself supporting this process by default.

Yet the situation around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone remains dangerous. The suffering of those who are directly affected, particularly refugees and IDPs, and people who live in and around the conflict areas is great. Casualties from the conflict, civilian as well as military occur on a daily basis. Everybody concerned therefore, be it the diplomats involved in the Minsk Process, or those that represent the Armenian and Azerbaijani positions in the negotiations, need to remain focused on the core issues of trying to unblock the impasse and find a solution. This should be the one and only urgent priority.

Send to a friend

To (e-mail)

Your name



View comments (0)

Be first to comment on this article

* Indicates required fields