Fighting upsets secret Karabakh talks
Saturday 19 December 1992
The fighting has also been used as a pretext for Turkey, under severe pressure from its Azeri allies and ethnic cousins, to withdraw a goodwill offer of 300 million kwh of electricity to Armenia from 1 December. The Azeri President, Abulfaz Elchibey, on Thursday declared a state of emergency in the area. Armenia's presidential spokesman, Reuben Shugarian, said the attack was made to silence Azeri guns after shelling and aerial bombardment of the Armenian town of Zangezur killed 59 civilians.
Diplomats in Baku said the upsurge of fighting had caused Azerbaijan to back out of a peace process that had brought the two countries closer than ever at a secret meeting in Geneva in early December between representatives of Armenia, Azerbaijan, the United States, Russia and Turkey. 'There is an overall feeling of a positive trend, with Turkey playing an intelligent and responsible mediating role,' said one Western diplomat in Ankara.
The initiative had grown out of the broader but stalemated 'Minsk process' meetings in Rome, as well as a recognition by all sides that the conflict over who ruled Karabakh's 180,000 people was hurting everyone's interests and helping no one.
The Armenian President, Levon Ter Petrossian, seems ready to compromise on the question of whether Azerbaijan could retain sovereignty over the mainly Armenian-populated enclave. 'The president will have enough courage to try to explain to the people . . . that the only way to come out is first peace, then status in the next round,' said Mr Shugarian. 'If there are international guarantees for the population, there can be a compromise on status. First we must establish a ceasefire.'
Such a compromise is, however, anathema both to the main opposition nationalist Dashnakstutiun party and to the local 'Karabakhchis', who, under Dashnak rule, refuse to contemplate Azeri sovereignty.
With around 25 per cent of Nagorny Karabakh won back by Azerbaijani forces since Mr Elchibey took power in June, Armenian fighters are also wary about giving back the corridor they opened up between Armenia and Nagorny Karabakh.
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Kenya bus attack: Primary school head teacher plays dead to escape slaughter by Islamic extremists
Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...