YEREVAN (A.W.)—Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Bureau member and director of its Central Hai Tahd office Giro Manoyan said that the joint statement released by the presidents of Armenia, Russia, and Azerbaijan after their June 20 meeting in St. Petersburg has raised some concerns for the ARF.
“We [the ARF] are concerned that once serious negotiations to solve the conflict begin, the pressure on the Armenian side—on Nagorno-Karabagh—will increase,” Manoyan told reports on June 21. According to him, the ARF is concerned that in an attempt to satisfy Azerbaijan, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Co-Chairs may begin to develop a comprehensive settlement without taking into consideration all the principles of a final and lasting peace. “This would bring on some consequences,” he said.
Armenian President Serge Sarkisian, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a trilateral meeting at the Constantine Palace in St. Petersburg on June 20. According to the press office of the Russian President, the meeting took place behind closed doors and focused on “reaching a settlement to the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict.”
According to Manoyan, the so-called Madrid principles could develop into an incremental resolution, which would be detrimental to the Armenian side. “The ARF has always been against the Madrid principles, however, Armenian authorities have accepted that as a basis for an agreement. Our concern is that this so-called ‘package solution’ may turn into a final solution,” he said.
According to the joint statement released by the three presidents following the meeting, the sides have agreed to increase the number of international observers in the conflict zone and expressed their satisfaction over the two sides respecting the ceasefire in recent weeks.
Though Manoyan said that Azerbaijan does not necessarily have any desire to agree to the installation of investigative mechanisms and devices on the frontlines, he did not rule out that enough international pressure may help make it a reality.