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Newport summit talks on Nagorno-Karabakh

01, Sep 2014 / ARMENIA / 390 Words

Keesing’s Record of World Events (Formerly Keesing’s Contemporary Archives 1931-2014)
Volume 60 (2014), Issue No. 9 (September), Page 53586

President Serzh Sarkisian of Armenia and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, met on Sept. 4 in Newport, Wales, on the sidelines of a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) [see p. 53600 ( NATO)]. It was an initiative of US Secretary of State John Kerry, who hoped to move the leaders towards a settlement of the long-running dispute over the Armenian-populated enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. However, the two sides remained in the deadlock apparent at their previous talks in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi in August [see pp. 53521-22].

The fragile state of security on the “line of contact” dating from the end of open conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in 1994 was demonstrated in the allocation of funds by the Armenian government on Sept. 11 for a “defensive wall” in the village of Chinari, which was described as the most dangerous section of the ceasefire line.

Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on Sept. 24, President Sarkisian said that his government was seriously considering withdrawing from the 2009 agreement in which Armenia and Turkey undertook to normalise their relations [see p. 49487] but which had yet to be ratified by either side. The president deplored in particular Turkey’s insistence that it would not ratify the agreement until the whole of the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh [see above] had been handed over to Azerbaijan.

In an address on Sept. 20 to the fifth Armenian diaspora forum in Yerevan (the capital), Sarkisian said that Armenia was pressing Turkey to end its “genocide denial policy” in which it had for decades refused to recognise what many historians regarded as the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians in the Turkish Ottoman Empire during and after World War I [see p. 53305]. He pledged that in 2015 Armenia would mark the 100th anniversary of the genocide’s start by urging Turkey “to put an end to the short-sighted policy of denial”.

IN BRIEF

An anti-government protest rally was held on Sept. 25 in Abovyan to the north-east of Yerevan organised by the opposition Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), the Armenian National Congress (ANC), and the Heritage Party (Zharangutiun). Calling for the resignation of President Sarkisian, the rally was the first in a planned series that would culminate in a major demonstration in Yerevan on Oct. 10.

Last article pp. 53521-22.