AzVision.az reports citing the interview:
-Are we further than ever from peace? Please help us get some context on all of this if you will?
Since 1994 when a ceasefire was brokered by Russia to end the Nagorno-Karabakh war but now the situation is completely different. When I was the mediator at that time, there was an agreement in principle between the former president of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and the current president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
This was an agreement in principle but on a framework with several key factors that was a logical way forward and what the president said at the time was. However, we have some very important details we still have to finalize which have never got finalized.
When Armenia’s new prime minister after the velvet revolution came into power Nikol Pashinyan, he was the fresh voice he had a real rapport with the president Aliyev and there was optimism things were going to move forward. In fact, after their first meeting in late 2018, both leaders made a joint announcement saying we need to prepare our people for peace. but in the subsequent year, I think prime minister Pashinyan has been under terrible political pressure at home unable to consolidate his velvet revolution and he's reversed himself and says he no longer favours those principles preliminarily agreed.
I think Azerbaijan is frustrated and who shot first will never know but I think that both sides had been moving uh heavy weapons and armoured vehicles toward this line of contact. For the last few weeks and a fuse was lit and we are where we are now and it's it is far from peace and I think the fighting's going to continue until either Armenia stops Azerbaijan’s operations or Azerbaijan consolidates the positions it's gained so far.
-So, you argued in an op-ed for the Atlantic Council that might quote you here, it may fall to Ankara and Moscow to fill a diplomatic vacuum and convince their respective allies to return to the negotiating table, follow me on from Nick's analysis, is this a time when Russia and Turkey would be prepared to sort of come together to try and find a solution to this and a second question to you, Sir, you must have contacts at state in the U.S., we've seen, you know, a sort of statement from Mike Pompeo on this. Is this something that the U.S. has any real interest in? At all what's their position?
Well, Becky, those two questions are interrelated and the answer I’m going to give to your second question that helps answer your first one so, traditionally, the United States has had a lot of interest in what happens in the South Caucasus and particularly in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for a lot of reasons. Besides strictly not wanting to see loss of life, I mean there's strategic infrastructure that passes from Azerbaijan, near Nagorno-Karabakh into Turkey and onward to Europe. This is energy, oil and gas pipelines, driven largely by BP, by the way it is rail transport, road transport; it's an air corridor that the U.S relied on during the war in Afghanistan and their fiber optic cables.
I'm so that there are interests at play, but this time around the Trump Administration has not been focusing on this conflict, neither did the Obama Administration. Frankly, I think the high point of focus was in the George W. Bush Administration, so that's the point of that op-ed. You're so kind to cite, if the U.S is not there to participate there's a vacuum the Minsk group, which is co-led by the United States, Russia and France - can't really do a lot. You've got Turkey that has long supported Azerbaijan under the motto, “We are one nation and two states”.
So. that vacuum I think is being filled as we speak by Russia and Turkey.