Resolution of Karabakh conflict will require compromise from both Yerevan and Baku - Charles Kupchan, EXCLUSIVE

  08 November 2017    Read: 2987
Resolution of Karabakh conflict will require compromise from both Yerevan and Baku - Charles Kupchan, EXCLUSIVE
Former special assistant to the former US President Barack Obama, former director of the Center for Europe at the National Security Council, Former Senior Director for European Affairs, Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University, Charles Kupchan gave exclusive interview to presents you the interview:

- There are talks on the withdrawal of the US from the nuclear deal. How do you think about it?

The new U.S. strategy toward Iran is still evolving. It is of critical importance that the nuclear deal (JCPOA) remain intact. If the United States backs away from this deal, fissures will open up among the key countries that came together and fashioned a consensus around the deal. The United States would be left isolated and estranged from its allies. Iran will have an excuse to stop upholding its end of the bargain, and might ramp up its nuclear program. If so, the international community would be divided about how best to respond. America’s partners should impress upon Washington the urgency of keeping the nuclear deal intact. At the same time, they should engage Washington on its valid concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile program, possible follow-on agreements to the JCPOA. By defending the nuclear deal while also addressing through separate mechanisms Iran’s problematic behavior, America’s partners can help persuade Washington to stand by the JCPOA.

- After referendum of the Kurdistan Regional Government (PKK) held its independence, Iraqi troops launched an attack and took the control in Kirkuk. Now Barzani wants to cancel the results of the referendum. What is expected in the region in case of the creation of a separate state of "Iraqi Kurdistan"?

The KRG made a strategic mistake in deciding to go ahead with the referendum without the support of Iraq, the countries of the region, or the United States. As a consequence of the bid for independence, the Iraqi government responded with force, and the KRG has paid a serious price in terms of autonomy and revenue. Although the Kurds have been effective anti-ISIS partners of the United States in Iraq and Syria, Washington does not support Kurdish independence in Iraq and believes it would bring considerable instability to the region. As ISIS continues to lose ground in Iraq, the country’s communities need to work together to advance political unity and economic growth.

- ISIS is losing its position in Iraq and Syria. What will happen next? Where can ISIS fighters go?

As ISIS loses ground in Iraq and Syria, many of its fighters are being killed or captured, and the group is likely to return to being primarily an insurgent guerilla group in those countries instead of holding territory and operating as a quasi-state. In addition, some ISIS fighters will find their way to other countries. Many countries are at risk of ISIS-controlled or inspired attacks, however the bulk of the fighters may go to unstable countries like Libya where they can join up with existing cells.

- The countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia are deeply concerned about the intensification of terrorism around the world. No country in the world, of course, is guaranteed from terrorist attacks. How to stand against terrorism? Is there any way to fight against ISIS virus?

The international community had no choice but to attack and dismantle ISIS strongholds in Iraq and Syria. But one effect of the success of this effort is that ISIS could seek to enhance its activities elsewhere. Vigilance and intelligence cooperation will be crucial to dealing with this increased threat.

- As you know, Armenia occupied the Azerbaijani territories - Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. How do you see the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

Like other longstanding territorial disputes, the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh is intractable – but not impossible to solve. Reasonable diplomatic proposals have been on the table over the past few years. A solution will require bold leadership and compromise by both Baku and Yerevan.

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