Azerbaijan refused the offer



Araratonline presents you the interview with Executive Director of Americans for Artsakh (AFA), international affairs analyst and consultant Mark Dietzen.


Mr. Dietzen, what do you make of the Minsk Group’s suggestion of sharing water resources? How would such a measure be implemented?

–  This is a good proposal in principal, but in order for it to practically implemented, the Minsk Group must clearly propose that the NagornoKarabakhRepublic be directly involved in such a confidence building measure. After all, the water that Ambassador Warlick was referring to in his tweet— the Sarsang Resevoir — is in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, so implementing such cooperation needs to involve direct negotiation between Stepanakert and Baku.

Why did Nagorno Karabakh decide to consider the joint management of water resources with Azerbaijan?

–   This is actually not a new proposal. In 2013, the government of the NagornoKarabakhRepublic put forth a proposal to Azerbaijan for cooperation on the use of water from the Sarsang Reservoir and the TartarRiver. This decision was a genuine gesture by Stepanakert to initiate a confidence building measure that would be beneficial for both the Armenians and the Azerbaijanis. Unfortunately, despite Stepanakert’s extension of this olive branch, Baku’s foreign ministry categorically rejected the proposition, stating Baku’s absolute refusal to negotiate with the NagornoKarabakhRepublic.

Did the Minsk Group’s recent visit to Nagorno Karabakh have any influence on the water issue?

–   While the Minsk Group’s recent visit — more specifically, Ambassador Warlick’s tweet — helped to revisit the issue, it was not especially influential because the statement failed to specifically name “the sides” whose involvement in the project would be necessary. Ambassador Warlick’s vague statement read “This is #Sarsang reservoir. It would be a positive step if the sides could jointly manage water resources.” An influential statement would replace “the sides” with “the NagornoKarabakhRepublic and Azerbaijan.”

What would mutually beneficial cooperation in the water sphere look like?

 –  Direct dialogue and cooperation between the NagornoKarabakhRepublic and Azerbaijan on sharing water resources could result in the NagornoKarabakhRepublic supplying Azerbaijan with greater water resources for several of its western regions along the border with the NagornoKarabakhRepublic. In return, Azerbaijan could sell oil or natural gas to the NagornoKarabakhRepublic. Both the water and the oil could be sold at commercial prices. Cooperation in this sphere would be a first good step towards cooperation in other spheres. But this all depends on Azerbaijan’s willingness to be a real partner for peace by significantly changing the aggressive behavior it has demonstrated over the past two decades.

Elena Chobanyan

Posted by on Jun 2 2014. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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