In the negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan the future of Nagorno Karabakh has always been the elephant in the room, writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed for commonspace.eu.
"The complete absence of trust, the 35 years of conflict with vigorous anti-Armenian propaganda in Azerbaijan, and the nature of the Azerbaijani state - which according to all credible international assessments is far away from fully protecting and securing the rights of its citizens, both ethnic Azerbaijanis and representatives of ethnic minorities - makes the prospect of Nagorno Karabakh Armenians happily living as Azerbaijani citizens under Azerbaijani jurisdiction a very distant possibility. Decades are needed to create conditions for such an outcome to become a reality. Any attempt to artificially accelerate this process will result in new tensions and armed clashes, and may force many, if not all, Armenians out of Nagorno Karabakh. It is not a desirable outcome and will not contribute to lasting peace and stability in the region", he says. Poghosyan argues that "the only reliable way to avoid this is a long-term international presence in Nagorno Karabakh."
Click here to read the full op-ed on commonspace.eu.