A long series of betrayed hopes.
That's the only way to describe the mediation over Karabakh.
And it's sad to say, for the # time, "predictably, no agreement was reached". It's sad, frustrating and false.
Because every single failed meeting doesn't leave the situation the way it was before. No-decisions have as many consequences as decisions, and it's just an illusion to think that the status quo lasts forever unchanged.
At the beginning, 23 YEARS AGO, the path chosen was the military solution. Its consequences were dramatic and unacceptable. Displacement, isolation, nonrecognition, hate and regional instability.
Another military solution would have just the same consequences.
Then, 17 YEARS AGO, a political solution was tried. Just to wrap up all the possible settlements taken into consideration: the Curpus model, the Chechen Variant, the Praga Process, the "Common State", the asymmetric confederation and the Transcaucasian Confederation, the Paris Principles, the Andorra Variant, and more recently the Sochi and Kazan Russian sponsored initiatives, the last of which resulted in a joint statement.
In a nutshell its text says that the parties agreed that they will agree. Better than the opposite. BTW, everybody knows that the opposite means war.
And then all the meticulous work of filing of the Basic Principles would turn in nothing but wasted time.
In the meanwhile war&hate propaganda made the communities affected by the NK issue unable to accept any compromise. Inter-community confidence is extremely low and no serious measure is taken to reverse this condition which, itself, can prove to be an insurmountable hindrance to reach a peace. The consensus to Presidents over concessions is at stake and this most probably impacts their flexibility in negotiations. They are well aware of the radicalism widespread in the public opinion.
On the other end, who else if not the Presidents? any lower level meeting wouldn't be considered effective.
Why not, by the way?
It's clear that this stalemate is doomed to last long and the political solution is still very remote. In the meanwhile it will be helpful to try the Social Solutions.
Wise and smart initiatives were activated and facilitated. It's worthy to invest more on these, because no paper signed (if ever...) will prevent people from hating and potentially attacking each other.
People to people and CBM should become the standard good practice, together with common projects about security and de-escalation of tensions (similar to IPRMs and hotlines, to quote the Georgia sample), technical cross-communities activities and media coverage of successful co-operations.
Peace and compromises should be welcome, not imposed.
This must be felt with urgency.
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