Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov returned from his Paris meeting with his Armenian counterpart Mnatsakanov, after which the Foreign Ministry issued a rosy statement: "a very positive and useful exchange of views took place in terms of achieving greater understanding and trust." The parties agreed to continue the "consistent and results-oriented negotiations" next month. The Ministers discussed a number of issues, including ways to prepare the population of both sides for peace, security and sustainable regional development.
Then Russian Foreign Minister S. Lavrov spoke, calling on Armenia to follow the example of Azerbaijan: "The statements on readiness to look for solutions, including those from Baku, deserve every support. We hope that Armenian friends will reciprocate."
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs made a little clarity, saying that the Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia "discussed a wide range of issues related to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and agreed on the need to take concrete measures to prepare the population for peace." Recall that the ministerial talks lasted four hours.
It seems peace is being approached between the two Caucasian countries, but experts say the people are being deceived. "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan should stop issuing optimistic statements on Karabakh. Reading the documents of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, one might think the negotiations are being conducted with benefit for Azerbaijan," the political analyst Elkhan Shahinoglu writes, pointing to the above text of the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"Such phrases soothe the occupier. For 25 years, we have been reading the same statements and explanations, while the occupation continues. If everything is as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs claims, and "discussions are going in a useful and positive direction," then why is nothing happening? I am confident that such statements are useful for Prime Minister Pashinyan. He faces internal problems and therefore tries to extend the status quo in Karabakh. Pashinyan is afraid that, using the contradictions in Yerevan, we will begin military operations to liberate Karabakh. And we must do this by continuing what we started in April 2016 in Karabakh and last year in Nakhchivan. In the meantime, it turns out that we are helping him. In fact, the Foreign Ministry must declare about the expectation of concrete steps from Yerevan, as there are no grounds for the occupation of the regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, Shahinoglu said.
Former Foreign Minister Tofig Zulfugarov shared his opinion on Facebook. In an article published in Turan "Six Theses Forgotten in a Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan" dated 11/13/2018 (http://www.contact.az/ext/news/2018/11/free/politics%20news/ru/76604.htm) he advises the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan to emphasize in official statements that the "new Armenian democrats," that is, Pashinyan"s so-called democratic power, continue to pursue a policy of annexing the territory of Azerbaijan, in every way trying to torpedo the OSCE peace process through the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group.
It is appropriate to say that it is not the continuation of ineffective negotiations, but decisive action that the Azerbaijani public demands from President I. Aliyev. The Karabakh Committee issued a statement in which it reports on its participation in the National Council"s Saturday rally and claims that the restriction of the right to free assembly and the problem of political prisoners are beneficial to Armenia and reinforce the occupation of Karabakh.
Unexpected support for the position of Azerbaijanis, who do not trust the vigorous assurances of the country's Foreign Ministry, came from Yerevan. The Caucasian Knot blogger Yerevantsi posted a message in which he told about the discussion of negotiations at the meeting of the Armenian political bloc My Step, in which Nikol Pashinyan participated. He described the situation in great detail, answered the questions of the deputies of the faction, gave information about the situation today, so that the deputies familiarized themselves with the approach of the authorities and knew how to answer journalists' questions on this topic. Pashinyan said that at the moment there is no solution, and he does not see this decision for the simple reason that the existing approaches have not been completely clarified.
"Lavrov"s plan says that 5 districts should be returned to Azerbaijan, and then we will see. We ask them - what"s in return? They don"t answer ... We demand that Azerbaijan be the first to say that it is ready to make concessions, and we will make our step. We are told that in this case they will be called traitors in their country. Well, we tell them: what, should we become traitors then? Negotiations continue, the rest will be seen along the way," Pashinyan said something like that," Yerevantsi writes.
If so, why then Minister E. Mammadyarov issues one joyful statement after another? The simplest explanation could be this: the authorities want to show people success in all directions, and negotiations on the fate of Karabakh are one of the most important ones.