Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pashinian: Sargsyan vs. Aliyev -- a screw-up.

I wrote about the Armenian-Azerbaijan situation a few days ago. In this article published in Paykar on the 11th of June, Pashinian discusses Sargsyan's meeting with Aliyev.

Nikol Pashinian, Untitled.

I followed the Serzh Sargsyan-Ilham Aliyev meeting with great consternation through the media, awaiting news of the the inevitable scandal. The awaited news, however, was not announced in the daily reports, which means that the scandal has not taken place; moreover, pictures were published of Serzh and Ilham lost in smiles at one another like long-lost brothers who have chanced to meet on the street.

And why was I awaiting a scandal? If you remember his mid-March online question and answer blog, Serzh Sargsyan announced that he is going to confront Ilham Aliyev during his very first meeting with him: If he, meaning Ilham, thinks that the resolution of Mountainous Gharabagh is going to take place at the UN according to the arguments put forth by Azerbaijan, meaning according to Azerbaijan's principle of Azerbaijani national sovereignty, then he, meaning Serzh, doesn't have anything to talk to him about, meaning Aliyev. In making this announcement, Serzh was thinking that he was going to meet with Aliyev at the beginning of April, sometime during the NATO Summit at Bucharest. But the meeting never took place because Aliyev refrained from meeting Serzh and in this way forced the other leaders as well as Serzh to ask for a meeting with him [Aliyev. Italics mine for clarity]. I did not make a mistake in counting Serzh among the ranks of the leaders doing the asking, because a meeting with Aliyev was the only way that Serzh could have proven himself as a legitimate ruler of Armenia in front of the international community. Aliyev could not have been ignorant of the fact that, in agreeing to this meeting, he would be rendering an important service to Serzh, and, naturally, [Aliyev] could not have gone through with it without making the power of his position known, which he did at Bucharest to score definite political points, which he did at Moscow. No one noticed in Armenia that he made an announcement about the Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting during the Foreign Minister's trip to Moscow. Nalbandian had gone to Moscow to ask the Russians to persuade Ilham to meet with Serzh at St. Petersburg and not change his mind at the last minute. And Ilham, at the Russian Federation, exacted a heavy price for his agreement to meet with Serzh. RF President Dmitri Medvedev not only heaped praises upon him, his Azerbaijani counterpart, but he is getting ready to visit Baku in early July. It is understandable that under these conditions, Serzh Sargsyan could not remember what to say to Ilham; isn't it true that politics is the art of the possible [1]? It is simply not a good thing that during his very first visit with the President of Azerbaijan, he is found in a situation that the petitioners surrounding him consider to be, in a word: fuflo [2].

1. Otto von Bismarck said this; he is remembered for unifying Germany.
2. Fuflo is, I think, Russian slang for "screwing up." If someone knows for sure, please let me know.

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