By Edmond Y. Azadian
While the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan continue meeting and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) representatives continue visiting the region, the Karabagh conflict is still far from being resolved.
It is fairly obvious that the parties involved in the negotiations have a vested interest in keeping the issue unresolved, so that it may be used as bargaining power in order to wield pressure on Armenia and Azerbaijan.
People in Karabagh have held a referendum to declare independence, which no country has recognized yet. Armenia is in a precarious situation and should Yerevan recognize Karabagh’s independence, it will risk war with Azerbaijan. Since Armenia has not yet recognized Karabagh’s independence, it cannot ask nor expect other countries to recognize it.
Cynicism is rampant in international politics. Russia waged a war against Georgia and recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, ignoring Western calls for the principles of territorial integrity. Similarly, Europe and the United States forcibly partitioned the former Yugoslavia to grant independence to Kosovo.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, many minorities have broken away from the main countries to attain independence. For example, East Timor was emancipated from Indonesian rule, and more recently Southern Sudan became a new country. The issue of territorial integrity was not raised in any of those cases, certainly not loudly enough to stop the process.