By Abdul Kerimkhanov
It is increasing difficult for Armenia to preserve the status quo around the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as many people have access to the objective information from different sources in the digital information age, the head of the Caucasus Center for Strategic and International Studies (CCSIS), Malik Ayub Sumbal, said in an interview with Azernews.
Sumbal made the remarks while commenting on the debate between Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the Munich Security Conference held on 15 February.
He noted that President Aliyev provided very strong historical references based on solid and substantial evidence that clearly says that Nagorno-Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan and is recognized as its legal entity.
Sumbal believes that the body language of President Aliyev was much more confident as compared to Armenian PM.
The expert reminded that during the debate, Aliyev urged more international pressure on Armenia to force it to follow the UN resolutions and stated that the OSCE Minks group co-chairs must explain Yerevan that Nagorno-Karabakh is neither Armenia, nor an independent country and is not recognized.
Sumbal further said that Armenian PM will face immense pressure back at home.
"Pashinyan badly failed to defend the Armenian stance of the illegal occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh. His counter-narrative of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev's debate is not logical and hard to believe for anyone who is objective," Sumbal stated.
He added that Armenian politics is based on anti-Azerbaijan rhetoric and hate so Pashinyan’s popularity level may fall in his country.
"I think President Ilham Aliyev exposed Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan on an international security forum and this is a great victory for Azerbaijan to tell the world that Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan and Armenia is an occupant," Sumbal concluded.
Note that the panel discussions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with the participation of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan have been held as part of the Munich Security Conference on February 15.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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