Glen E. Howard: Fighting in Nagorno Karabakh going quite badly for Pashinyan

2 October 2020 12:26 (UTC+04:00)

By Trend

Fighting in Nagorno Karabakh is going quite badly for Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Glen E. Howard, President of the Jamestown Foundation, told Trend.

“I do not think there is a way out of this situation unless the Pashinyan government agrees to return to the negotiating table and I think the recent US-French-Russian statement is a sign by Moscow that is not happy with Armenia and it is putting pressure on Yerevan. On the other hand, Turkey has been giving its full support to Azerbaijan and would be completely fine with the idea that Azerbaijan retook all of Karabakh. I think the fighting for Armenia is going quite badly for Pashinyan and that is why they are resorting to statements like Turkish F16s shot down an Armenian fighter plane, Syrian jihadists, etc. etc,” he said.

Howard noted that at this time the expression: "the stars are in alignment" fits Azerbaijan quite well.

“Everything is going well for Azerbaijan internationally. In fact, the situation now for Azerbaijan is the best it has ever been in terms of the international environment and in terms of its military modernization program and preparation to defend its interests. It is clear to me that Azerbaijan has had enough of diplomacy and dialogue for the time being. Russia is not happy to support Yerevan now (unless Azerbaijan attacks Armenia proper, areas outside Karabakh) and then there is Turkey which is giving its full diplomatic, and political support to Baku. President Erdogan is going to support Azerbaijan fully, so I think the timing is perfect for Azerbaijan to defend itself in a measured and calculated way that forces Armenia to return to the peace negotiations table. It is entirely possible that Azerbaijan may retake a big part of its occupied territories. Azerbaijan outnumbers Armenia- ten million to 2-3 million. Militarily it has the upper hand I think over Armenia due to its military modernization program,” noted the expert.

Recalling the July provocation by Armenia, Howard noted that by taking the offensive action and killing of an Azerbaijani Major General in a drone strike in July, particularly when Armenia attacked Azerbaijan in a section of its territory that is not even part of Karabakh and is part of Azerbaijani territory, was a huge strategic error by Pashinyan.

“I think the Pashinyan government became a hostage of its own nationalist rhetoric and did something that was totally unacceptable to Azerbaijan,” he said.

He pointed out that the OSCE is meaningless and is becoming irrelevant. “I think Minsk Group should be changed and include Turkey.”

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