Analysis

Both sides are engaged in an arms race, there are repetitive escalating front line clashes, war rhetoric fuels the situation and there have been several virtual breakdowns in the peace talks.

Azerbaijan dissatisfied with Minsk Group

Azerbaijan has taken several steps to show its unhappiness with the Minsk Group’s inability to break the deadlock. In May 2008, Baku suggested replacing or changing the Minsk Group format. Azerbaijan then sponsored a resolution in the UN General Assembly reaffirming Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity (including Karabakh), and demanding immediate, complete and unconditional Armenian withdrawal. The resolution passed by 39-7, with 100 abstentions. The main countries in the Minsk Group voted against the resolution, saying that it was weighted in favor of Azerbaijan, diverging from the balance sought by the Group.

The conflict dealt with by the Minsk process

The Minsk process, with its many would-be mediators, has not proven effective in advancing a settlement. Agreement has not been reached concerning the identity of the parties to the conflict. Azerbaijan regards the conflict as being between Armenia and Azerbaijan, while Armenia claims not to be a party to the conflict, which supposedly involves only Azerbaijan and the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. For this reason it has not been possible to agree on a name for the conflict, which is referred to in OSCE documents as “the conflict dealt with by the Minsk process.”