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Azerbaijan Less Likely To Win Karabakh With Force

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Georgia's ill-fated bid to win back South Ossetia will discourage Azerbaijan from attempting to resolve the Nagorno Karabakh conflict by force, President Serzh Sarkisian of Armenia said on Thursday.

In a clear reference to Azerbaijan, Sarkisian pointed out that Armenia has repeatedly raised the alarm over “some regional countries” embarking on an “unprecedented” military build-up to prevail in territorial disputes with their neighbors.

“We believe that the military way of resolving conflicts is futile and that the events in South Ossetia will have a sobering impact on those who still have illusions about forcible solutions,” he told visiting senior defense officials from former Soviet republics making up the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

The officials were in Yerevan for a regular meeting of the governing body of the six-nation defense pact. Armenia assumed the CSTO’s rotating presidency during the meeting.

Sarkisian for the first time publicly drew parallels between the conflicts in Nagorno Karabakh and South Ossetia and criticized Georgia for its August 8 military assault on the breakaway territory, which triggered a harsh Russian retaliation. “The tragic events in South Ossetia showed that a military response to self-determination movements in the South Caucasus are fraught with serious military and geopolitical consequences,” he said.

They also underscored the need to settle regional ethnic conflicts on the basis of the principle of nations’ self-determination, added the president of Armenia Sarkisian.

Reported by RFERL Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2008. RFE/RL, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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