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April 12, 2005

ACNIS Releases Expert and Public Opinion Results on Karabagh Issue

Yerevan—The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) today issued the results of both a public survey and a specialized questionnaire on “The Karabagh Story: 17 Years in Progress” which it conducted among 60 experts and 1900 citizens from Yerevan and all of Armenia’s regions.

ACNIS director of administration Karapet Kalenchian greeted the invited guests and public participants with opening remarks. “Over 17 years the prospect for final regulation of the Karabagh issue still seems vague. This roundtable aims to focus on such thorny issues as the possible outcomes of the conflict, the reasons for delaying the regulation, its failure, and weakening of the victorious spirit as a result of diplomatic inability,” Kalenchian underlined.

ACNIS research coordinator Stepan Safarian focused in detail on the findings of the opinion poll. Accordingly, 11.6% of surveyed citizens and 6.7% of experts are completely satisfied with the official information about the Karabagh peace process. The vast majority of citizens (64.7%) and experts (91.6%) are not satisfied with it.

67.7% of the surveyed citizens and 83.3% of experts assert that the Karabagh question is the priority issue for Armenia’s foreign and domestic policy today.

Public Survey

Yes

67.7%

No

16.5%

Difficult to answer
15.8%

 

Expert Survey

Yes

83.3%

No

6.7%

Difficult to answer
10%

However only 11.9% of the citizens and 5% of experts are completely satisfied with the Karabagh negotiation process, 61.9% and 71.7% are more dissatisfied than satisfied or completely dissatisfied. To the extent the negotiation process is deemed unsatisfactory, 51.5% of citizens and 83.3% of experts hold accountable the Armenian authorities.

72.4% of respondent citizens and 75% of experts think that Armenia, the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh and Azerbaijan should take part in Karabagh negotiations, whereas 14.8% and 20% accept the dialogue between Mountainous Karabagh and Azerbaijan without Armenia.

Public Survey

Armenia and Azerbaijan

6.9%

Armenia, the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh, and Azerbaijan

72.4%

Mountainous Karabagh and Azerbaijan
14.8%

Difficult to answer
5.9%

 

Expert Survey

Armenia and Azerbaijan

0%

Armenia, the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh, and Azerbaijan

75%

Mountainous Karabagh and Azerbaijan
20%

Difficult to answer
5%

46.3% of citizens see the status of Mountainous Karabagh as an independent and sovereign republic and 38% as a part of Armenia. Among the experts, these figures are 33.4% and 30%, respectively. 50% of the polled citizens and 73.3% of experts agree to make territorial concessions to Azerbaijan at the expense of the security zone.

Public Survey

Yes

50%

No

37.7%

Difficult to answer
11.4%

Refused to answer
0.9%

 

Expert Survey

Yes

73.3%

No

16.7%

Difficult to answer
8.3%

Refused to answer
1.7%

Only 24.6% of citizens and 18.3% of experts believe in the peaceful resolution of the issue during the next 5 years. Nonetheless, 34.5% of citizens and 43.3% of experts exclude Azerbaijan’s resumption of war against Armenia and Mountainous Karabagh, 44.5% and 36.7% find it difficult to answer. In the event of a new war, 71.9% of citizens and 81.7% of experts are ready to participate to their utmost in the defense of Mountainous Karabagh. It is noteworthy that only 24.8% and 38.8% are ready to take part in military actions, while 41.8% and 97.9% prefer other work supporting the war.

The second item on the day’s agenda was a presentation by ACNIS policy analyst Alvard Barkhudarian on “What and How Much We Know about the Karabagh Problem: Issues of PR Strategy.” “Let’s leave aside the senseless and tiresome claims that we, Armenians, have lost the PR war, and do our utmost to find ways to win it,” she emphasized. In her opinion, to achieve this goal, we should distinctly define a united Armenian standpoint, be apprised of the dynamics of Azerbaijan’s, other regional players’, and concerned international organizations’ approaches, and find possible levers to counteract anti-Armenian standpoints.

The formal interventions were followed by contributions by Hrant Khachatrian of the Constitutional Right Union; Edward Antinian of the Liberal Progressive Party; Noyan Tapan news agency political analyst Davit Petrosian; Albert Baghdassarian of the National Democratic Union; Armen Aghayan of the “Protection of Liberated Territories” public initiative; Grigor Guyumjian of the Armenian Democratic Party; National Press Club chairperson Narine Mkrtchian; Vardan Vardanian of Aib-Fe weekly; and several others.

44.4% of respondent citizens participating in the ACNIS poll are male and 55.6% female; 11.1% are 16-20 years of age, 25.1% 21-30, 20.8% 31-40, 19.7% 41-50, 13.1% 51-60, 9.1% 61 or above. 41.2% of them have received a higher education, 16.2% incomplete higher, 20.6% specialized secondary, 17% secondary, and 2.7% incomplete secondary training. 53.4% are actively employed and 21% unemployed, 8.7% are pensioners and welfare recipients, and 15.2% students. Urban residents constitute 65.5% of the citizens surveyed, while rural residents make up 34.5%. 30.2% of all respondents hail from Yerevan, and the rest are from outside the capital city.

All 60 professionals who took part in the specialized poll are from Yerevan. 68.3% of them are male, and 31.7% female; 29% are 20-30 years of age, 23.7% 31-40, 34.5% 41-50, 9.1% 51-60, 3.7% 61-70. All of the experts surveyed have received a higher education: 14.3% are candidates of science (PhD), 76.8% hold a Master’s degree, and 8.9% a Bachelor’s degree. The principal profession of 34.6% of the expert pool is journalism, 13.4% political science, 9.6% law and physics, 3.8% history and psychology, and so on.


Founded in 1994 by  Armenia's first Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffi K. Hovannisian and supported by a global network of contributors, ACNIS serves as a link between innovative scholarship and the public policy challenges facing Armenia and the Armenian people in the post-Soviet world. It also aspires to be a catalyst for creative, strategic thinking and a wider understanding of the new global environment. In 2005, the Center focuses primarily on civic education, conflict resolution, and applied research on critical domestic and foreign policy issues for the state and the nation.

For further information on the Center and its activities, call (37410) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; e-mail root@acnis.am or info@acnis.am

 
Related Links

The Armenian version of the press release:

Armenian version


Full Graphics

“The Karabagh Story: 17 Years in Progress”
Presentation of Public Opinion Poll Results
(PDF-format, 1.61 MBytes)



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