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Millennium Association for Education and Research

Country Report

Potential of Azerbaijani and Armenian Peoples

For Peace-Building and Post-Conflict Cooperation

Survey in Armenia

Yerevan 2003

Introduction 3

Chapter 1. Research methodology 4

Chapter 2. Analysis of survey results 6

2.1 Description of survey participants

2.2 Past experience and current relations

2.3 Mutual perception and dispositions

2.4 Possibilities and conditions for reestablishment of the relations

2.5 Opinion of respondents about history and causes of the conflict

2.6 Image of the opposing party and striving for peace

2.7 Conditions for cooperation between Armenia and Azerbaijan

2.8 Counteracting factors and peace-building potential


Appendix 1. RA survey questionnaire

Appendix 2. NK survey questionnaire

Program Staff

Rubina Ter-Martirosyan – Project Director, Country Coordinator

Gevork Poghosyan – Methodology Expert


Darbinyan, Mkhitaryan, Samudyan, Vardanyan, Samvelyan, Obandganyan
This study was carried out by the Millennium Association for Education and Research in Armenian and Nagorno-Karabakh. The aim of the research was to reveal the attitudes of the Armenian population towards Azerbaijanis, as well as mutual perceptions and attitudes of Armenians and Azerbaijanis. One of the main objectives of the research was to uncover the existing potential for peace and the ways to utilize this potential for resolution of the conflict. Another objective was to find out the conditions for post-conflict cooperation and the spheres where, in the initial period after a peace accord is agreed, future relations can be established.
Chapter 1. Survey methodology
The survey has been performed in all marzes of Armenia as well as in Nagorno-Karabakh. The number of survey participants in each of the Armenian marzes was as follows:


Number of respondents





























Vayots Dzor





Number of respondents in each of the regions of Nagorno-Karabakh was the following:


Number of respondents



















In total, 1000 interviews were performed in cities and villages of the above-mentioned marzes in Armenia, and 200 in Nagorno-Karabakh.

In each settlement included in the sampling the interviewers worked choosing 10-35 sampling points in cities and 1-2 points in villages.
The interviewers completed the questionnaires at the homes of the respondents. Random sampling was used during the interviews. In each household, only one adult respondent (aged 18 or over) was randomly chosen. The person in the household whose birthday was closest to the date of interview (in future, not in the past), was selected for interviewing.
After coding, the information from the questionnaires was entered into a database and quantitatively analyzed with the SPSS program.
Chapter 2. Analysis of survey results
2.1. Description of survey participants
67.7% of survey participants in Armenia are inhabitants of urban communities and 32.3% are from rural communities.

Chart 1. Settlement of survey participants
he respondents belong to the following age groups:

18 – 25 years old 21.1%

26 – 40 years old 31.2%

41 – 60 years old 29.7%

61 and over 18.0%

The majority of the respondents (66.4%) have reached secondary education; 27.1% of the respondents have higher education (Bachelor’s or Master’s degree). 5.3% have elementary education and 0.3% are illiterate.

Chart 2
. Education of survey participants
53.0% of survey participants are female, and 47.0% of them are male.
Migration status of the respondents is the following: 75.5% of them are locals, 18.8% are refugees, and internally displaced persons constitute 5.7%.
The majority of survey participants (62.6%) are unemployed. Out of 37.4% employed respondents 37.7% (141 people) are state servants, another 26.6% (100 people) are engaged in farming, and 22.2% (83 people) are working in private sector. The remaining respondents are engaged in business (18 people), military service (16 people), etc. (Appendix 1. Q. 6):
The unemployed respondents represent following social groups:
Chart 3. Activities of unemployed respondents

Overwhelming majority of respondents (94.5%) are not members of any organization, 3.0% are members of political parties, and 1.4% - members of voluntary organizations.
The age of survey participants in Nagorno-Karabakh is presented in Chart 4.
hart 4
. Age of respondents in Nagorno Karabagh

Unlike survey participants in the Republic of Armenia (RA), the majority of respondents in Nagorno Karabagh (NK) (52.5%) are employed. Their level of education is also different; the number of respondents with higher education is higher in NK.

Chart 5. Education of survey participants in NK

According to survey results, the average monthly household income of respondents in NK is comparatively higher than that of respondents in RA. Results of both surveys are presented in Table 1, below.

Table 1. Average monthly household income of respondents in RA and NK


Number of respondents (%)

RA survey

NK survey


No income




Up to 12.000 AMD




12.001 – 24.000 AMD




24.001 – 36.000 AMD




36.001 – 48.000 AMD




48.001 – 60.000 AMD




60.001 and more




Difficult to answer



2.2. Past experience and current relations
During the pre-conflict period, inhabitants of both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh have had contact with Azerbaijanis. They associated with nearly the same frequency in neighborly relations, at work, at market, at school and while serving in the military forces of the former USSR. Apart from the aforementioned contact between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, there have also been, (although few) some family links, some joint business ventures, and other examples of contact between the nations such as spending holidays together, etc. However, when turning to maintenance of those links, the picture drastically changes. Results of the survey performed in Armenia show that only 26 people have stated that former links with Azerbaijanis still exist, more between youth. This of course is not a big number; however it means that certain links between Armenians and Azerbaijanis are still sustained despite the continuing conflict. The survey has shown that there are both similarities and differences between inhabitants of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in terms of their past experience of relations with Azerbaijanis and their existing relations. According to the survey performed in Nagorno-Karabakh, the former relations have completely terminated.

While in Armenia 61 respondents have had contacts with Azerbaijanis during the post-conflict period (mostly respondents aged 18-25), in Nagorno-Karabakh only three respondents have.

In post-conflict relations, contacts established between Armenians and Azerbaijanis are mainly inter-personal in nature; they are also formed under conditions of border trade and joint business. It is also important to note that such relations have been established neither in Armenia nor in Azerbaijan: most of them have occurred outside of the South Caucasus and on territory of Georgia.
Out of 61 respondents who have established relations with Azerbaijanis during the post-conflict period, 14 respondents currently have an Azerbaijani friend, 12 of whom are keeping the connection mainly by meeting each other in a third country, communicating by phone or by e-mail.
The research also shows that in both Armenia and in Nagorno-Karabakh nearly equal numbers of respondents (in percentages) regret terminating contact with neighboring Azerbaijan (28.6% and 28.0% respectively). The opinion of respondents in Armenia regarding termination of contacts with Azerbaijanis is presented in Chart 6.
Chart 6. Opinion of RA respondents about terminating contacts with Azerbaijanis

The number of people who have indifferent attitude towards the termination of contact with Azerbaijanis differs in Armenian and in Nagorno-Karabakh: they constitute a bigger number in Nagorno-Karabakh and, accordingly, here the number of people who are glad about termination of relations is lower. We have to mention that those who regret the termination of contact tend to be in the higher age group. In addition, businessmen and farmers regret termination of contact more than other groups. This is not surprising, since they have had more contact with Azerbaijanis both during pre-conflict and post-conflict periods.

One can say that very little is remaining from formerly existing relations and quite weak links currently exist between the populations of the two countries. These links are based either on inter-personal relations, which were not influenced by the conflict or on economic interest, since business does not take nationality into account in all cases.
2.3 Mutual perception and dispositions
Participants of the survey in Armenia see more similarities between Armenians and Azerbaijanis than do the respondents in NK. In Armenia respondents have given the following responses regarding similarities: cuisine (30.3%), music (29.4%), common traditions (16.8%) and common traits of national character (10.2%). In Nagorno-Karabakh the majority (53.0%) responded that the two peoples have common cuisine and 22.5% think they have common music. Compared to respondents in NK, a smaller portion of respondents in RA see differences between languages, culture, traditions and history of the two peoples.
Differences between participants of the two surveys were revealed also while analyzing mutual perception of Armenians and Azerbaijanis.

Armenians’ perception of Azerbaijanis and Armenian self-evaluation

Positive traits, according to the respondents, are not very notable in Azerbaijanis, and the least common characteristics for Azerbaijanis are listed as cosmopolitism, internationalism, and a peaceful disposition, as well as mercy, reliability, honesty, responsibility and accuracy as personal characteristics. The most interesting finding from this portion of the research is that Armenian respondents’ opinion about Azerbaijanis nearly completely coincides with their opinion on how they imagine that Azerbaijanis evaluate Armenians.

In the opinion of Armenian respondents, together with all other positive characteristics, hospitality, diligence, peaceful disposition, enterprise and friendship are most notable in Armenians. The biggest difference in this section of the questionnaire was found in the issue of peaceful disposition; according to 21.5% of Armenian respondents, it is notable in Azerbaijanis and in the opinion of 94.5% it is notable in Armenians. Patriotism is a trait that is considered to be peculiar to both Armenians (93.6%) and Azerbaijanis (70.3%).
We have to note that the opinion of NK respondents in terms of evaluation of these characteristics differs in that, according to them, certain positive characteristics are more notable in Azerbaijanis as compared to the results from the RA respondents. Those characteristics are diligence, honesty, reliability and peaceful disposition. Respondents in NK listed certain characteristics as less notable in Azerbaijanis, specifically cosmopolitism, accuracy, enterprise, friendship and hospitality. In evaluations of the remaining positive traits, the difference is minor between respondents of NK and of RA.

Analyzing negative traits in the same manner, we see that according to the majority of respondents, apart from a lack of hospitality, all other negative traits are peculiar to Azerbaijanis. The minority of the respondents ascribes negative traits to Armenians; at that, respondents least of all characterized other Armenians by inhospitable, cruel, and lazy, and most of all by nationalism, stubbornness, ruthlessness, vindictiveness and lying and ruse. The biggest difference in answers regarding Armenian and Azerbaijanis is noted with regard to cruelty as a negative trait, while stubbornness is a trait which Armenian respondents say nearly equally characterizes Armenians (66.8%) and Azerbaijanis (71.8%):

While evaluating Armenians, respondents in NK are more reserved: according to their opinion, positive traits are less characteristic to Armenians than they are in the opinion of RA respondents. The only trait, which according to their opinion, is particularly notable in Armenians, is accuracy. Compared to respondents in Armenia, a smaller percentage of respondents in NK ascribed negative characteristics to Azerbaijanis. The same was true of negative traits that characterize Armenians: here as well, the percentage of NK respondents who ascribed negative traits to Armenians was smaller than of RA respondents. The only exception is that NK respondents consider Armenians not as hospitable as Armenians consider themselves to be.

Azerbaijanis’ supposed perception of Armenians and self-evaluation according to respondents in Armenian and Nagorno-Karabakh

In the opinion of the majority of Armenian respondents, it is supposed that Azerbaijanis do not think that the positive traits listed are notable in Armenians, with the exception of hospitality, patriotism, diligence, friendliness, and enterprise. The NK survey showed the same results. According to the respondents, Armenians assume that Azerbaijanis think that negative traits, especially stubbornness, animosity, ruse, vindictiveness, ruthlessness, lack of desire to compromise and rancor, are more notable in Armenians.

The majority of Armenian respondents think that Azerbaijanis ascribe to themselves all positive traits without any exception. A comparatively smaller percentage of NK respondents thinks that Azerbaijanis consider themselves to be cosmopolitan, and do not ascribe to Azerbaijanis particular negative attributes except nationalism.
We also have to note that it was the easiest for the respondents to evaluate themselves and most difficult to express an opinion about what they imagine that Azerbaijanis think of themselves.

2.4 Possibilities and conditions for reestablishment of the relations

This research has shown that despite the fact that only 1/3 of the respondents are now ready to have any relations with Azerbaijanis (at that, most of them are town-dwellers), 3/4 would like the relations between Armenians and Azerbaijanis to be reestablished.

More specifically, one quarter of respondents do not see any possibility to re-establish Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and quite a big number (43.9%) thinks it possible only under certain conditions. According to the survey results, there are five conditions which can contribute to that.
The primary condition is 1) the acknowledgement by Azerbaijan of the independence of NK, and the next one would be 2) the abolition of the blockade of Armenian by Azerbaijan. The remaining conditions are: 3) agreement between Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, 4) corresponding decision of both governments to cooperate and 5) the existence of political will of authorities in both countries to resolve the conflict.
This basically reflects the opinion of respondents that the question can be resolved only on a political level and totally depends on corresponding actions of the authorities of the two countries. What will change in the attitudes of the two peoples towards each other even in case the appropriate political decision is made? No decision can force people to treat each other better, especially when the two parties have accumulated enmity through years.
However, the results of the survey show that saying reestablishment of relations the respondents mean only business relations: mainly border trade, common business, inter-governmental and regional cooperation. In future, these relations can lead Armenians and Azerbaijanis to peace, which is the desire of absolute majority of respondents (97.0%). It should be noted that 100% of youth (respondents aged 18-25) are of that opinion. We should also note that out of the 13 respondents who do not want peace between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, 6 are state servants and officials.

hart 7
. The respondents’ desire of peace
For Armenians the main obstacles to the re-establishment of relations between the two nations and the signing of a peace agreement are found to be the memory of certain events, particularly the memory of massacres of Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, Sumgait, Baku and Kirovabad. The refusal on the part of Azerbaijan to return the NK territories and attitudes of both Azerbaijanis and Armenians towards each other are also seen as obstacles to re-establishing economic and cultural ties (see Appendix 1, Q. 34).
One can say that in general inhabitants of border settlements have more hostile attitudes towards Azerbaijanis and towards reestablishment of any relations with them.
Survey participants in NK differ slightly in their response from that of RA respondents. First, we have to note that only half of the NK respondents expressed a will for the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations to be reestablished and 1/3 of the respondents had difficulty saying whether it was possible or not. In addition, NK respondents consider the acknowledgement of NK independence as a main precondition for reestablishment of the relations, whereas the other issues, in their opinion, should not play a significant role.

2.5 Opinion of respondents about history and causes of the conflict
The opinions of RA and NK respondents about the nature of the conflict differ. While the majority of RA respondents (40.8%) think that the conflict between Armenians and Azerbaijanis is a territorial conflict, NK respondents (43.0%) believe it is a national liberation conflict. The next largest groups of RA respondents were divided on their opinion: one part considers it an interethnic conflict (28.0%), the other that it is of national liberation.
hart 8
. Classification of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict according to RA respondents
Respondents’ opinions about the period when the conflict started are also divided; according to survey results there are two approaches (and the opinions of respondents of the two surveys nearly coincide in these terms). The majority (59.2%) thinks that it began at the end of 80s of the Twentieth Century, while 35.3% believe it originated from the beginning of the Twentieth Century. The first opinion is more strongly supported by the age group of “61 and over” and the second option by representatives of age group “18-25”.
Among the events which took place at the beginning of the Twentieth century, respondents have mainly mentioned the killing of Armenians in 1918 by “musafatists” with the assistance of Turkish army (48.2%), attempts by the musafatists to occupy Shushi and the whole of Karabakh with the assistance of the Turkish army in 1918 (25.8%) and mass killings of Armenians in Shushi and bordering Armenian villages in 1920 by musafatists with the assistance of the Turkish army (23.8%). Every fifth respondent had difficulty naming any event that happened at the end of the Twentieth Century relative to Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. The NK survey provided the same results.
Regarding events during the middle of the Twentieth Century, it is worth mentioning that all respondents in NK had difficulty naming any, whereas many RA respondents (69.5% or 31 people) noted mass rioting and the murders of Armenians in 1967 in Nagorno-Karabakh. Another 3 respondents mentioned the murder of an Armenian boy in Berdashen in 1967 by an Azerbaijani school director; approximately one quarter of the respondents (46 people) had difficulty remembering any event of that period connected with the conflict.
We see that this conflict is embedded in respondents’ consciousness as a chain of violence and killings which the neighboring country has performed throughout the years of the last century with varying intensity. For resolution of the conflict, it is important to know how the key causes of the current conflict between Armenians and Azerbaijanis are perceived.
According to survey results, RA respondents’ opinion on this issue is diverse: half of the respondents (50.9%) have mentioned the territorial claims of Armenia to Azerbaijan (in NK 70.0%), while one third (32.8%) mentioned the infringement of political, social and economic rights of the Armenian community in Nagorno-Karabakh by the Azerbaijani government. It is interesting that a significantly lower number of NK respondents (only 19.0%) have mentioned this cause. While one fifth of RA respondents have also mentioned historically formed enmity between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, only 9% of NK respondents regard it as a cause of the conflict.
Thus, we see that here, like in many other questions, NK respondents are more consolidated in their opinion, and, one can say, their opinion is more clearly divided than that of the RA respondents. A possible explanation is the fact that they have been participants in the events many times and the conflict has developed in their immediate surroundings.
In the opinion of majority (73.7%) of the respondents, violence against Armenians in Baku, Kirovabad and Sumgait in 1988 triggered the conflict. According to the opinion of 12.6% of respondents, the meetings and demonstrations in Stepanakert and Yerevan for independence of NKAA from Azerbaijan acted as a motive. These two opinions have divided with a different proportion in NK survey – that is, 52.5% and 38.0% accordingly.
The conflict has influenced people in different ways, and the population of Nagorno-Karabakh naturally suffered bigger losses. Relatives of the majority of respondents in NK (57.5%) were victims of the conflict (28.2% in case of RA survey), 22.5% have lost their friends (12.5% in case of RA survey), and 16.5% became refugees (17.4% in case of RA survey), and 12.0% have lost their homes. Populations of bordering villages have suffered from this conflict relatively more.
The conflict did not influence 28.3% of respondents in RA; those are mainly representatives of “18-25” and “26-40” age groups and inhabitants of central marzes of Armenia.
2.6 Image of the opposing party and striving for peace

It is known that in many cases collective attitude or collectively formed opinions towards a certain phenomenon can be much more extreme than the individual ones. We already clarified the way that the respondents picture Azerbaijanis and the characteristics which they ascribe them. This image of Azerbaijan is formed within Armenian society; many of the respondents do not have experience of communication with Azerbaijanis yet they have expressed the opinion, and it is an opinion that has existed for a long time.

Among Armenians the formation of the image of the opposing party is negative. About half of the respondents (44.9%) evaluate the attitude of their people towards Azerbaijanis as hostile, whereas the question regarding their personal opinion shows that only 29.3% have hostile attitude towards them. The rest are either indifferent (26.9%), or have ordinary attitude towards Azerbaijanis (26.9%). The attitude of the majority (63.9%) is said to be formed based on personal experience and observations, the rest (29.1%) base their attitude on information provided by mass media.
The survey results show that 3 main images of the enemy have been formed. Those images are graphically presented in Chart 9.
We see that the image of the enemy is formed with the following 3 elements: Azerbaijan as a country or state, the Azerbaijani government and the Azerbaijani people, which are parts of a single whole. Apparently the terms “Azerbaijan” or “Azerbaijani” by themselves generate certain hostile associations for the respondents and Armenians in general.
9. Image of enemy through the eyes of the respondents
According to the survey results, there are two main ways to overcome negative attitudes between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, and implementation of both requires a long time. The first way is the establishment of cooperation between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in social, economic and cultural spheres (29.6%), the second is education of the current generation and change of the education system (21.2%). We have to note that a higher importance is ascribed to these changes in NK (41.5%).
The first option cannot be put into practice currently (however we must note that under the table economic cooperation does exist between Armenians and Azerbaijanis), and the second option requires several decades. Nevertheless, it is never too late to begin. By spreading positive information, mass media can play a significant role in the improvement of relations (17.4%) in both countries.
While half of the respondents in RA think that agreement between Armenians and Azerbaijanis is possible, only 21.5% of the respondents in NK think so, and 60.5% in NK could not tell whether it is possible. However, absolute majority (94.8%) of even those respondents who do not see such possibility or do not know whether such possibility exists would like to see durable peace between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. Only 68% of NK respondents have expressed such desire and the rest (28.5%) do not have any position in this question.

The main way to achieve agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan is still the resolution of the Karabakh question in a just manner. The respondents apparently did not take into account that what is just for Armenians is unjust for Azerbaijanis.

It is difficult to say whether a just resolution of the Karabakh question will contribute to achieving agreement between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. Certainly until now neither of the two countries has wanted to make any considerable concessions. But even if concessions were made it is possible that issues besides the territory of Nagorno Karabakh would continue to cause tension between the two countries.
In fact the desire for peace is obvious, although the means to achieve peace may in itself be a matter of dispute. However, existence of the desire is itself quite an important finding of this research. If leaders in each country are willing to take clear steps toward peace, it will surely have a positive impact. Most of the respondents have lost relatives and friends in the conflict; and the main reason for wanting to establish peace is to prevent more loss (in RA - 69.5%, in NK - 81.6%) and to prevent the creation of more refugees and displaced people (13.3%).
For those who do not want to see peace between Armenians and Azerbaijanis the main reason for such disposition is the desire to take revenge on the enemy (in RA - 42.1%, in NK - 71.4%). In the opinion of 58.0% of the RA respondents (in NK - 21.0%), the conflicting party would like to achieve peace. One third of the respondents do not know whether Azerbaijanis want to achieve peace or not (in NK – three quarters do not know), and 12.9% think that Azerbaijanis do not have such desire (in NK - 4.5%). Armenian respondents believe that the main reason Azerbaijanis would want to achieve peace coincides with the respondents’ own reasoning. However the reasons for not wanting to achieve peace are different: the basic one is that the opposing party is not ready to make concessions and does not acknowledge the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh.
This is quite an interesting, though not perhaps a logical approach: the majority of respondents are also not ready to make concessions in issues concerning Nagorno-Karabakh, however it does not keep them from striving for peace. This once again demonstrates that Armenians do not visualize peace with Azerbaijanis without solution of NK issue and the acknowledgement of its independence by Azerbaijan.

One can say that striving for peace is solely a desire in nature and does not reflect actual readiness to undertake concrete actions, make concessions or change attitude towards the issue. Another interesting question is what is peace and what is it we are striving for? According to survey results, peace in the first place is the complete termination of military activities between the two countries (60.0%) and establishment of economic relations between the two countries (27.7%): For a certain part of respondents, peace means possibility to have border trade (15.6%) and possibility to travel from one country to the other (14.0%).

Thus, we can say that peace is perceived first in its direct sense, that is, as a term opposite to war, then in an economic sense and in a sense of freedom of movement. We have to note that each fifth NK respondent does not visualize peace.
2.7 Conditions of cooperation between Armenia and Azerbaijan
Factors which can hinder or contribute to the development of cooperation, play a big role in terms of conditions of cooperation. As the results of the survey show, many factors can hold back the reconciliation of Armenians and Azerbaijanis. Survey participants feel that an influential role is played by the following factors: the unsuccessful attempts of leaders of the two countries to achieve compromise, lack of desire of the leaders to establish peace, and interest of foreign powers in the prolongation of the conflict. In NK, lack of desire to achieve peace is the most important factor.
This means that both internal and external factors can hinder reconciliation. We can assume that even if leaders of the two countries have a desire to establish peace and their attempts to achieve compromise are successful, there is, however, a possibility that influence of a third party will disturb the process of reconciliation.
We have to note that the respondents equate “reconciliation of Armenians and Azerbaijanis” with “peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan”, since the same factors, according to their opinion, influence both of the ideas.
In the case of establishment of peace, only 59.9% of the respondents would personally like to see post-conflict cooperation. Each fifth respondent does not have such a desire and the main reason for this is the “historical enmity and distrust towards Azerbaijanis” (74.9%), “lack of desire, indifference” (12.8%), with historical enmity being more manifested in the answers of refugees and internally displaced people.
Chart 10. Reasons for not wanting to have post-conflict cooperation

In the opinion of respondents who have a positive attitude towards post-conflict cooperation it will firstly become a guarantee of political sustainability for our region, and secondly, it will foster economic development of countries of our region. In NK, we have an opposite picture: they first expect economic development and then political sustainability.

We see that the attitude of respondents towards post-conflict cooperation depends on their approach to the following issue: the more globally they think, grounding on the interests of the country or even the region, the more they are ready for post-conflict cooperation, since they realize its consequences. Those who base their opinions on personal attitude have an opposite disposition.
Spheres of cooperation preferable for the respondents are first border trade (40.3%), then intergovernmental cooperation (30.5%) and common business (30.0%). Respondents have also mentioned joint realization of social programs (11.2%), and cooperation between NGOs (4.2%). In the opinion of 8.8%, such cooperation is impossible. We have to note that despite their desire to participate in cooperation activities, the majority of respondents (73.9%) consider intergovernmental cooperation as necessary and possible (in NK - 37.0%).
According to survey results, both Armenia and Azerbaijan will have the same benefits from post-conflict cooperation: the security of the country will be strengthened (38.5% in RA, however only 16.5% of NK respondents think that this cooperation can strengthen the security of our country). Other benefits listed by participants are that economic development will be fostered (35.4%), as well as the fact that cooperation will contribute to economic sustainability (14.4%) and enrichment of the country (14.4%). Respondents’ personal benefits from possible cooperation are feeling of personal security (44.9%) and opportunity of general trade (12.2%). In the opinion of 1/3 of the respondents, this cooperation will not give them anything (in NK, they constitute about 40%).
Public opinion is also very important for resolution of regional conflicts, since it influences not only each generation, rooting enemy attitudes in the consciousness of young people, but also it has an impact on political decision making, since the leadership of the country strives to keep its ratings high by forming conflict resolution strategy in accord with the public opinion.
In the opinion of majority of Armenian respondents, the following factors can influence the existing public opinion about establishment of peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan:

- Fair resolution of Karabakh issue (60.9%)

- Activation of governmental efforts (12.0%)

- Termination of territorial claims of the two countries to each other (11.6%)

Here the matter actually concerns the things which can change the opinion of the respondents themselves, since this survey is also a study of public opinion.
Fair resolution of Karabakh issue

First among all the options is fair resolution of the Karabakh issue. We assume that the term “fair” is expected to denote a condition that is fair for both parties. If we suppose that a fair resolution is possible, then the subject of conflict ceases to exist and the conflict can in fact be considered as resolved (surely only in the political, official sense does it remain unresolved). At the same time, the aim of influencing public opinion is to create a favorable atmosphere for introduction of options of mutual concessions; we are sure that it is possible to achieve results only by way of mutual concessions. However, it appears that the survey respondents think of a solution as being a case of which only the opposing party has to make concessions. It is unknown how much time is needed for the attitude of the two peoples towards each other to change. However, government and civil society leaders can take steps toward reconciliation before the underlying change in public opinion is demonstrated by the public.

Activation of governmental efforts

Currently we have a situation where it seems no progress is made in terms of conflict resolution and the government does not undertake any actions. A more active behavior can indeed influence the change in public opinion.

Termination of territorial claims of the two countries to each other

Territorial claims are also connected with Nagorno-Karabakh. One can say that this is rather the claim of Azerbaijan, since Armenia does not strive to join Nagorno-Karabakh to its territory, but agrees to the option of its independence and does not have any territorial claims to Azerbaijan. Again, it turns out that in order to change public opinion, according to the respondents, it is necessary for the opposing party to decline from its claims, which is also a one-sided option of concessions.

Nearly each tenth respondent (9.6%) thinks that establishment of trade and economic relations can influence public opinion.
It is known that mass communication is one of the easiest ways to influence public, considering that most of the respondents get information both about the conflict and about both countries from mass media (see Appendix 1, Q. 44 and Q. 73). Only 7.1% have mentioned that termination of military promotion and hostile images of the other country in the mass media can influence public opinion. However, more research would be needed to evaluate perceptions of the public if a different set of images was consistently displayed in mass media.
2.8 Counteracting factors and peace-building potential

In this conflict, part of the difficulty in relations may have been formed by the dynamic that one party (Armenia), sees itself as supportive of the resolution of the conflict (see Appendix 1, Q. 73), but thinks that the opposing party is not ready for cooperation (see Appendix 1, Q. 72; Appendix 2, Q. 72). However, according to survey results, only 68.5% of the respondents in NK are for the resolution of the conflict. We can explain this by the fact that they are not confident that resolution of the conflict will be beneficial for them.

We already mentioned in previous paragraphs that both internal and external factors influence the process of conflict resolution. External forces, according to the survey, prevail over the internal ones; according to approximately 1/4 of the respondents, this conflict also serves the interest of political elite and in the opinion of each tenth respondent, it serves the interests of military elite.
We can assume that existence of external forces and external interests is what does not allow being confident that the established peace can be sustainable: only 1/3 of the respondents think that peace, when achieved, will be sustainable (in NK, they constitute only 11.5%).
The way to establish peace, unambiguously, is the resolution of the Karabakh issue. We can even say that “establishment of peace with Azerbaijanis” and “resolution of the Karabakh issue” actually have the same meaning for many people. Very few respondents imagine that it is possible to settle peace avoiding the Karabakh issue.
For the establishment of peace, data suggests that participants see government is responsible in the first place (82.4%), and each single individual must put efforts to establish peace (12.8%). In NK, this proportion is not so strict: 66.5% think that it is the problem of government, and 21.5% - that it is the problem of each single citizen. At that, the majority of respondents (57.2%) are aware of the attempts to achieve peace which were made on the presidential level, and 42.4% know about the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group. Each fifth respondent is not aware of any peace-building activity.
The activities of respondents who previously had connection with peace-building processes involved participation in various events organized by NGOs, as well as scientific, educational, cultural and inter-religious cooperation.
Despite the fact that the survey results testify to the clear desire of the respondents for peace, when speaking about concrete activities, they are not as clearly sure where to begin. One positive note is that (21.6%)say they are ready to convince their friends and acquaintances that peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan has to be established. This may be a very effective step in the work towards softening public opinion about reconciliation. Although the majority (67.5%) is not ready to do anything the 2% that is ready to contribute to mass media may in fact have a far reaching impact. Another positive sign is that 6.2% of respondents feel so strongly about the possibility of peace that they are willing to participate in negotiations themselves. If 67.5 % of respondents do not themselves feel ready to take action for peace, we can hope that at least they will not impede the efforts of the 29.8% of their compatriots who are ready (sum of first 3 categories listed in graph below).
Chart 11. Actions that respondents are ready to undertake to establish peace

Thus, it turns out that the abstract striving for peace of the respondents and the majority of Armenians in general is based on the desire for peace, which is one of characteristic desires of people, the desire for security. However, realizing what peace can give in reality, in our opinion, they will be ready to do more and even to accept concessions, and surely will be willing to do so if the opposing party also makes appropriate concessions.
It is in the best interest of Armenia to resolve this conflict as soon as possible, since the continuous blockade by Azerbaijan is one of the main obstacles to the development of our economy. In addition, this conflict hinders the development of the whole region. When conflicts remain intractable for a long time, a feeling of hopelessness arises among participants to the conflict. This also negatively affects the peace-building process. Regional conflicts are resolved more effectively and peacefully without participation of a third party, and based only on personal, regional interests in reconciliation, especially considering that interests of external powers very rarely coincide with the true best interests of the region.
It is interesting that despite the negative attitude of Armenians towards Azerbaijanis, if peace were declared today 1/3 of the respondents have said they would be ready to live with Azerbaijanis again. Even considering that only 15% of the respondents in NK feel ready to live in mixed communities at the present time, there clearly exists the possibility and the hope of having relations with the neighboring country. These first steps toward reconciliation may start on the level of border trade or common business, but with time and real efforts at reconciliation, hope can turn into the reality of living in peace with Azerbaijanis in

the new century.

This study has identified some of the key positive and negative factors which constitute the potential for peace and also for continuation of the conflict. These factors are presented in Scheme 1 (below). The scheme shows that the positive factors are fewer than the negative ones, however if it is possible to strengthen the positive ones and weaken the negative ones the establishment of peace will become more viable.
The research shows that in Armenia this conflict has most strongly influenced the perceptions of the populations of border settlements and Nagorno-Karabakh, and that they have more hostile attitudes towards Azerbaijanis and more negative attitudes towards post-conflict cooperation with them.
The survey results demonstrate that Armenians wish for peace, but the conditions for that peace are very strict and the majority is still not ready to make concessions regarding Azerbaijan. The main obstacles to peace felt by research participants are 1) the territorial dispute regarding Nagorno-Karabakh and 2) historically formed enmity towards Azerbaijanis.
For the resolution of such conflicts a long term approach is needed. External influences can play an important role either in the escalation or the de-escalation of the conflict and it will be up to the international community and leaders within each country to point a course towards peace and away from conflict. The results of this research demonstrate clearly that the Armenian people long for peace.

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