Resumption of military actions is dangerous for Azerbaijan

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
April 1, 2004


The chairman of the NKR National Assembly committee of foreign
relationships Vahram Atanessian does not think that after being
elected president Ilham Aliev will carry on with his fathers’ policy.
“I said this on one occasion. The young president does not have
authority in the country as his father used to have, and naturally it
takes time for him to gain self-confidence in the post of president.
I think he will use the time in his favour, that is he will not make
such decisions that may cause shocks in the Azerbaijani republic. On
the other hand, I do not think that father president Aliev was so
peace-loving or was so enthusiastic with the settlement of the
Karabakh conflict as some Armenian politicians often state. In this
respect I do not see any obvious differences in the approaches adopted
by father Aliev and today’s announcements of son Aliev. As to the
economic development of Azerbaijan, I think this is another myth that
is again used in Azerbaijan as a home consumption good. The problem of
export of the Azerbaijani oil today also continues to be under
suspicion. Up today the serious Azerbaijani experts think that
building the whole economy of the country on the export of oil may be
harmful for Azerbaijan in the sense that in case of certain economic
progress it will be a more dependent country than any other country of
the region where the foreign investments are second to the investments
in Azerbaijan. The West, making investments of billions of dollars,
cannot admit the militarist announcements of Azerbaijan.” May the
economic progress enable Azerbaijan to militarize its political,
economic and all the other institutions? “I think no because the West
will be bound to defend all its investments through peace first of
all.” Answering the question of talks in the Azerbaijani political
circles to regulate the problem by use of force, Vahram Atanessian
said, “I do not share the viewpoint that the recent home political
developments in Armenia will be used by Azerbaijan to solve the
problem of Karabakh though military ways, because any escalation in
Armenia and the South Caucasian region on the whole is not favourable
for Azerbaijan as a situation has occurred when all the countries are
interested in promoting peace and not making a step backward.
Azerbaijan may achieve something through talks, I mean compromises
that should be made by both Karabakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan. That the
neighbour countries may make use of the instability of the home
situation of one another, I think that if guarded by this logic since
1994 we have had many occasions to make use of the already unstable
home political situation in Azerbaijan.” In reference to the
negotiations for the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, V. Atanessian
mentioned, “In Azerbaijan, Karabakh and Armenia researches are done on
this matter. I think instead of analyses it is necessary to think
about withdrawing the problem from the deadlock situation. There is an
impression that the situation is favourable for all the parties and
the parties themselves do not want to find the clue to the settlement,
so the inertness of the parties also brings about inertness among the
mediators. In my opinion, the cause for the present situation is that
NKR as a party of the conflict was left out of the negotiation
process, and it is time that the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan
find a way to liven up the negotiation process. I do not think the
clue to the settlement of the problem is outside the region. We are
still guided by the former stereotypes, that is when the Soviet Union
existed yet, the parties anticipated the reconciling mission of Moscow
but its results became obvious in 1989-1991. Such behaviour of Moscow,
to be frank, provoked an armed conflict. I think that today no
international organization, be it the Council of Europe, the European
Union, NATO or the UN, cannot undertake the mission of reconciliation.
What today takes place in Kosovo is on the responsibility of NATO
which months on bombed Yugoslavia and the UN that is the guarantor of
peace in Kosovo. I think the three conflict parties should assume the
responsibility: NKR, Azerbaijan and Armenia. For example, since 1994
the cease-fire is maintained in the area of the Karabakh-Azerbaijani
conflict, and there are no interested parties here. If the cease-fire
was maintained with the participation of the international
peacekeeping forces, in ten years the cease-fire would be broken at
least ten times.” “I am sure that on the occasion of the tenth
anniversary of the cease-fire the Azerbaijani authorities in the face
of the president of Azerbaijan will stand forth with the willingness
of Azerbaijan to maintain the cease-fire. The probability of
resumption of military actions is first of all dangerous for
Azerbaijan in some respects, and especially, from the point of view of
preserving the political system,” said Vahram Atanessian.