BAKU: Analyst plays down possibility of Armenia vacating Azeri lands

Analyst plays down possibility of Armenia vacating Azeri lands

Yeni Musavat, Baku
11 Jul 04

Text of F. Mammadov report by Azerbaijani newspaper Yeni Musavat on 11
July headlined “Unsuccessful propaganda of ‘successful Karabakh

In an interview with Zerkalo newspaper former state adviser and
currently political analyst Vafa Quluzada has said that the reports
suggesting that the Armenians are allegedly preparing to vacate some
of the occupied Azerbaijani districts and that negotiations to that
end are allegedly under way is nothing but empty speculation.

Quluzada added that the possibility of Armenia vacating some districts
is discussed only in Azerbaijan, while Armenia is not making any
preparations for leaving the territories. The political analyst said
that this could happen only if Azerbaijan agreed either to the
annexation of Nagornyy Karabakh and Lacin [Lachin] District to Armenia
or to the provision of Nagornyy Karabakh with the status of

Quluzada is an experienced diplomat who was involved in the Karabakh
talks for many years and is still believed to be one of the most
competent people on the issue. From this standpoint, his statements
reflect the real situation around Nagornyy Karabakh very
accurately. The point is that on seeing a lack of progress in the
negotiations, the government propaganda has started “generating”
speculation that some of Azerbaijan’s occupied districts may be
freed. For instance, there has been a report that the Turkish,
Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers had recently reached a
preliminary agreement that Armenia would vacate seven Azerbaijani
districts. It wasn’t long, however, before this report proved to be
wide of the mark. Or, reports are spread after every meeting between
the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers that the sides have
discussed the liberation of five or six districts.

In reality, however, the liberation of Azerbaijani territories can be
discussed only when and if Azerbaijan agrees to the annexation of
Nagornyy Karabakh together with Susa and Lacin Districts to
Armenia. Only against this backdrop can Armenia agree to negotiate the
issue of leaving the other territories.

However, the government propaganda machine is trying to create the
impression that thanks to the “successful” policy of [Azerbaijani
President] Ilham Aliyev the situation is changing for the better and
that the Armenians are about to agree to vacate a number of
districts. This primitive and futile technology has already been used
and is now designed to convince the public of Ilham Aliyev’s
“successful Karabakh policy”.