BAKU: Azeri politicians favour military solution to Karabakh,say tal

Azeri politicians favour military solution to Karabakh, say talks “pointless”

ANS TV, Baku
30 Aug 04

[Presenter] A regular meeting of the Azerbaijani and the Armenian foreign
ministers has started in the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague. Qanira
Pasayeva looks into the prospects for the talks.

[Correspondent, over archive footage of previous meetings] Yet another round
of talks between the Azerbaijani and the Armenian foreign ministers is under
way. [Passage omitted.]

The position of certain political forces in the country is that proceeding
from Yerevan’s statements that Nagornyy Karabakh will never be Azerbaijan’s
again, Baku should issue a harshly-worded message to international organizations,
including the [OSCE Minsk Group] co-chairmen, that negotiations in their
current format are no longer possible and should therefore be suspended.

For instance, the chairman of the National Democratic Party of Azerbaijan,
Isgandar Hamidov, believes that a negotiated solution to the problem is out of
the question and that further delays in conflict settlement are playing into
the hands of Armenia.

[Hamidov, in studio] If our foreign minister goes for talks today, he has to
find courage in himself to spit in the Armenian foreign minister’s face and
come back. This will send an unequivocal message that the issue can only be
resolved militarily. The OSCE Minsk Group and others like it are all a waste of
time. The first thing all mediators say is that there have to be mutual
concessions. Then let me ask you – what kind of concessions can Azerbaijan make? We
are talking about Azerbaijani territory, about aggression against it. How can we
make compromise on that?

[Correspondent] Isgandar Hamidov believes in good prospects for a military
solution because:

[Hamidov] Azerbaijan’s economy is much stronger than Armenia’s. If military
hostilities start, the Armenian economy will fall apart. The Azerbaijani
economy is capable of waging a war.

[Correspondent] The head of Karabakh’s Azerbaijani community, Nizami
Bahmanov, is not in favour of a military option yet even though:

[Bahmanov in studio] We will liberate our lands, even at the cost of military
operations. Our president knows very well what the situation is like,
therefore he is giving preference to continuing the negotiations.

[Correspondent] However, Nizami Bahmanov does not support the idea of
dragging out the talks.

[Bahmanov] There may be three or five rounds of talks, but after that the
head of state has to make a decision. If he chooses to start the war, he does not
need to consult anyone because Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity is at stake
and the country has the right to free its lands from aggression.

[Correspondent] AMIP [Azarbaycan Milli Istiqlal Party] chairman Etibar
Mammadov says the fact that Azerbaijan has resumed negotiations on the heels of such
statements from Yerevan does nothing to strengthen its international
standing.

[Mammadov in studio] The talks today are held for the sake of talks only.
They are held for reporting purposes of the Minsk Group or the foreign ministries
of certain countries, so that they could report that they have organized such
negotiations. Since the talks are pointless, it’s no use expecting any
results from them. Therefore, it’s no use conducting such talks in the first place.

[Correspondent] Etibar Mammadov thinks that prolonging negotiations and,
therefore, delaying a solution is leading to a crisis in society.

[Mammadov] There has to be a deadline, say, after one year or six months.
Open-ended and pointless negotiations only serve to deceive the population. If
those who have fought in the war and are now expressing their protest to the
Armenians are being sentenced to imprisonment, it already exposes a moral crisis
in society.

[Correspondent] The executive secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party,
Ali Ahmadov, thinks that rejection of further negotiations will not bring
Azerbaijan any dividends.

[Ahmadov shown in his office] If we suspend the negotiations at this point,
the international community and the international mediators brokering a
solution to the conflict will obtain the necessary arguments to blame Azerbaijan.
Today we are talking about Armenia’s non-constructive position. I don’t want
Azerbaijan to be blamed for taking this precipitous move.

[Correspondent] Therefore, the more protracted the talks, the less confidence
there is in society that they will bear fruit.

Incidentally, tomorrow [31 August] is the 11th anniversary of the occupation
of Qubadli District.

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