‘Desertion of Azerbaijan is a more important issue than Karabakh’

AZG Armenian Daily #157, 03/09/2005



Turkish Paper Writes

On 1 September, Istanbul-based Armenian online
newspaper posted an article titled “Desertion of Azerbaijan is a more
important issue than Karabakh” extracting it from Turkish Star paper
where it was published August 31. Though mentioning the source of
the article, the paper forgot to jot down its author’s name.

Yet, the author displays an unwonted approach to the Nagorno Karabakh
issue that Turkey is not accustomed to. Responding to the same paper’s
cries, he meanwhile replies to those circles of Armenian Diaspora
which, compelled to darken Armenia’s future, exaggerate the number
of Armenians leaving their fatherland. President Robert Kocharian
is portrayed responsible for immigration in order to cast slurs on
Kocharian along with the country he heads.

In case of slander, Kocharian’s administration will become incomparably
vulnerable, losing its power to stand against outer pressure and it
will make compromises to international forces harmful for Armenia
in order to keep the power in its hands. In that way, the aforesaid
circles will justify the hopes of those forces and their services.

All these impart importance to the article in Star paper that we
present without abridgements below:

“Aside from talks about the motherland, I do everything to give
truthful coverage of events in Turkish-speaking states of former
Soviet Union.

“Azerbaijan is the one that interests us from every aspect. Accepting
hard-solving Karabakh issue as a starting point, let us turn to the
ethnographic wrinkle that demands very serious approach.

“On the second day of the CIS summit in Kazan, August 27, Ilham Aliyev
and Robert Kocharian met.

“The two state leaders met last in Warsaw May 16. As always, the
approaching meeting stimulated rumors about the soonest regulation. The
same thing happened before the Kazan meeting. But it was vain, as no
concrete step was taken.

“On April of 1993, the UN Security Council initiated an agreement
of freeing Qelbajar and deadline was set. It was envisaged that
the Armenian forces will leave the region on July 15. But when the
revolt toppled Abulfaz Elchibey, they stayed there. The first thing
the new Azeri government did was calling back the soldiers of the
People’s Front and dismissing them. Heydar Aliyev said on those days:
“Our army does not fight”. From July to October of the same year,
the Armenians occupied 5 more regions – Aghdam, Jebrail, Fizuli,
Zangelan, Kubatlu – to add to Karabakh, Qelbajar and Lachin.

“A truce was signed in Bishkek in 1994, creating thus a situation of
uncertainty. Did Azerbaijan capitulate, lose or win?

“Aliyev senior had 22 face-to-face meetings with Kocharian. They
reached no results. Aliyev’s statement “Armenia occupied Azerbaijan”
at the Lisbon summit of OSCE accounted for the veto of this European
organization’s decision, presenting it as a heroic deed.

“This case was presented in such light that several newborns in Baku
were named Lisbon. Moreover, the head of Gyanja’s administration said
at a meeting, “Our president performed an exploit in summit town of
Lisbon”, thus becoming a cartoon hero.

“In a refugee camp Heydar Aliyev even underscored that Armenians
abroad are very powerful that’s why we cannot fight against them
(2002). Armenian foreign minister Vartan Oskanian embraced the chance
put before Azerbaijan unacceptable conditions and turned Turkey’s
mediation down.

At then two-day session of the Armenian parliament (April 18-19
2005) defense minister Serge Sargsian stated, “We’ll do everything
to strengthen the second Armenian state and will not allow that our
enemy, Turkey, mediate”.

At the Warsaw summit of the Council of Europe on May 15-17,
the two presidents ordered foreign ministers to carry on with the
meetings. Azeri president’s special representative on Karabakh issue,
Araz Azimov, stated, “The agreement can be reached in August”. Before
the Kazan meeting, the two foreign ministers met in Moscow. As always,
they milled the wind.

To put it in nutshell, the regulation process carried on off the
reel. Yet, no result was achieved. Armenia turned to be powerful in
this issue. Russia never ceased backing Armenia. Now let us turn to the
main issue. Media constantly informs that Armenia’s population reduced
to 2 million. Yet, the coin has an opposite side as well. Azerbaijan
is also getting deserted. From 1993 till today, 3 million people
left for Russia. Even in Sweden Azeri refugees outnumber all other
refugees. There are more than 2.000 Azeris in that country. 200.000
Azeris live in Europe as refugees. Another 200.000 live in Turkey,
300.000 in Ukraine and 100.000 in Iran.

That means that Azerbaijan’s 8 million strong population diminished
to its half. Meanwhile elections are at the threshold and we’ll have
our say on that regard”.

By Hakob Chakrian


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