Karabakh leader urges Azerbaijan not to go to war

Karabakh leader urges Azerbaijan not to go to war

Public Television of Armenia, Yerevan
1 Sep 06

The leader of Nagornyy Karabakh has accused Azerbaijan of intimidating
this republic and harbouring "foolish and revengeful plans". In an
address on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Karabakh’s
independence, Arkadiy Gukasyan urged Azerbaijan to resolve all issues
at the negotiating table, no matter how complicated they were. Also
speaking at the festivities, Armenian Prime Minister Andranik
Markaryan said that Armenia’s main goal was to prevent a war.

The following is an excerpt from Gukasyan’s and Markaryan’s speeches
broadcast live by Nagornyy Karabakh Public TV and rebroadcast live by
Armenian Public TV on 1 September:

[Arkadiy Gukasyan, the president of the Nagornyy Karabakh republic]
Dear Armenian Prime Minister, the Holy Father, guests, ladies and
gentlemen! Fifteen years have passed since the memorable day on 2
September 1991 when a joint session of the parliaments of the Nagornyy
Karabakh Autonomous Region and Shaumyan District proclaimed the
independence of Nagornyy Karabakh.

[Passage omitted: on the way Karabakh has gone through over these
years] The Azerbaijani leadership is trying to put back the clock and
is threatening us with its military budget growth at the expense of
oil dollars. We heard these kinds of threats in the past as
well. During the years of the Karabakh movement our neighbours
intimidated us in different ways, including Azerbaijan’s erroneous
arguments, its population of eight million, favourable geopolitical
position and now with jihad.

This kind of behaviour of the Azerbaijani authorities is
pointless. The Karabakh conflict cannot be settled militarily. War
will only bring new losses and terrible suffering to both peoples. I
urge Azerbaijan to give up their foolish, suicidal and revengeful
plans and to resolve all issues, no matter how complicated they are,
at the negotiating table. Karabakh’s foreign policy is aimed in the
first place at solving the conflict peacefully together with
Azerbaijan.

In fact, the Nagornyy Karabakh people’s fight for independence is at
the same time a fight for establishing democratic norms both inside
our own state and in the whole region. Azerbaijan’s bellicose
statements calling for a military solution to the Nagornyy Karabakh
conflict can be explained by the lack of democracy in Azerbaijan. I
believe that international observers, who are trying to draw up
mutually acceptable plans to resolve the Karabakh conflict, also
expect Azerbaijan to display a constructive position on the settlement
of the conflict during the negotiating processes. [Passage omitted:
repetition]

If the current settlement of the conflict has reached deadlock, this
has happened as a result of the Azerbaijani leadership’s
non-constructive position, and it is not the fault of Armenia or
Nagornyy Karabakh. Azerbaijan has not realized yet the realities of
the modern world, and by threatening to resume hostilities it wants to
resolve the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict with the help of others. A
resolution to the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict is possible only through
mutual compromise, and the leaders of the conflicting sides have to
display courage and political will to that end. At the same time, a
peace agreement should not call into question the historical choice of
the Karabakh people.

I can assure you that Karabakh is ready to start a direct and
constructive dialogue with Azerbaijan without any precondition. I
believe that this format of negotiations is more normal and that it
complies with the essence of the conflict. If Baku prefers solving the
problem militarily and takes this foolish step, then it will receive a
worthy response from the defence army of Nagornyy Karabakh which is
capable of ensuring the safety of the Nagornyy Karabakh republic and
its people.

[Passage omitted: on achievements over the period of cease-fire]
[Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Markaryan] Dear compatriots, I
congratulate you on the Independence Day of Nagornyy Karabakh on
behalf of Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, National Assembly
Chairman Tigran Torosyan and the Armenian government.

[Passage omitted: Markaryan on the Karabakh people’s fight for
independence] [Markaryan] The Armenian people will support you. Your
success is our success. We are also worried about any threats made
against the Karabakh people.

Our main goal is to prevent a war. We do not want to give away our
success, which we have achieved at the cost of our blood, to others at
the negotiating table.

We have two options – Nagornyy Karabakh should either reunite with
Armenia or establish an independent state.

[Passage omitted: heads of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as the
defence minister of Nagornyy Karabakh and representatives of public
organizations delivered speeches]

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