Armenian President Opens The Brackets In Story Of Contradictions To

Armenian president opens the brackets in the story of contradictions to his political opponent in the person of the first Armenian president

Feb 17 2008

Today Armenian President Robert Kocharyan told why active participants
in the Karabakh war have found themselves in different camps. In an
interview with several local TV channels the president explained this
by the fact of giving up their principles regarding certain political
motives. "And even when it seemed to everybody that everything was done
in a fully-fledged spirit, that was not so. When I was president of
Karabakh, we seemed to have excellent relations with the authorities
of Armenia and the existing disagreements were not a topic for
public discussion, as unity of the authorities was a very important
condition", – Robert Kocharyan emphasized and added in particular
that these disagreements were regarding the Dashnaks party. "There
was a serious conflict in Armenia, people were arrested, the party was
closed, but in Karabakh we continued an active cooperation. We thought
that for the success of the Karabakh movement and for ensuring security
we had to ensure cooperation with all the political forces. But they
were trying to involve me these problems, but I resisted and it caused
certain tension in our relations", – he emphasized.

Robert Kocharyan also added that there were significant differences in
the approaches of the Karabakh conflict settlement. "We thought that
Armenian authorities easily agreed to the idea top autonomy of Karabakh
within Azerbaijan. They said they agreed to any suggestion within the
frame of which Karabakh and Azerbaijan will come to consent. This was
weakening our positions much since we got an impression that Armenia
is not behind Karabakh in this matter either.

This was fortifying the world community’s pressure upon us so that to
break us in this issue. The biggest disagreement which led to very
serious conflict – are our approaches to the strategy and tactic of
the battle actions. They were absolutely different approaches. We
thought that security zone had to be created around Karabakh, but
Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s viewpoint differed. The first big conflict
between us arose in 1993, two months later after liberation of
Kelbajar". Saying that it is for the first time that he tells this
story, Robert Kocharyan said that a meeting took place in Goris,
on 12 June and the first Armenian president and several members
of Security Council were present at the meeting. Robert Kocharyan
and Foreign Minister Arkadiy Gukasyan were present at the meeting
from the Karabakh party. Yerevan demanded to return Kelbajar at the
meeting. Various reasons were presented, the main of which was strong
pressing of the world community and the fact that Ter-Petrosyan
promised them to return. "We had a very hard talk, so hard that it
seemed impossible to restore the relations in future. We refused,
and in two day on 14 June Levon Ter-Petrosyan arrived in Karabakh by
helicopter and the talk continued this time with the speaker of the
NKR parliament Georgiy Petrosyan. The same pressure, the same threats.

They said if we di not return the territories now Armenia will fail.

By the way, this talk led to Georgiy Petrosyan’s resignation. We
agreed so that not to damage our relations once and forever, and
I said that returning may happen we have two months to fortify our
positions along the entire line so that in future Kelbajar not to
become a source of a new threat for the defence of Karabakh. The
following day I invited a narrow circle of people for consultation
and together with the military leadership we adopted a decision to
start the Agdam operation. That time Karabakh was fired from all the
sides and had losses every day. We understood that if security zone
is not created, nobody will remain in Karabakh. Such a decision was
dictated by the military situation. The fire units in Agdam were
neutralized in July and we started controlling the territory. Soon
everybody forgot about Kelbajar and a new story started – this time
with Agdam. Security Council gathered in Yerevan and adopted a decision
according to which it was inadmissible to occupy new territories by
the Defence Army of Nagornyy Karabakh. The decision was delivered to
us by helicopter. But we did not sign it and said it is not worthy
even of the fuel spend for its delivery. That was a very serious
conflict. Then we liberated Fizuli, Kubatlu, etc. And all those steps
were accompanied by the similar reaction of Yerevan", – Kocharyan said.

The president also said he was not going to tell this and hoped to
tell the story in his memories several years later. "Moreover, if
we did not implement this strategy in Karabakh, there would never
be cease-fire. Just such a strategy led to cease-fire and forced
Azerbaijan to it. I should also say that if we were united in our
approaches and there was no pressure upon us, our positions would
be more favourable. To be honest, we did not have a goal to occupy
territories. That time we had one goal – to ensure security of Nagornyy
Karabakh. We had to neutralize threat. If we froze the situation, I do
not doubt we would lose Karabakh and today we would a status of the
country that lost and Levon Ter-Petrosyan would the president of the
country that lost. And the soldier-liberators beside him would be the
"Erkrapahs" of the country that lost. Psychology of the people would
be broken. Nobody in Azerbaijan says with proud that he a veteran of
the Karabakh war, as they lost", – Kocharyan said and added that he
does not think the former leadership of Armenia did not want Karabakh
to reach success. But they were not bold, and did not really assessed
the situation. "When they phoned me and said: "What are you doing? We
shall lose Armenia", I replied: "We stand firm at the battle field
and you have to stand firm at the diplomatic field".