BAKU: Researcher Calls On Azeri Leaders To Be Ready For War


August 4, 2009 Tuesday

Azerbaijani leaders should be ready for a sudden eruption of war
with Armenia, a Norway-based analyst has said. Yadigar Zakariyya,
the head of North-South Azerbaijan Political Research Center,
said that his organization has developed several proposals, based
on numerous countries experience with conflicts, to facilitate a
settlement to the Upper (Nagorno) Garabagh conflict. Speaking at a
scientific conference in Baku on the role of political parties and
non-governmental organizations in the Garabagh settlement, Zakariyya
said that, first, self-defense units should be set up in all districts,
villages and settlements of Azerbaijan.

These units should undergo military training and taught rules
of handling weapons, and be trained on how to act in the combat
zone. Reserve detachments should report to the nearby military unit. If
war begins, the military unit will be aware that reinforcement forces
are available nearby and will be able to get them immediately engaged
in warfare. Sabir Rustamkhanly, the chairman of opposition-leaning
Civil Solidarity Party, claimed that propaganda being pursued in
Azerbaijan is causing considerable divergence in the positions of
local parties and NGOs on the Garabagh problem. As a result, the
OSCE Minsk Group brokering settlement to the conflict is dictating
anything it wants to. There are even differences of opinion among NGOs
pertaining to the proposals on the conflict resolution. Parliament
member Nasib Nasibli pointed out that, to launch a war, the Garabagh
issue should be conceived by Azerbaijanis as a problem of nationwide
scale. For four years running, this issue has not been discussed in
the Milli Majlis (parliament), the lawmaker noted. Another MP, Gudrat
Hasanguliyev, blamed international organizations for failing to put
pressure on Armenia, which has been occupying a part of Azerbaijans
territory since the early 1990s. They are even indirectly supporting
Armenia. But [peace] talks cannot go on indefinitely, Hasanguliyev
said. The lawmaker stressed that the Azerbaijani public should protest
at the stalling conflict and push for moving the process forward. He
also suggested using force to resolve the long-standing dispute. In
the absence of this [pressure], they [international organizations]
are seeking for Azerbaijan to accept concessions. There is no fair
solution to the Upper Garabagh conflict through negotiations. We have
to wage successful military operations, otherwise, we will not be able
to restore our sovereignty rights in Upper Garabagh. And, to free our
land, a powerful army needs to be built. Sardar Jalaloglu, the leader
of the Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP), maintained that the goal of
the mediators brokering the peace process is to pursue their own goals
while keeping the conflict settlement process under control. There is
no political solution to this problem, Jalaloglu opined. We have to
achieve taking it to the legal realm. The conflict must be settled
in accord with international law. Azerbaijan cannot wage a war now,
as the political will needed for this is not there. Azerbaijan
and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a
cease-fire in 1994, but Armenia continues to occupy Upper Garabagh
and seven adjacent Azerbaijani districts in defiance of international
law. Despite numerous rounds of OSCE-brokered negotiations, peace
talks have been without results so far and refugees remain stranded.