AZERBAIJAN CAN NO LONGER BE TRUSTED: SARGSYAN IN LONDON SPEECH
Azerbaijan has exhausted the resources of trust in terms of autonomous
status for minorities within its boundaries, RA President Serzh
Sargsyan said in his speech in Chattam House, Britain’s Royal Institute
of International Affairs, yesterday.
Sargsyan said Azerbaijan was not – and is not -capable of providing
guarantees of even internal security to such autonomies, adding the
Karabakh was never a part of independent Azerbaijan.
"There was once another Armenian autonomy in Azerbaijan: Nakhijevan.
What happened to it? Not a single Armenian is left in Nakhijevan. Can
such guarantees be taken for granted? You might say Azerbaijan was
different then, and is different now. During the last 18 years of that
‘difference’ more Armenian and Christian monuments were destroyed
than in the preceding 70 years. The international organizations tasked
with protection of the cultural heritage were unable to do anything:
Azerbaijan did not even permit them to visit and see the obliterated
Armenian monuments," he said.
The Armenian president urged everyone to exercise their utmost caution
when making public statements on Nagorno-Karabakh, to take into account
all the dimensions, possible consequences, and the perceptions of
the sides, and always to rely on the positions of the organizations
that are familiar with the details of the problem and specialize in
its peaceful resolution, meaning, in this case, the Organization for
Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
"I would pose a rhetoric question to all who consider themselves
advocates of territorial integrity. Where were they when the Soviet
Union collapsed and the borders changed? Where were they when
Yugoslavia was falling apart? Why do you think that Azerbaijan could
secede from the USSR, but Mountainous Karabakh could not? Why do you
think that large empires should disintegrate, but small ones should
persevere? What is the basis? Instability? I cannot perceive it. I
do not accept it. Because unfair decisions are the very cause of
instability," said Sargsyan.
In his speech, titled "Values and Security in the South Caucasus,"
the president mentioned that in the meantime, a full-blown arms race
continues in the South Caucasus. It is extremely dangerous. It is
dangerous not only for the people of the South Caucasus, but for
"Azerbaijan has not faced any substantial confrontation for having
exceeded all the possible caps on conventional arms. Even if not used
in a war against Karabakh, the weapons Azerbaijan is stockpiling today
will go off somewhere. The only question is where and when. While
spending large sums on purchases of oil, the advanced states, in my
opinion, cannot remain indifferent to how their monies are being
spent. The fact is that these very proceeds can become a source
of threats, something that has happened elsewhere in the past,"