sept 17 2010
Shortage of ‘practical results’, not resolutions, on Karabakh
Fri 17 September 2010 11:20 GMT | 15:20 Local Time
Fikret Sadikhov News.Az interviews Azerbaijani political scientist
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs seem to be stepping up negotiations
between Baku and Yerevan as part of their declared action plan. How
would you comment on this activeness?
I would not describe the co-chairs’ visit to the region and their
statements about new proposals as political activeness. It is rather
the appearance of being active. It is quite natural that the co-chairs
represent the leading countries of the world. Russian President
Medvedev and the adviser to the US assistant secretary of state, Tina
Kaidanow, recently visited. The initiatives proposed by the co-chairs
show their their interest in resolution of the conflict since such a
long absence of positive results primarily affects the prestige and
interests of the co-chairs and shows that they are unable to help
resolve this problem. Therefore, some are happy that during the recent
visit to the region the co-chairs crossed the front line via
Azerbaijan; the mediators are accentuating this too and say that they
are going to hold the next meetings with the ministers in the United
The French and US co-chairs said during the visit to Nagorno-Karabakh
that they did not cross the border but the contact line and that this
was a deliberate act. Do you see this as a gesture towards Azerbaijan?
Yes, this is also a gesture. You see, they are trying to calm both
parties. They are continuing their mission to soothe both the
aggressor and the Azerbaijani community by saying that this time they
went to Karabakh via Azerbaijan. However, this is not of the utmost
importance to Baku. Definite results are more important for us than
the place from which the mediators enter the conflict area. This is
also a factor, but it’s not critical, it’s not the main issue in the
resolution of the conflict itself.
A huge number of resolutions and other decisions on the conflict have
been passed, the leaders of the superpowers have made statements in
support of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and about the need
to liberate the seven districts around Nagorno- Karabakh. Meanwhile,
the mediators continue making some unclear statements, as if trying to
justify the lack of results over the long period of their work.
Does this mean there is no point in having international organizations
pass documents in our support?
You know, I think we do not need to collect all these decisions and
resolutions. Enough resolutions have been passed in Azerbaijan’s
favour, from the UN Security Council resolutions to the recent
resolution of the European Parliament about the need to withdraw
Armenian troops from Azerbaijani land. There is no shortage of
documents. There is a shortage of practical results from the decisions
taken. They remain on paper because the states take decisions, while
the superpowers of the Minsk Group still continue meeting Armenia’s
whims and supporting it. They do not even demand a reasonable response
from Armenia to their proposals on the updated Madrid principles.
Armenia’s response is unknown. It started to refer to some St
Petersburg agreements, started to give some crazy reasons for its
silence. The negotiating process is developing like this, but for some
reason the co-chairs are happy with this and pretend to be active in
the conflict settlement.
What should Azerbaijan do, considering the growing tensions on the front line?
Only one thing is clear here: the situation cannot last long. This
chain will certainly be broken if the current attitude remains
Azerbaijan has more than enough legal grounds to liberate its land,
more than enough. And if we still continue this negotiating process,
it means not all chances are lost, there is an opportunity. Naturally,
in this situation Azerbaijan should increase its defence potential
and, at the same time, be tougher at the diplomatic level. We probably
don’t always need to sit at the negotiating table, when the co-chairs
insist on it or agree to meet the Armenian president. We should use
political methods to show our negative attitude to what is going on.
Through increasing our potential we must show the inadmissibility of
what is being proposed to us to make it clear that Azerbaijan will
never reject the idea of liberating its land.
We were given clear hints that they will enable us to liberate seven
districts in exchange for the independence of Nagorno- Karabakh. But
this idea has burst like a soap bubble though it was clad in some
digestible formats. This means that Azerbaijan could explain clearly,
prove and demonstrate its principled position on this issue. And it
was right to do this, which means this issue should be taken further.
You mean, for example, our refusal to take part in the recent NATO
training in Armenia?
Yes, we were right to refuse to take part. Though it annoyed the NATO
leadership, our refusal showed our negative attitude not towards the
NATO manoeuvres but to the negotiating process itself and the
countries that are pacifying the aggressor.
From: A. Papazian