L. TER-PETROSYAN: “AZERBAIJAN WON’T TAKE IT ANYMORE”
02:14 pm | June 23, 2011 | Interview
RA First President Levon Ter-Petrosyan gave an interview to the
“Moskovskie Novosti” newspaper ahead of the meeting in Kazan.
Before touching upon the current stage of the NK conflict, Levon
Ter-Petrosyan presented in detail the core of the Karabakh conflict
and touched upon the circumstances that made Karabakh and Nakhichevan
part of Azerbaijan.
“Any president of Armenia, regardless of how he may be called, will
be compelled to strengthen ties with Turkey,” said the newspaper
correspondent, asking “what Serzh Sargsyan did wrong in the
normalization of relations with Turkey”.
In response, Ter-Petrosyan said Serzh Sargsyan did everything right.
“This issue needs to stay on the agenda because Armenia has no
perspectives for development without normalization of Armenian-Turkish
relations and an open border.”
Ter-Petrosyan also mentioned that Armenia wanted to come to terms
with Turkey in 1992, but the battles in Kelbajar impeded that process.
“Whether Armenia likes it or not, the Turks won’t normalize relations
as long as the Karabakh conflict remains unresolved. The border will
open as soon as the Karabakh conflict is settled, and that is the
end of discussion.”
How can the conflict be resolved? In response, Ter-Petrosyan said he
didn’t link the two issues together. “The Karabakh conflict exists
regardless of Turkey’s will and desire.” The First President said
there was no moment when Armenian diplomats managed to set these two
issues aside and added that that only happened before Kelbajar.
“We were trying to prove to the Turks that those two issues shouldn’t
be linked, and I think that would be right for Turkey. Turkey committed
an error and hurt Azerbaijan, instead of helping the latter.
The Turks instilled in the Azeri that Turkey was their ally and
was standing by their side, but the Azeri will continue to not cede
in terms of the Karabakh conflict. That led to the second war when
Azerbaijan lost 5 regions. Turkey was to blame for that because it
wasn’t able to persuade the Azeri to make concessions. They had to
make less concessions back then. There are also Turkish political
figures that accept that that was an error,” mentioned Ter-Petrosyan.
The RA First President said much has been lost in the past 13 years.
“It is very difficult to achieve what we could have achieved back
then. The only thing that is different from the previous plan is the
referendum for Nagorno-Karabakh’s status. However, that has not been
confirmed. They are talking about expression of will or a survey,
but there is nothing said about the consequences of that referendum
in terms of the law. The development shows that things are worse now.
Unfortunately, any decision will be worse than a decision taken
Speaking about the restart of military operations, Ter-Petrosyan said:
“The West is not making any effort to resolve the conflict because
Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea and other countries come first.
No matter how rich that country is, its resources are limited. This
creates the opportunity for Russia to play a more active role, and it
has been doing so through meetings between the presidents, statements
and trilateral declarations. Russia is taking the initiative and has
that opportunity. I am certain that the West won’t be against that, if
the conflicting sides come to terms on that. There is an opportunity
for success. If this process doesn’t succeed, a war is likely to
break out because Azerbaijan won’t take it anymore. Armenia will
never wage a war no matter who the president is. Azerbaijan will be
the only one to wage a war, and what is most dangerous is that nobody
can hold Azerbaijan back.”
From: A. Papazian