Arif Yunusov: Safarov Factor Allowed Azerbaijani Authorities To Engi


Tuesday, September 18, 12:27

One should not exaggerate the impact of Ramil Safarov’s pardon on
the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations given that there was no serious
political dialogue between the two countries. Consequently, it is
senseless speaking of its continuation or suspension. Arif Yunusov,
Head of the Conflict Studies and Migration Department of the Institute
for Peace and Democracy, made such statement to ArmInfo when commenting
on the possible consequences of Ramnil Safarov’s pardon.

“One can speak of certain dialogue of the civil societies, which is
fading away year by year. The negotiations for resolution of the
Karabakh conflict faced deadlock yet long ago. There is imitation
of negotiations and the parties to the conflict do not really want
to resolve the conflict. It is obvious that the parties must go on
a compromise to resolve the conflict, while neither of the parties
wants to do it. Sometimes, they speak of a desire to achieve fair
pace, but each of them means peace in its favor. Each party is
sure that time works in its favor. Armenians think that the world
and Azerbaijan, first of all, will sooner or later resign mind to
the fact that Karabakh is outside Azerbaijan. The later, in turn,
is sure that Armenia’s economy is becoming weaker and weaker and
it is necessary to wait for the right time and keep arming,” the
Azerbaijani political expert.

Therefore, he said, the authorities of both the countries have been
imitating negotiations over the last years as the superpowers wanted
so in order to prevent resumption of military actions. The OSCE
Minsk Group co-chairs are well aware that there is no progress in the
negotiations, but they still visit the region for the sake of decency,
promise something to Armenians and Azerbaijanis, though they do not
believe in their own promises. They have become like political tourists
rather than mediators. In such situation, Yunusov said, Safarov case
has played its role inside Azerbaijan and Armenia, putting aside the
morality. Safarov factor allowed Azerbaijani authorities and political
forces to engineer a campaign of spread-eagle speeches and gain
political dividends. In Armenia the authorities and political forces
also tried to use Safarov factor to gain political dividends. This
factor will be used in both the countries for a long time, he said.

Yunusov believes that exchange of fire in the conflict zone will become
more frequent and intensive, but they will not spiral into something
more serious, for both the parties are well aware that they are not
key players in this issue.

“Hence, the parties to the Karabakh conflict have nothing to do but
make propaganda campaigns inside their countries, in the region and
at international structures. Nothing else. The negotiations will fade
away for some months, indeed. Afterwards, the political tourists from
the Minsk Group will again visit the region. Another matter that civil
societies of both the countries should not yield to the spread eagle
speeches and should keep working on establishment of dialogue. The
only alternative is war,” Yunusov said.

Earlier on August 31 the Armenian authorities adopted a decision to
suspend diplomatic relations and official contacts with Hungary.

President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan made public the decision at a
special meeting with the heads of diplomatic missions on Friday after
the Hungarian authorities extradited Azeri officer Ramil Safarov,
who was sentenced by a Hungarian court to life in jail for killing
sleeping Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan with an axe in Budapest
in 2004. Both the officers were undergoing an English language course
under the NATO PfP program. The same day after Safarov’s extradition,
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev decreed to pardon the criminal. According
to Hungarian Mass Media, Azerbaijan pledged to purchase Hungarian
government bonds in the amount of 2-3 billion EUR.

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