Monthly Review - Saturday, January 15, 2011 0:04 - 1 Comment
Digest of Armenian media for Jan 1-14
by News Digest
Azerbaijan is ready to use every possible effort to return its territories that are currently under Armenian rule, Azerbaijani Foreign Minsiter Elmar Mammadyarov said in an interview.
“If the diplomatic efforts don’t bear any result, we are ready to use any method to return our territories,” said he, adding that as a foreign minister he always prefers diplomatic solutions to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. “I don’t think we have exhausted all the diplomatic variants over that issue. But if military measures are used against Azerbaijan as it was previously, the resolution of [the Karabakh conflict] may be military.”
The article says that in his New Year congratulatory address Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev once again spoke about “Iranian khanate,” “Zangezur mahal” and other “historical lands”. Mr Aliyev said that the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the number one priority for Azerbaijan.
“We are trying to solve that issue peacefully, through negotiations. In its turn, Azerbaijan spares no effort to resolve the issue at the nearest future,” said Azerbaijani president.
Talking to Azerbaijani news website, Irina Gasparyan, a graduate of Cambridge University and an Armenian in origin, said that the idea of creating a Confederation in the South Caucasus will be possible to bring to life only when the Armenian and Azerbaijani societies realize the necessity of turning the South Caucasus region into a self-sufficient and a strong region. Further she said that the European Union has been built around the idea that the war cannot contribute to the resolution of any problem.
This article says that the military doctrines of six Caucasus countries – Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran – will be translated into Azerbaijani, Russian and possibly into English. The translated version of these documents will be available for the Azerbaijani societies in an attempt to enable them to be aware of any potential military threat from a neighboring country.
Publication of former Russian President, Boris Yeltsin’s letter has revealed that he sent also a letter to his US counterpart Bill Clinton in which he touched upon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In his letter Mr Yeltsin says that the Trans-Caucasus region “has always been at the focus of Russia” and that Russia’s main objective is to maintain peace in the region. Further, he says that he is satisfied with the level of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the US over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, adding that they could reach common ground with the then Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev in a meeting.
In an interview with Azerbaijani news agency Arik Manukyan, the director of the film “The Disrupted Song” said that the film is about seeking what he calls a “healthy dialogue” between the Armenian and Azerbaijan societies.
“Our film is about seeking a healthy dialogue,” Manukyan said as he spoke about the film that feature an Armenian and an Azerbaijani who are caught in the same deep hole and engage in a dialogue with each other, speaking about issue they are most concerned about.
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be resolved through negotiations, but the West’s interference only aggravates the situation, Chairman of Tabriz Chamber of Commerce Hausheng Faker said at a meeting with the head of Iran Commission of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry Rajab Safarov. According to him, Karabakh conflict settlement is a precondition for renewal of Julfa-Moscow railway.
“The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan led to the destruction of the railway. Today the restoration of the railway is necessary for cooperation with Russia,” he said.
According to this article, Azerbaijan’s delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is planning to raise the issue of accelerating the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during the OSCE PA winter session which is also expected to see debates related to results of the elections held in the region.
“The Azerbaijani parliamentarians are planning to raise during the winter session the issue of accelerating the resolution of the Karabakh conflict, and the aggression Armenia commits against Azerbaijan,” the source said, adding that the OSCE PA winter session will be held in Vienna in February.
In an interview with the source Masis Mailyan, Chairman of the Public Council for Foreign Policy and Security of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), said that Azerbaijan’s further militarization may disturb the balance of forces, which has actually been the pivot of the ceasefire for many years.
“Peace in the region is a requirement for further dialogue and must be the international actors’ major task in 2011,” said he adding that if the negotiations continue on the basis of the Madrid Principles, no positive developments should be expected.
US have displayed indifference to the situation over the Karabakh conflict which can only harm its credibility in the region, US military expert Stephen Blank said. Failure to take an active role in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, according to him, not only cements Armenia’s dependence upon Moscow and estrangement from Turkey and Europe; it also undermines the success Azerbaijan has had in strengthening Europe’s position vis-à-vis Russia on energy security.
“Continued neglect of Azerbaijan, and of the Transcaucasus as a whole, can only erode US standing and damage its credibility in the region,” said he.
The Sudan referendum cannot be a key element for the settlement of the Karabakh conflict as Karabakh established its independence 19 years ago; political analyst Alexander Markarov said it.
“Following the self-determination referendum in southern Sudan, we gain a new trump card in the Karabakh settlement process,” he said, adding that the negotiations over Karabakh will continue, and Azerbaijan will grow concerned, realizing that the referendum in the South Sudanese republic was nothing more than an attempt to enable that country’s people to exercise their right to self-determination.
Political analyst Richard Giragosian says in an interview that in general the referendum of South Sudan will have not a direct impact on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.
“But given what is happening in international relations, it will have a direct impact, especially in creating favourable atmosphere,” said he, adding that the Sudanese referendum shows that territorial integrity is not that much important now as it used to be. “The referendum in the South Sudan shows that self-determination is more important, that territorial integrity.”
At a press conference Russia’s Foreign Minsiter Sergei Lavrov said that there will be a trilateral meeting among Armenian, Azerbaijan and Russian foreign ministers in January to discuss the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Explaining the logic behind the upcoming meeting, Lavrov noted that the three countries’ FMs meet before each round of negotiations over Karabakh peace process, which takes place in the form of a trilateral meeting among the presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference that the most important thing to do at this stage of the settlement of the Karabakh conflict is not to interfere with the process, because interference by other countries or organizations makes the situation worse.
“The most important thing at this stage of the settlement is not interfering with the process, because as soon as organizations such as the UN and the OSCE get involved, the issue spills over from the field of discussion to the public debate arena,” he said.
The European Union’s approach to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is consistent with Armenia’s policy, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan said, adding that European Union Council President Herman Van Rumpoy clearly expressed EU’s stance on the issue at the OSCE Summit in Astana.
“On behalf of the European Union, Rumpoy expressed support to the principles and clauses proposed by the co-chairs. Such is the EU approach which coincides with our position,” asked to comment on EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso’s recent statement on supporting the principle of territorial integrity.
Chief Coach of Kazakhstani football team Atirau, Ramaz Mammadov, has come under fire by Atirau’s fans as he said Tigran Karabakhtsyan, an Armenian in origin, cannot play in the team as long as he is the chief coach. “As far as I know Tigran Karabakhtsyan is no longer considered an Atirau player. But even if that isn’t that case, then a serious conversation with the club’s managers is awaiting for me. There can be no Armenian in Atirau, as long as I work here,” Mammadov said. Atirau’s fans criticized Mammadov for his statement. “If you regard a player for his ethnic grounds rather than his playing capabilities, then it reveals your human qualities,” they said in a statement.
The independence of the UN member states can establish a good precedent for Nagorno Karabakh, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan said. “The major part of the UN member countries can serve as an example, as well as a precedent for Karabakh,” he said, referring to the referendum in Southern Sudan. According to him, the developments in Sudan came to prove once again that it is impossible to resist people’s efforts to exercise their right to self-determination.
Despite its belligerent statements, Azerbaijan is unlikely to resort to military operations within a year, according to Arman Melikyan, a former foreign minister of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno Karabakh. A decisive factor in the Karabakh peace process, Melikyan said would be Russia’s policy – whether on the western or eastern front, while Azerbaijan would seek only to take more active efforts in the international arena. “I expect a number of specific and serious geopolitical decisions and solutions that will definitely change the timeframes of the Karabakh conflict settlement,” he said.
Asked whether Armenia fully accepts “the Madrid proposal about returning the occupied territories,” Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan said that currently there are three principles and six provisions under discussion. According to him, the mediators say that those principles and provisions are considered as one whole entity and none of them can be taken separately or given preference – something Armenia says too. But when it comes to what Azerbaijan says over this issue, in his words, it seems like they “don’t understand what they say. “They are saying ‘yes,’ ‘but yes,’ ‘but no’,” said he adding that Azerbaijan should put it clearly: a yes or no.
Speaking about the reports that Azerbaijan is creating problems for those international citizens who visit Karabakh, Armenia’s Foreign Minsiter Edward Nalbandyan said that Baku doesn’t allow also international delegations to visit Nakhichevan which is under Azerbaijani rule. According to him, the reason may be the fact that the Azerbaijani authorities don’t want the international community to see “demolished cross stones, eliminated Armenian cultural heritage”. Further he said he would like to express his gratitude to those who “despite the obstacles by Azerbaijan” continue to visit Karabakh and see everything themselves.
At a conference titled “The economics of Intellectual Property” and organized by World Intellectual Property Organization – WIPO in Geneva, Sasun Hovhannisyan, the director of the French branch Research Centre for Political Developments spoke about the Jugha cross stones. Hovhannisyan said that in 2005 “in an organized way the Azerbaijanis eliminated more than 5000 cross stones forever”. But what is worst, according to him, is that the civilized humanity has not yet adequately responded to that. “It is regrettable that it is the oil dollars that eliminate the cultural heritage”.
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