Monthly Review - Sunday, May 15, 2011 16:08 - 1 Comment
Digest of Azerbaijan media for May 1- 14
by News Digest
During a visit of Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, restated Azerbaijan’s commitment in resolving the conflict by peaceful means. It was during his following statemenet, that the president called on the Armenian government start withdrawing troops from the occupied territories as part of the basic principles and norms of the international law as well as part of the OSCE Minsk Group proposals.
Radio Free Europe Azerbaijani Service
Accoding to reports coming from Armenia, three soldiers lost their lives during the shooting. The Ministry of Security of the unrecognized Nagorno Karabakh said Azerbaijani army was responsible for the shooting. The news were quickly followed by a response from the Ministry of Foreing Affairs of Armenia criticizing Azerbaijani for breaking the ceasefire regime. The ministry calls on the foreign community to criticize the move.
Mubariz Ahmedoglu, who heads the Center on Political Innovation, commented on Azerbaijan’s military during a press conference. According to Ahmedoglu, Armenia is well aware that its rhetoric of its military power is simply a story nothing more. And if we are to strip Armenia of its military rhetoric then Amrenian people will not only leave occupied territories but also Armenia too.
The article is an interview with the deputy of external relations at the Azerbaijan’s Presidential Administration Novruz Mamedov. According to Mamedov, Armenia is well aware of Azerbaijan’s ability to return its territories sooner or later. The deputy accused Armenia of changing its position on the conflict as well especially given some of the most recent statements made by the Armenian leadership.
According to these documents, facts could be found on what was happening between 1915 and 1918 in Azerbaijan. Apart from papers, there were photographs and film about the genocide towards Azerbaijanis. This is part of a larger initiative sponsored by the Committee in support of civil societies under the President of Azerbaijan. Previously, historical documentation on Azerbaijan was provided by archives in Germany, Turkey, and Czechoslovakia.
Bahar Muradova, who is the vice- speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament informed local media of Azerbaijan raising the issue of snipers during the OSCE PA president Petros Efthymiou’s visit to Azerbaijan between May 12-13th. Muradova added that snipers always were there, except this time around they are on high alert, simply aimed at preserving the current status quo and keeping Azerbaijan under pressure.
The article looks at recent military exercises that took place on the territory of Agdere region of Azerbaijan. According to the article, several explosions were heard in the vicinity. These exercises began on April 29th in the occupied territories of Agdam and Khojavand.
Bahar Muradova, Azerbaijan’s parliamentary vice- speaker accused Serj Sarkisyan for being unconstructive in the resolution process of the conflict following his statements on the opening of airport in Khankendi, and the future status of Karabakh. Muradova, in her statement to the press, made it clear that Azerbaijani people and its government will do everything that is possible to return its occupied territories, including Nagorno Karabakh.
In his press statement, Ziyafet Askerov, first vice- speaker of the Azerbaijani parliament, said Azerbaijan’s army is capable of completing its mission over a short period of time. And though the first vice- speaker doesn’t dismiss the fact that peaceful resolution is possible he notes with caution that if Azerbaijan sees that Armenian side is busy imitating and simply in talks for the sake of being in talks, then Azerbaijani army will do what it takes.
It was on May 8th that as a result of a military intervention carried out by Armenia from three different sides that Shusha was occupied. Currently 248 historical monuments, 8 museums, one gallery, one mausoleum, 8 musical schools, dozens of cultural monuments are under occupation.
The last weeks have been crucial in negotiation process of Karabakh conflict. Especially given another three- sided meeting in Miscow on April 22nd, this shows that 2011 might be a year of reaching some concrete results in negotiation process. Not to mention that over the next two years, there are going to be parliamentary and presidential elections not only in Armenia and Azerbaijan but also in co- chair countries. And so, all parties in the negotiation process are aware that progress must be made in 2011. Without real progress, the prospects of military solution might just become a reality.
In his interview with NEWS.az, Azerbaijan’s non- partisan parliament member Rasim Musabeyov evaluates recent statements made by the Armenian President Serj Sargsyan on Baku waiting for the right time to engage in military action. Overall, Musabeyov believes that such blatant statements should be dismissed from the agenda. He further notes the importance of other countries to understand and recognize the fact that the contact line between the two countries has been prone to military intelligence penetration and several casualties. And that this should serve as a constant reminder that the current occupation of Azerbaijani territories cannot last forever and that with no peace and constant shootings continuing a large- sacle fighting can erupt any time.
Speaking in Washington, during a discussion on protection of citizens during armed conflict, Azerbaijan’s permanent representative to the UN Tofik Musayev, referred to many violations that took place as a result and during the Karabakh conflict, which were all listed in the UN resolutions adopted in 1993. Musayev also noted that its important to notify the aggressor of its crimes especially in order to understand individual criminal responsibility, ensuring stable peace, truth and reconciliation.
The ministry of Security of Azerbaijan, denied recent statement made by Armenia regarding injury of a citizen on the front line claiming that Azerbaijan never opened fire in the direction Armenian military forces are claiming. According to Armenian media, 33- year- old Armenian national was wounded in his head, while driving his truck during a work day.
The head of the EU delegation to Baku made a statement on recent news circulating around opening of a representative office of Nagorno- Karabakh in Brussels. In his comments, Roland Kobia, underlined once again EU’s official position on Karabakh and that the organization had no intention of establishing relations with Karabakh. And even if this happened, “it wont be officially registered,” added Kobia.
During a press conference, the head of the public and political department under the Presidential Administration, Ali Hasanov asserted Azerbaijan’s will to resolve the conflict by peaceful means. However, Hasanov didn’t refrain from noting that this was not something the Azerbaijani leadership wants. “Though with some concessions, we want Azerbaijan to tackle this conflict through peaceful means and not to get involved in a war again,” noted Hasanov. In his final remarks however, Hasanov did stress that the country’s patience was not eternal.
Radio Free Europe Azerbaijan Service
It has been 17 years since the signing of ceasefire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan under the Bishkek Protocols. The protocols took place back then under the leadership of Russian. The article then goes into the history of protocols and shortly describes the protocols- the main disagreement in the protocols was that Nagorno Karabakh was viewed as part of the Armenian community. Later the protocols were signed between Azerbaijan’s parliamentary speaker and Azerbaijani community of Nagorno Karabakh. Since then OSCE Minsk group has been carrying observation mission on the front line however shootings continue to this day.
Oqtay Sadikhzade, political scientist, comments on the situation around the conflict zone in this interview with NEWS.az. Sadikhazade sees negotiations as unstable and of imitating nature. He is also questions the status of the OSCE Minsk Group mission and its involvement in the conflict. The political scientist evaluates the status of the conflict as that of shifting from military phase of confrontation into some other form of confrontation which hardly can be characterized as frozen. In his final remarks, Sadikhzade notes his doubts of evading hostilities given the growing tension on the front line.
Azerbaijan’s occupied territories and its situation were noted by Swedish MP Anna Ibrisagic during the discussions held at the plenary meeting of the European Parliament. While EU noted its constant overview of the situation on the ground, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said that the EU was trying to support the progress in the settlement process.
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and the President of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly discussed the status of Karabakh during the President’s visit to Baku. During the meeting, Mammadyarov noted importance of OSCE as a mediating institution and underlined Azerbaijan’s interests in continuing its cooperation with the OSCE. The Foreign Minister during this exchange also noted the importance of the first step in moving forward in the conflict, i.e., return of the occupied territories which would influence not only the negotiation process positively but also the dynamic in the region.
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