Monthly Review - Friday, April 15, 2011 0:01 - 0 Comments
Digest of Azerbaijani Media for April 1- 14
by News Digest
Ali Ahmadov, executive secretary of the Azerbaijan’s ruling party urged OSCE Minsk Group to go beyond statements and take concrete actions especially as these statements don’t lead to any concrete developments. Ahmadov added with irony that many in Azerbaijan see the mission as tourists.
Ahmadov also referred to the current OSCE report compiled as a result of the mission’s visit to the occupied territories, finding it semi objective: “the report submitted by the mission contains relevant objectivity of moments. And there are moments that do no reflect the position of Azerbaijani and the general parameters of the process”.
Azerbaijan marked 18th anniversary since the Armenian forces occupied Kalbajar. On that day according to the article some 550 people died, 320 went missing and 132 settlements (approximately) were taken under the control of Armenians.
Radio Free Europe Local Service (Azadliq.org)
The article is the translation of Thomas de Wall’s observations on Karabakh talks and 10th year anniversary since Key West talks in Florida. De Waal looks back when the then president of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev returned to Azerbaijan following the visit and began to move away from the peace plan. Both leaders as a result didn’t do anything to prepare the two nations. Chances for peace were higher back then than they are now reads the article. Not to mention that the plan wasn’t proposed by a third party but by the presidents themselves.
Over the course of the last six years, the situation hasn’t changed if not moved backwards. Both leaders refrain from signing a document that would in future let Karabakh hold a referendum and Azerbaijan get some of its occupied territories in return. And this is so, writes de Wall precisely because both presidents strongly believe that agreeing to such premises would create danger.
De Wall believes that if Azerbaijani and Armenian lobby groups come to peace in Washington that would be half way through in the Karabakh negotiation process.
Leader of Armenia’s Democratic Party, Aram Sarkisyan noted his disbelief in current leadership of Yerevan and its stance on the Karabakh conflict. Sarkisyan believes that as long as there is no concrete position adopted in the negotiation table anything will change. According to Sarkisyan, OSCE Co- Chair countries too are not key in the resolution of the process; in fact he argues their mandate is to regulate the conflict, not resolve it, which is often forgotten.
The leader of the party holds current leadership responsible for not dismissing Madrid principles as a whole as there is a huge trust gap. He suggests giving OSCE Co- Chairs new mandate and calling for a new international conference.
Mubariz Ahmedoglu believes that OSCE Co- Chairs activity and methods over the last 14 years have done nothing but to bring the two sides closer to war. According to the political scientist the Co- Chairs are being biased in their evaluation as well, given that only three points were included in the mission evaluation report following their visit to the occupied territories that were for Azerbaijan.
Chairperson of Azerbaijan Parliament’s human rights committee and parliament member Rabiyyat Aslanova stressed importance of the OSCE Minsk Group while expressing her high hopes for the missions’ next visit to the region. Aslanova stressed mission’s importance and overall international interest to the Karabakh conflict and Azerbaijan’s growing influence and statue in the world overall. According to Aslanova much of the current attention and interest stems from Azerbaijan’s successful policies outside and inside the country.
In her remarks, MP once again made it clear that while Azerbaijan and its people are capable of resolving the conflict on their own, the country still looks for resolution brokered by the international community and actors.
Russia’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Vladimir Dorokhin, spoke of Russia’s interest in finding a solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in a press statement. Dorokhin stressed few nuances of Russia’s involvement in this conflict as one of the OSCE Co- Chairs. In Ambassador’s words, Russia’s president deals with the conflict personally unlike other co- chairs, and feels responsible for resolving the conflict.
Much hope being vested in OSCE Minsk Group (MG) next visit to the region. Parliament member Aydin Mirzazade too hopes more concrete steps will come out of the upcoming visit. Mirzazade underlined the importance of more developments taking place as a way to convince the general public in Azerbaijan that the mission indeed is doing something. However, MP also referred to some developments taking place, as certain changes being adopted during last meeting of the presidents in March.
Azerbaijan’s Minister of Security Safar Abiyev believes that all Azerbaijani territories must be returned and Armenian military forces must leave Azerbaijan’s territory. This was said during the meeting between the Minister and Turkey’s Minister of National Security Veci Gonul. Azerbaijan did everything to prepare its military and they will be used, when their service will be required for liberating the occupied territories said Safar Abiyev.
Eldar Guliyev, who represented Azerbiajan in UN between 1994 and 2001 believes that while visits by OSCE Co-Chairs to the occupied territories and subsequent reports are important, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are accurate. Guliyev believes that Co- Chairs will never reflect the reality they see in these territories but simply put together some reports in order to justify their existence.
In reality the Co- Chairs can’t do much apart from keeping the spirit of the negotiations high. Guliyev added that given what is happening in the Middle East and North Africa, resolution of Karabakh has been postponed for the time being with also upcoming elections in Russian and the US.
Novruz Mammadov spoke on possibilities of the resolution of the conflict through peaceful means and subsequent relations between the societies of the two countries. Chief of the Foreign Relations Department of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration noted that not all resources for peaceful resolution were exhausted while criticizing Armenia’s side and accusing it of unconstructive position in the negotiation process. Mammadov called on the Armenian authorities to stop sacrificing interests of people over personal interests.
According to Alexandr Dugin, Leader of the International Eurasian Movement, Armenia occupied 7 surrounding districts in order to get Karabakh recognized. There are no other reasons behind the occupation. But no one will recognize Karabakh, and that’s clear especially as all parties to the conflict, including other neighbors in the region like Iran, Turkey and Russia are enjoying the way negotiation process is evolving.
Referring to the “genocide” game played annually by Armenians, political scientist characterized it as unacceptable activity.
Chairman of the Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation, and Armenian political analyst Stepan Grigoryan says that the negotiation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan should not be dismissed as completely hopeless. According to Grigoryan, the process in indeed not in a deadlock and the fact that Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev signed documents that refer to Nagorno Karabakh’s people right to self determination within the Madrid principles framework is in itself a sign of positive development. However, Grigoryan believes what lacks is trust as lack of confidence between the conflicting parties is a setback in the overall negotiation process. And as part of trust building measures removing snipers from the front line and prisoner exchange must continue.
In an interview with NEWS.az, Deputy Head of the Motherland Party and also member of the Azerbaijan Parliament’s defense and security committee Zahid Oruj responded to the questions on Karabakh, negotiation process and Russia’s influence and role in the region overall as well as in the conflict settlement process. While referring to Russia, Oruj emphasized the active role its been playing in the negotiation process pretty much single handedly. He also noted, that Russia fully understands the further preservations of the current status quo and potential threats to regional stability.
Oruj noted however, that while some progress is being made and a number of proposals are coming it, Azerbaijan in no way will make concessions on the return of occupied territories.
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