Monthly Review - Friday, April 1, 2011 0:02 - 0 Comments
Digest of Azerbaijani Media for March 16-30
by News Digest
Radio Free Europe Local Service
In his interview with Turkey’s CNN Turk, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Affairs Deputy Araz Azimov said Turkey complicated the resolution of the Karabakh conflict by signing Zurich protocols. Deputy also believes there is no point in expecting any major developments in Karabakh process prior to April 24th or after, given Armenia’s attempts in pulling Karabakh away from Azerbaijan while Azerbaijan wanting re- integration of Karabkh to Azerbaijan. “In this situation, we won’t reach any mutual conclusions” said Deputy in his final remarks to the channel.
Azerbaijan Commercial Aviation Administration notified the International Commercial Aviation Administration that Azerbaijan having closed air traffic to Karabakh will take necessary measures if flights coming in from other countries land in Karabakh. According to Azerbaijan Aviation Administration’s Director Arif Mammadov, any flights that would land in Khankendi are subject to physical destruction according to law on Aviation. In the meantime the under construction airport in Khankendi will be operative as of May 2011 and Separatist Karabakh’s leader Bako Sahakyan, responded that any attempts to prevent flights will be reciprocated by the Armenian army stationed in Karabakh.
Azerbaijan’s Air Line (AZAL) named the construction and further operation of the airport in Khankendi as that of no international legal basis. In this article [31.03.2011, RUS] published by DAY.az the main argument raised is that just as Armenia and Azerbaijan are negotiating the resolution of the Karabakh conflict within the framework of international and legal norms so should the operation of this airport too be seen within this very same framework.
Yevgeniy Minchenko spoke to Day.az on Karabakh’s current situation and intentions of both countries involved in this conflict. According to political scientist, Armenia’s position in Karabakh conflict is weakening due to several factors such as intense lobbying carried out in Russia and Turkey’s involvement in this conflict. However, Minchenko notes that no hope should be vested in any early resolution rhetoric. When asked whether he thinks US and France should be replaced by other countries as OSCE Co- Chairs, Minchenko notes with a touch of irony- “there aren’t many interested parties today not to mention parties with serious international presence who could replace these two countries”.
While commenting on recent death of a child as a result of a sniper shooting from the Armenian side, Minchenko said this gives more ground to believe that there is a possibility for military resolution, in fact, that this possibility is relatively high. Overall, MInchenko sees the current situation around the conflict as that of yet another few years of unproductive negotiation processes.
Samir Gamidov, an Azerbaijani political scientist, says that while Armenia sees Azerbaijan’s growth and strengthening of its positions, it will want to start military actions, in order to prevent this development. It’s a provocation method. He noted that recent death of a child is also a proof of such provocation method. Gamidov believes that no progress been achieved over the last months of negotiations over the final status of Karabakh and the surrounding regions and little development will come through so long as Armenia has no intentions in returning occupied territories to Azerbaijan.
Two soldiers were exchanged in Aghdam region- Azerbaijan swapped Arthur Badalian with Anar Hajiyev. Anar Hajiyev is the junior sergeant, who was captured in May 2009 by the Armenian Armed Forces. Having seen this exchange ICNC’s Yerevan delegation head, Lorenzo Caraffi says he is pleased to see the two countries follow through the exchange of persons as declared earlier by the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Astrakhan and later in Sochi.
Radio Free Europe Local Service
Following their visits to Yerevan, Baku and Karabakh, OSCE co- chairs made their final statements. In these statements, the Co- Chairs call on the two governments to continue fulfilling good will promises given during the meeting in Sochi earlier in March. The Co- Chairs asked the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan to take concrete steps in preventing ceasefire violations that have become sporadic on the contact line. This, according to the Co- Chairs could be an initiative to save lives of innocent people.
Eduard Sharmazanov, spokesman for the ruling Republican Party, believes any steps taken by either sides of the conflict, should be mutual, and that includes removal of snipers from the contact line. He noted violations by Azerbaijani Military forces, before and after the meeting in Sochi, which according to Sharmazanov, makes OSCE calls for mutual steps invalid. Sharmazanov, also called on the international organizations to asses Azerbaijan’s actions too.
Similarly, in another article titled ‘Karabakh to not accept proposal of the OSCE chairman’ leader of Karabakh separatists Baki Sahakian too notes that concessions would be made as long as they are mutual while referring to removal of snipers from the contact line. Sahakian added that Azerbaijan not removing its snipers only proves that the country is not interested in removing tension on the contact line.
Radio Free Europe Local Service
24 year old Samir Agayev died during ceasefire violation caused by the Armenian Armed Forces in Fizuli district.
BBC Azeri Service
The article touches a pressing issue- that over the last months, tensions have increased on contact line and ceasefire regime is broken almost every day. The article reports of another death of a soldier killed as a result of ceasefire violation- 20-year-old Elnur Mammadov.
Experts in Baku agree that these and previous incidents alike only justify the fragility and instability of the ceasefire regime.
Another violation and another casualty- according to this article, an officer from the Azerbaijan National Army was wounded as a result of cease-fire violation in Fuzuli region. According to field reports, the soldier was wounded wile driving in one of the military truck.
Military expert, Ildirim Mamedov believes that foreign organizations like the OSCE Minsk Group have done nothing in pointing to Armenia’s real intentions nor have they recognized Armenia as an aggressor. “The simply pretend, that everything is under their control, while in reality, they don’t care about the lives of local population, suffering from the on- going conflict”. Expert strongly believes that by hiding the truth about Karabakh conflict, these organizations give Armenia card blanche.
Mamedov believes that for Azerbaijani soldiers not lose their lives, Azerbaijan should retaliate 10 times more in order to teach a lesson to the provocateur. In fact, if something like this ever happened, that would have put an end to official Yerevan’s lies and military provocations.
In his interview with TREND.az Lord Laird, member of the Ulster Unionist Party and Chairman of the advisory board of the European Azerbaijan Society said it was unfortunate that in the course of 17 years, OSCE Minsk Group failed to achieve any significant level of progress. Lord Laird, noted that perhaps the biggest factor behind this failure is the existence of large Diaspora communities in these countries, which have in one way or another affected impartiality of the co-chairs. And not just France and the US but Russia too, who in Lord Laird’s words offered substantial military support to Armenia during war which is too making it difficult for balanced negotiations to evolve.
Given this impartiality of parties involved in the negotiation process, Lord Laird said it would be useful if EU showed more involvement in the Southern Caucasus. Perhaps even substituting France as a Co-Chair could be an option as well as an offer to supply peace keeping forces to help implement and monitor peace deal.
Alexandr Khramchikhin, who is in charge of analytical department at the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, says none of the actors involved in the resolution of Karabakh conflict, have any idea of how resolving this conflict, including the OSCE Minsk Group. According to the expert, right now, the priority in these negotiations is preventing any possibility of resumption of military actions between the two countries. Pointing out to the fact that none of the parties in the negotiation process, including Armenia itself have recognized independence of Nagorno Karabakh only justifies Azerbaijan’s struggle to fulfill its territorial integrity. However, expert believes, in case military actions resume and spread on the territory of Armenia, in this case involvement of Russia is inevitable.
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