Digest of Azerbaijani Media for Dec 1-12

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Ilham Aliyev: “Armenia wants to keep its current status quo” [AZ]

This was said by the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, during Astana summit while addressing the Nagorno Karabakh issue. According to the president, Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan’s history and is internationally recognized. And Armenia is doing everything it can to escalate the conflict. Starting from violating the ceasefire regime, holding trainings on occupied territories to renaming some of the historical sites.




Sargsyan had nothing to say [ENG]

Claims head of the Azerbaijani community of NK Bayram Safarov while commenting on the results of Astana summit and failure to meet any concrete developments. According to Safarov, it was because of Sargsyan’s double approach to the negotiation process that there is yet to be a development, further claiming that Sargsyan “answers different [ly] depeding on whom he speaks to”.

“Armenia have agreed to a dangerous document” [ENG]

The article presents statements made by the representative of the Armenian Natonal Congress (ANC) Vladimir Karapetyan on recently signed document in Astana by Armenia. According to Karapetyan, Armenia signed “dangerous document” according to which, sooner or later, Armenia will have to face return of the occupied territories.




Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry: Azerbaijan does not violate ceasefire regime [ENG]

According to the deputy head of the Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry Teymur Abdullayev, Azerbaijan never violated the ceasefire regime staying committed to its responsibilities agreed upon in 1994 treaty. However, Armenian media repots of an incident that took place this past Saturday (December 11th) on the Armenian- Azerbaijani border wounding one Armenian soldier Samvel Nikolyan. According to the article, if violations occur on the border, then its always Armenian side that violates the regime.



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“How many more years its going to take to resolve Karabakh problem?” [AZ]

This question was addressed to the Azerbaijani authorities by attendants of the Karabakh Forum organized by the Association towards Democracy. One of the issues raised during the forum was local government’s disapproval of international organizations and their double standard approach to Nagorno Karabakh and yet, the government itself prevents of having democratic elections monitored by these very same international organizations. As a result, inability to hold democratic elections, negatively affects the resolution process of the Karabakh problem.

The hosts of the Forum, addressed several questions to the government, one of which was on the time and the length and the government’s commitment to resolve Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Commenting on the recent Astana Summit, the organizers stressed the inefficiency of such meetings and that Azerbaijan must resolve this issue itself but trusting itself- starting from a democratic development.


Why did the Astana summit fail? [AZ]

This article presents different from some of the political scientists and journalists from Azerbaijan on the reasons why the summit in Kazakhstan’s capital failed to reach any concrete results.

According to political scientist and parliament member Rasim Musabekov, one of the reasons for failure was overall OSCE’s responsibility especially given its inability to strengthen democracy in post- Soviet countries.

On another note, Azer Rashidoglu, political commentator at “Zerkalo” newspaper said this summit, demonstrated Azerbaijan’s diplomatic failure. During the memorial declaration, Georgia’s territorial integrity was supported, Transnistria problem was reflected however, neither Karabakh conflict, nor Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity was recognized, said political commentator.



European expert: summit in Astana gave little more than weakest statement from the OSCE Minsk group [ENG]

Amanda Paul, while commenting on the results of the Astana summit and its implications for the further negotiation process of the NK conflict, said that recent events (the summit and some of the negative rhetoric at home) are indicative of the low point the two sides have hit. However, the policy analyst at the EU policy center, said that OSCE cannot be blamed for all of the failure. “The main fault lies with the two leaders themselves”, said expert. As long as there are no concerted efforts made by political leaders themselves, little could be achieved even with greater involvement of the international community.




“International community ‘half got’ Armenian side’s position on Karabakh” [ENG]

Karen Bekaryan, head of the European Integration analytical center believes that Armenia shouldn’t simply let OSCE monopolize negotiation process. According to Bekaryan, while recognition of Karabakh’s independence remains a priority for Armenia, the Armenian authorities should not simply give in to OSCE’s games its playing. Bekaryan claims that OSCE is supplying arms to Azerbaijan while calling both of the sides to peace and this is not possible, making territorial concessions to Azerbaijan “impossible”.



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Families from Syria and Armenia are moving to Zengilan [AZ]

The article reports on the news that families from Syria and Armenia are moving to Zengilan and that the Armenian authorities have promised these families assistance. However, none of the families received any assistance but despite this are fine with moving to Zengilan. The area has good climate and rich soil. The article also comes with a video footage prepared by one of the employees of the Armenian service for Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty.



Head of the Azerbaijani community in NK: Armenians building airport in NK for Azerbaijanis [ENG]

Rather interesting article appeared in Trend.az this week on rumors that Armenians are building an airport in Khankendi, which is commissioned for opening in May 2011 and will be carrying its first passengers on Yerevan- Khankendi- Yerevan route. Coming on this development, Bayram Safarov, head of the Azerbaijani Community in NK said Azerbaijan as well built many developments and that Armenians are using them. However, Safarov questioned the quality of the airport, commenting, “Armenian cannot build an airport meeting Azerbaijani standards. We will return to our lands and repair this airport once again”. Rumors circulating around the airport also having international flights, Safarov dismissed, saying the territory lacks the necessary space for construction of an international airport.




Separatist Karabakh will have no office in Brussels [ENG]

Elkhan Polukhov, Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry spokesman made rather harsh statements regarding efforts to open NK representative office in Brussels by Foreign Minister of unrecognized territory Georgi Petrosyan. According to the spokesman, given NK’s unrecognized status, no one will allow (not according to the international law at least) to open an official embassy for NK anywhere.



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OSCE will release its final evaluation report in two months [AZ]

OSCE Minsk Group plans to release its final report on the visit (which took place in October this year) to the occupied territories in Nagorno Karabakh in February. The group also plans to visit the region at the end of January, beginning of February.



Ramil Safarov’s extradition to Azerbaijan discussed in Budapest [ENG]

The article reports on possible development in Ramil Safarov’s case who is currently held in a prison in Budapest where he was sentenced on life sentence after murdering to death an Armenian servicemen in 2004. He was sentenced in 2006. According to the vice president of the international lawyer’s union, Ilham Rahimov, Safarov’s extradition to Azerbaijan wad discussed during his visit in Hungary.

The term “autonomy” should be changed into “independence” within Azerbaijan [ENG]

An interesting approach to terms is presented in this article by the professor and head of the Center for Black Sea- Mediterranean Studies, institute of Europe, Alla Yazkova. Yazkova, recommends to change terminology when it comes to talking about conflicts in this region following her visit to Scotland. During her stay there, she realized that while Scotland is under the autonomy of Great Britain, it values its independence. She notes that the term “autonomy” strongly associates with the Soviet Union and how it was implied back in the day, which was nothing short of subordination. And this is why she believes that a way to move forward in this conflict would be to change terminology.

Note: Official Baku will only grant highest degree of autonomy to NK in case of conflict resolution.

“I do not think Nagorno Karabakh will ever be independent” [ENG]

News.az interviewed Alex Jackson, Senior Editor of the Caucasian Review of International Affairs. Jackson believes that Russia is not really interested in resolving the conflict but keeping it in its current unresolved state while it continues exercising its interests in the region. Having said this, one cannot dismiss the fact that Russia has been active especially recently in organizing a number of bilateral agreements between the two sides.

Jackson also believes that Karabakh will never be interdependent and so its useless for Armenian especially to keep on waiting for this. “Azerbaijan, which is ready to grant the highest level of autonomy to this region, will never let it be independent”.

What seems to be the major problem says Jackson is territorial integrity vs. right for self- determination concepts put forward by the two sides to the conflict. Perhaps right to self- determination can be discussed, only once all of the Azerbaijan refugees and IDSP return to their homes.

Minsk Group co- chair says Karabakh process at an impasse, WikiLeaks [ENG]

The popular disclosure website WikiLeaks, released statements by Roland Galharague, an official from France and his correspondence with US political Andrew Young. According to these statements and correspondence, Galharague voiced his pessimism on the resolution of the conflict any time soon, adding that OSCE’s Minsk Group involvement is a dead- end.

Much of the inability to do something by the French government towards Armenia stems from the fact that there is large population of French citizens of Armenian background who also make up large percentage of voters in France.



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Ministers meet [AZ]

Following the OSCE summit meeting in Astana in early December, the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia met in Moscow to continue discussing Nagorno Karabkah conflict and its further resolution.



Armenian parliament fails to hold voting recognizing separatist Nagorno- Karabakh [ENG]

The article reports on the failure to adopt a bill, recognizing independence of NK as a result of governing coalition forces refusing to take part in the voting. The voting failed given there was lack of a quorum.

Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of disrespecting international law [ENG]

A wave of strong criticism came from Azerbaijan regarding Armenia’s recent amendments to a bill on international treaties. Ali Hasanov, the head of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration’s Social and Political Department said this was a clear sign of Armenia disrespecting international communities and international law.

According to the new bill, it will now be possible to legalize the legal arrangements between Armenia and the de- facto states, including the Armenia occupied NK.

Calling the steps taken by the Armenian authorities unconstructive, Hasanov blamed Armenia for the current impasse in the dialogue process. Such attitude, Hasanov said, wont be tolerated forever and if this continues, Azerbaijan will apply to ‘other’ methods.




‘Some superpowers’ may be in tested in resumption of Karabakh war [ENG]

Adil Aliyev, newly elected independent parliament member believes that the conflict over NK will be resolved over the next five years before 2015 when Armenia marks its 100th anniversary of the genocide of 1915. Aliyev does not dismiss resolution of the conflict through military means commenting that it is simply a matter of time.

Aliyev also mentioned that some superpowers (though not mentioning any names) would in fact support outbreak of hostility as it could supply arms to the parties of the conflict. However, the newly elected MP noted that none of these superpowers would directly support Armenia or “fight for Armenia” as he puts it.

In another statement on the outcome of military outbreak Aliyev commented that in case this happens, then Armenian servicemen fed up with humiliation and abuse of “their fellows” will shoot them first rather than start killing Azerbaijani soldiers. Adding that volume of Azerbaijan’s expenditure on its military capacity exceeds that of Armenia, not to mention its larger population and “heroes” who are “ready to sacrifice their lives for the territorial integrity and happy future of their country”.





Azerbaijan’s First Deputy Parliament Speaker: “Azerbaijan reserves right to liberate occupied territories [ENG]

This rather strong statement came from the fist deputy parliament speaker Ziyafet Askerov in the aftermath of the OSCE summit and its failure to reach any concrete steps towards resolving the NK conflict.

While blaming the international community for yet again another failure and inability to influence Armenia, he also accused the OSCE Minsk Group of its weak involvement only suitable for making empty statements.



Armenia “hostage to a problem of its own making” [ENG]

The following article is part of the interview with Aydin Mirzazadeh, the deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee on security and defense and ruling party member. While commenting on recent developments in Armenia’s parliament during the session on adoption of NK, Mirzazadeh says failure to recognize the territory is not something to be surprised of. He calls the territory of NK as a millstone for Armenia as it doesn’t know what do with it and it cannot go anywhere without it. Therefore, its recognition could become a ‘problem’ for Armenia such that in case of recognition, the international community might resort to sanctions against Armenia.

However, Mirzazadeh failed to say anything positive on behalf of Armenia when asked the question of whether the non- recognition of the NK would be positive factor in negotiation process. “Justice is on Azerbaijan’s side”, said deputy chairman.

On a similar note, an article titled “Armenia ‘unable’ to pass any solution on Karakabh” [ENG] political scientist and recently elected parliament member Rasim Musabekov called Armenia not independent when it comes to making such vital decisions and so the discussion at the Armenian parliament was simply a show case intended for Armenian public simply to demonstrate the ruling regime is doing some things in response to growing negative rhetoric on Azerbaijani side.



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“If Azerbaijan uses force, then Armenia will recognize Nagorno Karabakh” [AZ]

The article is a brief summary of Serzh Sargsyan’s statement on Nagorno Karabakh during his visit to Moscow. The president of Armenia repeated that Armenia has no intention and is totally against of waging a war and reaching resolution of the conflict through military means. Therefore, in his statement, he made sure to underline that if Azerbaijan decides to start a war, then Armenia, will recognize de jure Nagorno Karabakh and with all possible means protect its citizens.

“We need full return of our lands, not some declarations” [AZ]

Said Ali Ahmadov, deputy of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party following the discussions in Astana earlier this month. The article reports on official Baku stance on the conflict stressing the frustration of the people as well as the government of the dialogue process in general and its unsuccessful direction. While there can be many different summits and discussions, the end result is still not there repeated Ali Ahmadov in his statements to the journalists. Azerbaijan doesn’t want to have a bloody war and this country’s presence in dialogue is an example of its commitment in resolving this conflict peacefully. However, said the deputy, if the dialogue does not bear any results, then Azerbaijan will have to take necessary steps.


Armenians hold military exercise in occupied territories [ENG]

The article reports on recent military exercise held in Agdam region. Serzh Sargsyan and Armenia’s Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan attended the exercise.

Sargsyan reiterated Armenia’s position on the Karabakh issue [ENG]

Covering Sargsyan’s statement following the session of the Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization the article sums up Armenia’s president stance on the NK conflict. The president reiterated importance of peaceful settlement of the conflict especially following the meeting in Astana and the signing of a joint statement by the leaders of both countries. Ineffective consequences of war as well as unacceptability of any use of force were underlined by the US Secretary of State, Russian President and Prime Minister of France during the OSCE summit in Astana. However, Sargsyan also stated that if Azerbaijan does refer to military means for settling the conflict, then Armenian will recognize the status of NK.

“Armenia should recognize Nagorno Karabakh” [ENG]

Said leader of one of the Armenian opposition parties Heritage, Raffi Hovhannisian. In his statements at a news conference, Hovhannisian stressed importance for recognition of NK as he believes, leaving the territory unrecognized will lead to lingering of the process, and resembling similar situation of recognition of the Armenian genocide.

The bill to recognize the territory was rejected at the parliament and Hovhannisian believes that the speaker of the parliament instructed parliament members not to adopt the bill.



Russia’s ambassador to Azerbaijan: “Russian will intensify its mediation efforts to resolve Nagorno Karabakh (NK) conflict [ENG]

The ambassador while commenting on the singing of a joint statement in Astana said Russia is keen on taking more responsibility in the resolution of the NK conflict. An example for this is its active role in organizing the OSCE summit in Astana as well as a follo- up meeting in Moscow with the participation of the foreign ministers of the tree countries on December 9th to discuss further plans on the resolution of the conflict.




Azerbaijan MP: Sezh Sargsyan tries to blackmail Azerbaijan [ENG]

Following Azerbaijan’s militaristic rhetoric it didn’t take much time for the Armenian authorities to make their statement on this situation with Armenia’s president Serzh Sargsyan’s statement that if Azerbaijan continues with its rhetoric then Armenia will have no other choice but recognize NK. (http://today.az/news/politics/77995.html) This was perceived as a “show off” by one of the Azerbaijani parliament members Zahid Oruj. Oruj believes that Armenia is trying hard to show the world that its not alone in its struggle and that it has international back up “in case there is an outbreak of hostilities”.

The Azeri parliament member claims that the president of Armenia is “trying to secure a military- political balance, he tends to downplay Azerbaijan in the eyes of international community and show that Azerbaijan could be a threat to other countries”.

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