ArmInfo.Armenia is in an unstable region with many threats and challenges to security. In the South Caucasus, there are still unresolved conflicts that lead to continued tension, an arms race and hatred.
This was announced yesterday at the Milan International Institute of Political Science - ISPI think tank, said Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. According to him, quoted by the press service of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, two of the four borders of Armenia, the borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan, have remained closed for almost three decades.
Refusing to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia, and supporting Azerbaijan, Turkey remains a serious security threat to Armenia and the Armenian people, which was subjected to the first genocide of the 20th century in the Ottoman Empire. "Although the two borders - with Georgia and Iran are open - from the point of view of economic efficiency, they can only be considered half-open. Foreign policy problems emanating from our other two neighbors limit the potential of our foreign economic relations and limit the possibilities for large-scale regional cooperation," Nikol said Pashinyan: But the biggest security problem for Armenia, as the head of government noted, is the Karabakh conflict, which remains unregulated, becoming a constant source of tension and threatening to provoke another outbreak of hostilities in the region.
"Anyone interested in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should know the history of the conflict. This conflict is not a territorial dispute, as some are trying to present it in a simplified form. It is about the right to self-determination, human rights and physical security of the people who live there. The roots of the conflict go back to the first years of the Soviet Union, when, by arbitrary decision of the Communist Party, Azerbaijan was assigned this Armenian region, in which 95% of the population are Armenians. This happened as a result of an agreement reached between Bolshevik Russia and Kemalist Turkey in the early 1920s.
In Soviet times, the conflict manifested itself in a systematic and violent discriminatory attitude towards the Armenian population, as a result of which Nagorno-Karabakh, on the eve of the collapse of the Soviet Union, advocated self-determination. In response, the authorities of Soviet Azerbaijan took tough measures using this military force, "said Nikol Pashinyan, asking a question about the reasons for this situation.
"First of all, the Azerbaijani authorities refuse to negotiate with representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh. They argue that Nagorno-Karabakh should be considered an integral part of Azerbaijan. But this is a really strange position.
On the one hand, the Azerbaijani authorities want Nagorno-Karabakh to be part of their territorial integrity. With on the other hand, they don't want to have a dialogue with representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh. a slave simply because they only need a territory, not a people, more precisely, areas without people, which means that they hope to resolve the conflict by military means - to occupy the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, conduct ethnic cleansing and get rid of both the Armenians and the problem itself . "A military decision is not ruled out," - these are typical statements by President Ilham Aliyev, repeated by him repeatedly. "At any time, we can solve the issue by military means," said President Ilham Aliyev in a statement at a government meeting in January 2017 that spoke about the country's economic development. We will increase our military power, and I believe that this is one of the most important factors in the negotiations>.
These words were said on November 5, 2018. A statement of December 17, 2018 states: "our military and our forces are key factors in the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," - the end of the quote, "the head of the Armenian government recalled. Nikol Pashinyan stressed that there are many reasons to believe that the authorities of Azerbaijan are preparing their society for war. For this reason they foment anti-Armenian sentiment among their people. That's why they spend huge resources on weapons. That is why anti-Armenian hatred has become an official policy in Azerbaijan. That's why anti-Armenianism has become state policy in Azerbaijan. "I I will give some specific examples of this policy in action. Any the foreigner who visits Nagorno-Karabakh is put in blacklist of Azerbaijan. This list has more than 850 people. Citizens any country bearing an Armenian surname or suspected of belonging to the Armenian nationality, cannot enter Azerbaijan. A similar incident occurred with a journalist, US civilian Diana Markosyan, representing Bloomberg, who was banned from entering Azerbaijan in 2011. In 2014, this happened with the musician of the Turkish orchestra, Rafter Noyan, who had an Armenian surname.
In 2016, this happened to eight-year-old Luka Vardanyan, and in 2018, to Russian pensioner Olga Barseghyan. In 2017, a woman of Armenian descent with her 4-year-old child was held at the Baku airport for three hours and then deported. The list goes on. But perhaps the most famous case occurred with the player of Arsenal Heinrich Mkhitaryan, who missed the final match of the Europa League in Baku just a few months ago. Azerbaijani authorities even banned T-shirts with the name of Mkhitaryan. And the people who drove them were stopped by police in the streets of Baku. Sometimes such a policy is even ridiculous. Just a few days ago, a driver was arrested in Baku for simply listening to an Armenian pop song. But the most tragic and cynical was the case of Ramil Safarov, who killed his Armenian colleague while participating in a NATO seminar in Budapest. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and then extradited to Azerbaijan by the Hungarian authorities. Subsequently, he was proclaimed the national hero of Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev forgave him, he was promoted and received an apartment, "continued Nikol Pashinyan.
Nevertheless, according to him, despite the anti-Armenian policy of the Azerbaijani authorities, Armenia is taking concrete steps to search mutually acceptable conflict resolution.
"For this purpose, I publicly announced about a year ago that any solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be acceptable to the people of Armenia, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and the people of Azerbaijan. I was the first Armenian leader to voice such a position. In my country, I was sharply criticized for this initiative, in which the three sides are equal, but I am convinced that this is the only way to a peaceful and lasting settlement of the conflict, since it involves an opportunity for compromise, mutual respect and balance. I expect a similar statement from Azerbaijan. If we hear such a statement from President Aliyev, it will be a real breakthrough in the negotiation process. However, the Azerbaijani authorities remain in their previous positions in order to resolve the issue only in a way that is acceptable to the people of Azerbaijan. This gives me another reason to believe that Azerbaijan is hoping for a military solution to the conflict and does not want to find a solution at the negotiating table, but the Azerbaijani authorities should understand that there are alternatives to peace talks and peace There is no solution to the problem.
First of all, it is completely useless to speak the language of the threat with Artsakh and Armenia. This is the road to nowhere. Azerbaijan once tried to speak the language of power with the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and faced serious consequences, despite its enormous superiority over Nagorno-Karabakh both in terms of population and weapons. Attempts to avenge their military failures will not be useful. Military escalation in our region will have disastrous consequences even from a global point of view. By participating in military adventures, Azerbaijan can create a favorable environment for terrorists who have lost their influence in Syria and Iraq and are now looking for new territories for their operations. Geographically, Azerbaijan can serve as a springboard for their penetration into the region in all four directions: south, north, east and west. Nagorno-Karabakh is a very difficult and painful issue for the peoples of the region. It cannot be resolved without persistent and consistent efforts, without compromise, mutual respect and balance.
But if we have taken responsibility for the future of our peoples, then we must make efforts to achieve real change. I mean the government of Azerbaijan, the government of Nagorno-Karabakh and the government of Armenia. We sincerely seek peace in the region and are ready for dialogue in the name of a solution acceptable to the peoples of Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan. This is our approach, and we are ready to negotiate on the basis of this new paradigm. In conclusion, I would like to say that before coming here, I visited the Institute's website and was struck by one of the headlines: "Ink is better than blood". There was enough blood in this conflict. Now we need ink and strong hands to put an end to this and bring peace to the peoples of our region.