Thursday, November 21 2019 11:41
Alexandr Avanesov

Nikol Pashinyan: Ink is better than blood and we need ink and strong  hands to bring peace to the peoples of our region

Nikol Pashinyan: Ink is better than blood and we need ink and strong  hands to bring peace to the peoples of our region

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. 

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