ArmInfo. The President of Azerbaijan has constantly promised his people that his army can quickly capture Nagorno-Karabakh if they so wish. The third president of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, stated this in an interview with The Independent.
Sargsyan noted that now the ARF is using all the weapons in its arsenal, including mercenaries, drones sent by Turkey, but in three weeks they managed to deepen in only one direction, which does not mean the end of the war.
"The Armenian army is a combat-ready army with thousands of professionals dedicated to their cause, experienced officers who have gone through two wars, generals, tens of thousands of brave soldiers armed with sufficient weapons for a defensive war. But, unfortunately, many people died, inflicting heavy losses on the Azerbaijani armed forces. and to the mercenaries, defending themselves. Strategically, this war is madness, the civilian population pays for Aliyev's mad dream, "the third president emphasized. When asked why after Nikol Pashinyan came to power, there was already a threefold large clash between the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides, Sargsyan noted that this was the first major clash over the past time. "What happened in July was a small collision, and, in my opinion, it could have been solved differently. But I agree that my receiver did not follow the path that we have long achieved success, he decided how he said to start negotiations from a new point.
I can say that this conflict has never been frozen, even if we managed to guarantee the security of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azerbaijan periodically, however, on a smaller scale, continued to attack us all these years. Real peace is possible only through negotiations. This was achieved, for example, in Kazan. As a result of many years of achievements and failures, the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2011 agreed on a package solution. The presidents of the Minsk Group co-chairing countries expressed satisfaction with the progress. Russia made a public statement: "The President of Azerbaijan and I were invited to Kazan to confirm the agreement reached. When we were all on the same floor, Aliyev took a sheet of paper with more than a dozen significant changes from his pocket. All these provisions were discussed for months during the negotiations of the parties, clarified in detail or removed in a well-drafted document. Everyone was shocked, but despite the disappointment of the mediators, Aliyev said he would not agree to the document. I do not agree that the negotiated settlement of the issue in Kazan has been exhausted. Yes, in 2016 Aliyev violated the ceasefire and attacked Nagorno-Karabakh. We defended ourselves bravely, we did not surrender a single settlement, Aliyev had to restore the 1994 ceasefire agreement. The ceasefire was signed by the authorities of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Then, a few weeks after the hostilities, the Minsk Group co-chairs in Vienna and St. Petersburg declared that they respected the 1994-1995 ceasefire.
They noted the need to create a mechanism for investigating incidents and expand the powers of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. And although Aliyev did not want to agree with this, we continued negotiations through mediators, the co-chairs of the Minsk Group, "Sargsyan stressed. The third president noted that the unresolved conflict is also associated with a lack of trust.
"The Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh, which we call Artsakh, was handed over to Azerbaijan by Stalin as an apple of discord. Since then, Azerbaijan has been trying to free the land from the Armenian population, blocking diplomatic decisions. I am deeply convinced that direct negotiations with Alev are a gross mistake for a very simple reason. : Azerbaijan will never agree to the recognition of the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh, in general, international practice shows that the exercise of the right to self- determination occurs through coercion by mediators. And it is no coincidence that the events took place in 2016. A few months after large-scale hostilities in October, the President of Azerbaijan admitted behind closed doors at a cabinet meeting that he was being forced to recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh. I believe that the aforementioned approaches to the negotiation process are the cornerstone, and therefore I agreed to be elected Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia after two terms in office, as I was convinced that the change of the main negotiators would be disastrous. Continuity was vital, "he said.
Sargsyan stated that he and his team, as well as other opposition political forces, have repeatedly appealed to both the current government and the NKR President, offering their services. "However, I must state with regret that they did not contact us. I cannot comment on internal relations now. Armenia is facing external aggression, so it needs to be united," the third president said.
He also noted that now it should not be about winning or losing a war, but about peace. "When the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse, the Self-Defense Committee of Nagorno-Karabakh, which I headed, undertook to protect our people from ethnic cleansing, which we witnessed in Baku, Sumgait and other places. International sources note that military actions in Artsakh before the ceasefire 1994 cost the lives of nearly 30,000 people on all sides.
We defended our homes, we won the war, a ceasefire was established. However, we could not make peace with our neighbor, who never gave up his insatiable desire to conquer the mountains of Karabakh. That is why we need international mediators of the OSCE Minsk Group, one of the co-chairs of which is Russia, with its vast experience and capabilities, "Sargsyan stressed.
According to the third president of Armenia, after his resignation, he did not communicate with Aliyev. "The message to Azerbaijan, as well as to all other parties to the conflict, is clear: this conflict cannot be resolved by military means or by any other means that will force Armenians to leave their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh. Peace should be established exclusively through negotiations," he said.
Touching upon the role of Turkey in this process, Sargsyan noted that Ankara and Baku prepared for a very long time and took this process seriously." According to intelligence and credible media reports from many countries, this war involves mercenaries from Syria and Libya, sent by Turkey. Turkish drones are a big support for Azerbaijani attacks. It can be concluded that decisions on military operations are made jointly. You should know that we have tried to improve relations with Turkey. When I became President in 2008, I came up with a new initiative by inviting then Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Yerevan to begin negotiations on the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations.
Regional peace and security can greatly benefit from a normalization of relations with Turkey without preconditions.
The Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Turkey signed the Zurich Protocols on October 10, 2008 in the presence of the Foreign Ministers of Switzerland, Russia, USA and France.
However, literally a day later, the then Prime Minister of Turkey Erdogan said that the ratification of the protocols would be possible only when the security forces of Armenia leave Karabakh, thereby suspending the whole process, "Sargsyan concluded.