The Director of the International Expert Club EurAsiaAz and Editor-in-Chief of Azerbaijan’s News Agency Vzglyad.az Seymur Mammadov gave the following interview to the Islamabad-based Dispatch News Desk (DND).
– For the first time at the Munich Security Conference, a debate took place between the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Armenian leader said that “in resolution 884 it is written that Azerbaijan lost its lands as a result of its violation of the ceasefire. And it was Azerbaijan that did not comply with the requirements of the UN Security Council resolution. ” Does UNSC resolution 884 really say that Azerbaijan lost its lands as a result of its violation of the ceasefire?
– This is another fiction and exaggeration of the Armenian prime minister. He could not perform otherwise, since the attention of the international community was riveted on this debate, and Pashinyan needed to show the international community that he allegedly had complete information about UN Security Council resolutions on Karabakh, the history of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Karabakh conflict. The full text of all four resolutions (822, 853, 874,884) is available in English on the official website of the US Department of State. Speaking specifically about resolution 884, which the Armenian leader mentioned in a distorted form, I would like to say that this resolution was adopted on November 12, 1993. Firstly, this resolution does not say that Azerbaijan lost its lands as a result of its violation of the ceasefire. Secondly, this resolution stipulates that the UN Security Council condemns the occupation of the Zangelan region and the city of Horadiz, attacks on civilians and the bombing of the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Thirdly, this resolution speaks of the need to withdraw the occupying forces from the Zangelan region and the city of Horadiz, as well as from other occupied regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Fourthly, the resolution also requested urgent humanitarian assistance to the affected civilian population, including the Zangelan region, the city of Horadiz, as well as assistance in returning refugees and displaced persons to their homes. For some reason, Pashinyan kept silent about these facts, which are stated in resolution 884. He has absolutely no idea about UN Security Council resolutions on Karabakh. I urge the citizens of Armenia and the international community to familiarize themselves with this resolution. All that Prime Minister Pashinyan said about this resolution at the debate at the Munich Security Conference is open lies and misinformation. I believe that the UN Security Council should take into account the distorted statement of the Armenian Prime Minister on resolution 884 and give an appropriate assessment. The Armenian Prime Minister openly misleads the entire world society, calls into question not only the text of this resolution, but also the entire UN work on the development of all four UN resolutions on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
– The Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan also stated at the debate that in the UN Security Council resolutions there is no phrase “Armenian troops”, and only “local Armenian forces” is mentioned. Does this mean that the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh have created self-defense forces?
Before answering this question, I would like to note that the Armenian side is trying to present the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as the subject of a territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh, that supposedly the Republic of Armenia has nothing to do with this conflict. For this reason, the Armenian side insists on the return of Karabakh to the negotiating table. When Pashinyan came to power, this issue is constantly raised by the Armenian side at meetings at the level of co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, foreign ministers and leaders of both countries, which was not done before under the former presidents of Armenia Sargsyan and Kocharyan.
Even before the start of the Karabakh war, the Armenian authorities sent its troops to Nagorno-Karabakh and initiated the creation of the so-called self-defense units. The Armenians of Karabakh did not have any plans to create “self-defense forces”. These were “not the Karabakh self-defense forces”, but the military personnel of the Armenian Armed Forces. Yes, among them there were also Karabakh Armenians, no one argues with this, but an extremely small number. The vast majority of the armed forces in Karabakh were military personnel of the Armenian Armed Forces.
Regarding Pashinyan’s statement that the UN Security Council’s resolutions do not contain the phrase “Armenian troops”, and only “local Armenian forces” are mentioned, firstly, as I noted above, the so-called local Armenian forces mainly included military personnel Armenia. Secondly, the UN Security Council resolutions do not have a clear phrase called “self-defense forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh region,” which casts doubt on Pashinyan’s statement that only “local Armenian forces” were allegedly involved in the Karabakh war. Thirdly, if you familiarize yourself with the resolutions, they clearly express serious concern about the deterioration of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and there is no mention or even hint that the conflict escalated between Azerbaijan and the “Nagorno-Karabakh self-defense forces” Do you know why? Because the UN Security Council resolutions on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict contain a very important fact that destroys the Armenian myth about belonging the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh to the Republic of Armenia. The resolutions contain the phrase “the Armenians of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan”, that is, the UN recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. However, the Armenian authorities prefer to keep silent about these facts. The question involuntarily arises – On what basis do Pashinyan and his predecessors consider Nagorno-Karabakh the territory of Armenia? Is there any mention in the UN resolutions of the belonging of this region to the Republic of Armenia? No, of course.
And yet, in its resolutions, the UN calls on Armenia to use its influence in Nagorno-Karabakh in order to prevent the further supply of separatists with military means. What does this mean? This is a clear UN hint that the Republic of Armenia is behind the Karabakh separatists, the Armenian armed forces are actively involved in the Karabakh war. Thus, it can be concluded that the Armenian authorities themselves initiated the issue of self-determination of the Karabakh Armenians, since their ultimate goal is to tear Nagorno-Karabakh away from the Azerbaijan and include it its territory. The population of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan – azerbaijanis and armenians had equal rights, and none of the Armenians was ever subjected to ethnic discrimination.
– Do you want to say that there are no grounds for the self-determination of the Karabakh Armenians?
– No, and it cannot be. The Armenians of Karabakh never faced the facts of violence, normal conditions were created for them to live, receive education in their native language, no one infringed on their rights. Now look at the conditions in which the Armenians of Karabakh live today – a low standard of living has been recorded, unemployment, an acute shortage of jobs, the material condition of the Karabakh population is getting worse from year to year. After all, all this could have been avoided, if not the aggressive policy of Armenia regarding the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
But in the border villages of Azerbaijan with Armenia and the conflict zone, the opposite picture is observed: the level of well-being is growing, salaries, pensions are rising, the transport infrastructure is improving, new industrial enterprises, jobs are opening, etc. All this became possible thanks to the visionary, wise policy of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the socio-economic reforms he carried out gave a great impetus to the development not only of the development of large cities, but also of all regions of the republic. Today, it is the peaceful, tolerant policy of President Ilham Aliyev that is the guarantor of stability in the region.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev clearly expressed his position regarding the self-determination of the Karabakh Armenians at the debate at the Munich Conference. “Armenian people self-determinated themselves, they have Armenian state. My advice is to find other place on Earth to self-determinate them for the second time, not in Azerbaijan., the Azerbaijani leader said.
Do you want self-determination and independence? Move to Armenia or to the territory of another foreign state. But leave Nagorno-Karabakh alone, nothing connects you with this region. The Azerbaijani people and the government of the country will never allow the creation of a second Armenian state on Azerbaijani soil.
How, in your opinion, should the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict be settled? What are the first steps you need to take to resolve it?
– The Azerbaijani side has always insisted on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peacefully, on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions. The world community should put pressure on Armenia in the issue of its implementation of four resolutions – this is the liberation of Azerbaijani lands from occupation and the return of forced refugees to their homes. And we must start first with the seven occupied regions in which the Armenians have never lived. I think that in negotiations, in various international forums, in global events, at UN meetings, the emphasis should be placed on the issue of the liberation of seven districts. I repeat once again, Armenians have never lived in these seven districts. And Nagorno-Karabakh is the next stage of negotiations. I take a phased approach to resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.