By Adil Aliyev
The situation in the region is still tense. Despite Azerbaijan’s desire for peace and stability in the region, the Armenian authorities and the Karabakh separatists, including their patrons around the world, are doing everything they can to increase tensions. Despite its heavy defeat in the Second Karabakh War, Armenia continues its provocations.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is playing with fire, he has declared that he recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, including Karabakh, but on the other hand, he is delaying the reflection of what he said in the document. The President of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, has said several times the importance of Nikol Pashinyan signing the peace agreement. At the root of all problems lies Armenia’s avoidance of recognizing Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. If this does not happen, the determination of borders will be prolonged. In fact, the non-normalization of relations with the neighboring state should worry Armenia more. Mr. Ilham Aliyev openly said: “If Armenia does not recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan will not recognize the territorial integrity of Armenia and will officially declare it.” If you do not recognize Karabakh as the territory of Azerbaijan, why should I recognize Western Zangezur as the territory of Armenia? This is our message to the international world and pro-Armenian centers that if you really want peace and stability in the region, make Armenia recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan! Unfortunately, some in the international world still prefer to voice the “whims” of Armenians. These are the centers that turned a blind eye to the occupation of Azerbaijani lands for 30 years, avoided telling the truth, preferred to remain silent, but as soon as the occupation ended and Azerbaijan began to subjugate Karabakh, they “became active” and could not hide their anti-Azerbaijani policies. This also has a popular name: “Double standards!”
France’s policy is obvious. This state did not hide its sympathy for the invader Armenia in the past years, but at least tried to create a certain image of balance. With the election of Emmanuel Macron as president, they completely forgot the “balance”, France completely sided with Armenia in the Second Karabakh War and the period after it. Macron’s one-sided statements, a group of mayors of French cities coming to the beginning of the Lachin road and making provocative statements are steps that encourage separatism in Azerbaijan. This is done by the country whose history is full of black pages, the recent coups in African countries are a lesson for Paris.
There are also such in the US Congress. A group of pro-Armenian congressmen have recently become “active”, making statements against Azerbaijan and sending their representatives to Armenia. However, unlike France, the official circles of the USA understand the role and importance of Azerbaijan in the region, so they try to maintain an equal distance with both sides. This is not without reason. First, Washington attaches importance to security and energy cooperation with Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has had an important position in Europe’s energy supply in recent years. This meets the interests of both the European Union and the United States against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war. On the other hand, Washington also sees and appreciates Azerbaijan’s humanitarian aid to Ukraine. However, let those pro-Armenian congressmen answer our one question: Which of the things Azerbaijan did for Ukraine, which you also defend, has Armenia done for Ukraine?
Nevertheless, Armenia and the Armenian lobby have mobilized all their capabilities to launch pressure tools against Azerbaijan in the international world. It appeared again in the discussions of the UN Security Council that this pressure was ineffective. Azerbaijan’s friends in the world have also increased. While the Armenian officials and their patrons in the world talk about the “food problems” of the Armenians in Karabakh, they are preventing the reception of 40 tons of flour products intended for the Armenians living in the region via the Aghdam-Khankendi road of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society. Logically, if you need flour products, you should take that flour. However, the Armenian authorities and separatists do not let go of their grip and demand the opening of the road to Lachin. It is impossible. During the occupation, they used the Lachin road as they wanted, carried weapons, laid mines on the roads. The Azerbaijani army put an end to this and a border crossing point was established at the beginning of the Lachin road. Currently, Karabakh Armenians use that road and getting used to being checked by Azerbaijani border guards at the border crossing point. This does not serve the interests of the separatists and those whose hands are covered in blood will not be able to use the border-crossing point and leave Azerbaijan, as now some are caught at the border while trying to cross to Armenia. It cannot be otherwise. It is inevitable that the Armenian criminals who killed civilians and participated in massacres should be arrested and brought to justice. As for the opening of the Lachin road, Hikmet Hajiyev, assistant to the president of Azerbaijan, has a clear statement about it: “24 hours after the opening of the Aghdam-Khankendi road, the Lachin road will be opened.”
Karabakh Armenians must make a choice. They must either accept to live under the laws of Azerbaijan or leave Azerbaijan. Those who describe it as “ethnic cleansing” are wrong. If someone in France or another country says, “I don’t want to live under the laws of this country and carry its passport”, they will immediately deport him from the country. Azerbaijan has the same right.
There is still chaos in the part of Karabakh that is not liberated from occupation. The leader of the separatists has resigned, and someone else has been “appointed” in his place. It will not save them. Their only alternative is to disarm and accept Azerbaijan’s conditions. If the Armenian community of Karabakh refuses to dialogue with Baku and to open the Aghdam-Khankendi road, it will become urgent for the Azerbaijani army to establish law and order in the region. If the Armenian authorities have a little logic left, they should advise the Karabakh separatists to do so. However, it seems that the Armenian authorities chose to increase the tension by giving preference to provocations on the border. Probably, they believe in Armenia that they will be able to distract Azerbaijan from creating order in Karabakh through provocations on the border. This “trick” will not pass. The strength of the Azerbaijani army is sufficient both to maintain our superiority on the border and to eradicate separatism in Karabakh. The communication lines of Karabakh are under the control of the Azerbaijani army. Do not forget this. Those communication lines were built illegally during the occupation. Sarsang reservoir under occupation is also under our attention. During the occupation, Armenian separatists created an environmental disaster in the Sarsang reservoir, which had a total water capacity of 560 million cubic meters. The relevant resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the Sarsang water reservoir also creates a basis for taking control of the management of the Sarsang water reservoir in Azerbaijan.
We are stronger together! Thanks to Mr. President’s foreign and domestic policy, Azerbaijan has great power, and we protect our unity! This is enough for us to fulfill the task we want and aim for!
Adil Aliyev, MP is the Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijan’s Parliament
The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News Agency.