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#1 Yervant1


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Posted 24 September 2014 - 06:16 AM


The Hill, DC
Sept 23 2014

By Mark Dietzen

In his September 11 post, absurdly titled "Armenia has always been
the aggressor," the U.S. Azeris Network's military analyst Denis
Jaffe once again distorts the facts pertaining to the Nagorno Karabakh
conflict. Jaffe's exaggeration and abuse of the truth does a disservice
to The Hill's readers.

First, Mr. Jaffe points to four United Nations Security Council
Resolutions to back up his false claim that Armenia is the aggressor
in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. But a reading of these resolutions
shows that they make no mention whatsoever of Armenia as an aggressor
or occupier, as Jaffe irresponsibly asserts.

ADVERTISEMENT Instead, while these resolutions express "serious concern
at the deterioration of relations between the Republic of Armenia and
the Azerbaijani Republic and at the tensions between them," references
to control over disputed territory specify "local Armenian forces,"
a point lost to Jaffe. These local forces were those of the Nagorno
Karabakh Republic (NKR), the independent but thus far internationally
unrecognized state, cosignatory to the 1994 ceasefire agreement,
and an official party to the peace talks until Baku refused to
continue negotiations with it in 1998. Though Armenia is a party to
the conflict and a guarantor of the NKR's security, the core problem
is between Azerbaijan and the NKR. So when it comes to the meaning
of the UN Security Council resolutions, Jaffe is right. We really
should not take his word for it.

Second, the NKR's secession from Soviet Azerbaijan happened not because
of Russia, but in spite of Russia's opposition, even though it was
in full accordance with then acting Soviet legislation. Moscow
had no determinant effect on the Karabakh War. Indeed, it was
post-Soviet Russia that mediated the ceasefire agreement between
Azerbaijan, Armenia, and the NKR. Jaffe's attempt to depict the NKR's
secession from Azerbaijan, and its current state-building efforts, as
"Russian-sponsored separatism," is simply contrary to the facts. It
was only a year ago when, during a press conference with Russian
President Putin, Azerbaijani President Aliyev announced that he had
made arms deals with Russia worth 4 billion dollars. Surely Baku would
not make such deals if it was convinced that Moscow was a NKR-sponsor.

Third, Jaffe's attempt at proving his unfounded charge that Armenia
has been "making grave threats against Azerbaijan for many years,"
is based on a series of cherry-picked quotations from the very same
articles that clearly demonstrate Armenia's adherence to peace. For
example, when Jaffe refers to the November 8, 2012 Wall Street Journal
interview, writing, "President Sargsyan said that Armenia would
strike Azerbaijan in a 'disproportionately' hard way," he attempts
to mislead readers by taking the original sentence totally out of
context. It reads: "President Sargsyan said Armenia would strike
Azerbaijan only if Nagorno Karabakh or Armenian were attacked, but
vowed that Yerevan's response would be 'disproportionately' strong."

The analyst does this again in his reference to the November 14,
2010 article published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, when he
writes, "Sargsyan said: 'our strike must be devastating and final this
time around.'" Yet, here is the same quoted passage from President
Sargsyan, in its entirety: "'We never wanted war, we were simply
compelled to defend our homeland at that time,' he said, referring
to the first Armenian-Azerbaijani [War]. 'We will not attack first
now either. But if the moment arrives, if they force us, our strike
must be devastating and final this time around.'" Clearly, these are
not the words of an aggressor. And clearly, Jaffe's Nazi reference
was completely inappropriate. One only needs to review the bellicose
rhetoric of top Azerbaijani officials for evidence of who is actually
jeopardizing regional peace.

Fourth, though the U.S. President has utilized his ability to
waiver Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act -- something granted
to him by the Senate in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to allow for
the transportation of military hardware through Azerbaijan on route
to Afghanistan -- Section 907 is still acting legislation: Congress
has never revoked the law. This signifies that the U.S. government is
still waiting for Azerbaijan to take, as the law states, "demonstrable
steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force against
Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh." Predictably, Jaffe's allegation that
Section 907 also limits U.S. assistance to Armenia is not true either.

Finally, in his blanket attack on the Armenian lobby, Jaffe seems
oblivious to the New York Times investigation published earlier this
month, "Azerbaijan and Think Tanks," which uncovered the government
of Azerbaijan's hiring of lobbying and public relations firms since
2012 to "build relationships with think tanks."

I would welcome a continued debate with Mr. Jaffe on the Nagorno
Karabakh issue, including in the form of a public debate in Washington
DC. But let us focus on the facts, not exaggerations and groundless
allegations intended to misinform and deepen mistrust between Armenians
and Azerbaijanis.

Dietzen is executive director of Americans for Artsakh.



#2 Arpa



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Posted 24 September 2014 - 09:35 AM

It is ironic that both Mr. Jaffe and Mr. Dietzen seem to be of the same ethno-religious persuasion, who speak from their hideouts, a suburb of telaviv- Washington DC.
Someone should write an article to show how the Palestinians were the aggressors ? NOT!!! at the turn of the 20th C m and still are???
Mr. Jaffe should read real history, not that garbage propaganda from boku. He should read real history and see, during the late 1980-s, when Moscow was losing its grip on the Union they launched the pogroms in boku, and proceeded with the nakhijevanization, ethnic cleansing of Artsakh.
Fortunately, turned out that the Armenians of Artsakh and Armenia were highly trained and seasoned warrior veterans of Afghanistan fiasco et al, while the asszeris were boot shiners in the SU Army and chobans.** ԻՐԱՆՑ ՄԱՅՐԸ ԼԱՑՈՒՑԻՆ, եւ ՏԱԿԱՒԻՆ ՊԻՏԻ ԼԱՑԸՆԵՆ:
The rest is HISTORY, not SCHMISTORY as some followers of that religion-milijun would have us believe.
Why, after 2000 years there still are hryas?
**Even though on the surface choban means shepherd, in the Armenian it is also a pejorative term meaning uncivilized nomad peasant.
Here is a picture of Mr Jsffe

Edited by Arpa, 24 September 2014 - 09:39 AM.

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#3 Yervant1


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Posted 07 February 2015 - 11:16 AM

15:08 07/02/2015 » POLITICS

Article by Armenian FM published in Politique Internationale journal

One of the most prestigious publications in the political and diplomatic world, the Politique Internationale journal, printed in Paris, published an article by Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, according to the press service of the Armenian Foreign Ministry.
In an extended article, entitled "Nagorno-Karabakh: Is a Solution Visible?" Edward Nalbandian thoroughly presents the roots, the settlement process, legal aspects and possible ways of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.
Edward Nalbandian thoroughly presents the efforts, exerted since the early 1990s towards the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, the stages of the negotiation process, proposals presented by the OSCE Minsk Group and recent developments.
"Azerbaijan rejected all versions of the Basic Principles of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement proposed by the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group, including the latest proposals submitted in Saint-Petersburg (June 2010), Astrakhan (October 2010), Sochi (March 2011) and Kazan (June 2011) summits. Azerbaijan rejected all the proposals, proposed by the Co-Chairs. Not only did it attempt to change the essence of the negotiating process, but also to distort the nature of the conflict within various international bodies, not hesitating to mislead the international community by presenting the consequences of the conflict as its causes," writes Edward Nalbandian.
Attaching importance to the implementation of confidence-building measures, proposed by the Co-Chairs, Foreign Minister stresses, "The Co-Chairs proposed a number of Confidence and Security-Building Measures (CSBM) — consolidation of the cease-fire, withdrawal of snipers from the line of contact, creation of a mechanism to investigate incidents and violations of the cease-fire agreement. These proposals were endorsed by a number of major international organizations, as well as the UN Secretary General. They were equally welcomed by Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. But all of them were rejected by Baku."
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia touches upon the policy of hatred against Armenians, propagated on the highest level and its dangerous consequences, "In Azerbaijan, journalists, activists and the intelligentsia are all persecuted as "Armenian spies" and "enemies of the nation", just because they are advocating peace and reconciliation. The writer Akram Aylisli was ostracized for publishing a novel, where he talks about the pogroms against Armenians in Baku and Sumgait. His books were publicly burned and the writer had to leave the country because of threats on his life."
The Foreign Minister highlights that many international organizations warned about the flagrant cases of racism, intolerance and violations of human rights in Azerbaijan and the policy of hatred against Armenians. In response, Baku merely organizes fake conferences on tolerance and freedom, in an attempt to impose its own distorted perception of human rights on others.
Under the article sub-section, entitled "Azerbaijan, a Threat to Regional Security", Minister Nalbandian elaborates, "For the last twenty years, Azerbaijan has done everything in its power to undermine the cease-fire agreements. Military actions along the line of contact and on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border have resulted in significant loss of life and greatly raised tensions on the ground. All the statements and decisions by Baku's authorities prove that Azerbaijan has become a serious threat to security and stability in the South Caucasus. This country has lost its sense of reality and is doing its utmost to undermine the peace talks. That is why, despite the intensive efforts of the three Co-Chair countries during the last six years (twenty summits, several dozen ministerial-level meetings, visits by the three Co-Chairs to the region), it has not been possible to achieve a breakthrough in negotiations. In fact, Baku is not interested in anything but its own advantage."
Presenting the vision of Armenia on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, Edward Nalbandian writes, "We continue to believe that the principles and elements outlined in the statements of the heads of the Co-Chair countries over the last six years can be the foundations for reaching a fair and lasting settlement of the conflict.
We absolutely agree that peoples should be prepared for peace, not war. Unfortunately, until now the Azerbaijani leadership is doing just the opposite.
We fully agree with the heads of the Co-Chair countries that the use of force will not resolve the conflict, and that only a negotiated settlement can lead to stability and peace, which will open new opportunities for regional cooperation and development. The sooner the Azerbaijani leadership understands this reality, the faster the conflict can be settled."
The article by Minister Nalbandian in English and French came out also as a separate brochure – an annex to Politique Internationale journal. 

Source: Panorama.am

#4 Yervant1


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Posted 04 March 2015 - 11:04 AM


20:37, 3 March, 2015

YEREVAN, 3 MARCH, ARMENPRESS. We have no problem with Azerbaijan's
territorial integrity, but that territorial integrity has nothing
to do with the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. As "Armenpress" reports,
this is what Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of
Armenia Shavarsh Kocharyan announced in an interview on the occasion
of Diplomats' Day during the "Zham" news broadcast. Touching upon
Armenian diplomats' possible slip-ups in regard to the Karabakh issue,
Kocharyan mentioned: "You know, if it refers to the Karabakh issue,
I believe Armenia's position on the Karabakh issue had to be very
clear in the country's foreign policy because there are theoretically
three approaches. The first approach is the guarantee of the rights
of ethnic minorities. The second is reunification of the nation that
was forcefully divided. The third is the exercising of the right
to self-determination. Unfortunately, in the first years, Armenia
placed certain emphasis on the guarantee of the rights of ethnic
minorities, and this means seeing Karabakh as a part of Azerbaijan
with this or that status. At one point, Armenia placed emphasis on
the reunification, and finally, it got on the right track, that is,
the exercising of the right to self-determination, which has been
exercised for years and falls in line with the will that the people
of Nagorno-Karabakh have expressed, meaning an independent state. I
believe the lack of clarity didn't play a positive role. In any case,
self-determination is on the table of negotiations."

According to Kocharyan, it's not by chance that the negotiations are
over the three famous international principles, including no use of
force or threat of force, territorial integrity and equal rights and
self-determination of nations."I must say that we have no problem with
Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, but that territorial integrity
has nothing to do with the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic," the Deputy
Minister of Foreign Affairs concluded.


#5 Yervant1


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Posted 07 March 2015 - 08:32 AM


Friday, 06 March 2015 16:10

Another attack of malevolence is launched in Azerbaijan As is known,
elections to the National Assembly of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic
are scheduled for May 3, which will be the sixth since the proclamation
of the NKR.

Frankly, it is an event of great political and national importance for
us, as it allows to comprehend yet another stage passed and to define
the priorities for the further progressive development of our state.

Surely, different-level elections - whether presidential, parliamentary
or municipal - are essential for any country, but we will not be
mistaken if we note that this truth is especially important for the
state, which has not yet received international recognition.

For the reason that the NKR as an unrecognized state, which is under
the close scrutiny of corresponding international bodies observing
the ongoing public-political processes here, has constantly to prove
its existence and right to be a full member of the world community.

I must say, the NKR honorably passed such an exam on state maturity,
consistently demonstrating at all the elections the commitment of
both the people and authorities to universal democratic norms and
principles. This is also confirmed by the positive assessment of dozens
of independent international observers from different countries and
organizations, which observed the elections in Karabakh and stated
that in terms of its democratic development the NKR even outstrips
the neighboring recognized states.

As already noted, international organizations are closely watching the
state building processes ongoing in the NKR. But, not only them and
no less closely. It would have been very strange if official Baku,
in its usual aggressive manner, hadn't responded to the upcoming
parliamentary elections in the NKR. Commenting on them, head of the
Presidential Administration Department on Public-Political Issues Ali
Hasanov noted that Azerbaijan would react adequately to any unilateral
move, political and social action in Nagorno Karabakh. In turn,
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's official Hikmet Hajiyev noted that the
holding of parliamentary elections in Nagorno Karabakh is violation of
the Azerbaijani laws, the norms and principles of international law
and is aimed at undermining the negotiation process on the Nagorno
Karabakh conflict settlement.

Surely, Azerbaijan's painful reaction to our parliamentary elections
was easily predictable and, to be frank, does not deserve any serious
attention due to its boring monotony. But, what we cannot ignore is
that the Aliyev regime has completely lost the sense of reality. The
appeal to the laws of Azerbaijan, which is just an empty phrase for
Artsakh that has been living by its own laws for nearly a quarter of
a century, testifies to the inadequacy of the Baku top officials. One
should be too insane to "react adequately to any unilateral move,
political and social action in Nagorno Karabakh". And what does
"unilateral" mean? Does Baku really believe that Stepanakert should
coordinate with it the implementation of any political and social
actions in the NKR? Or isn't it aware that the people of Artsakh
have long been free to determine the ways and forms of their
public-political development?

And extremely absurd is the demagogic argument that the holding of
parliamentary elections undermines the negotiation process on the
Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement. It is a very strange logic -
the purely peaceful and democratic way of building the public life
undermines the negotiation process, while Azerbaijan's gross violations
of the ceasefire, acts of sabotage, initiation of armed clashes
with casualties on both sides, downing of the Karabakh helicopter,
killing of Armenian hostages, and glorification of a murderer do
not undermine the process. Moreover, the legality is stated and is
attempted to be defined by the state, which is grossly violating
international law! Truly, it is limitless stupidity.

In this regard, I would like to enlighten the so-called official of
the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, who must know that in due time the
OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen recognized "the necessity of forming the
de facto authorities in Nagorno Karabakh to ensure democracy and to
maintain the public life". Since the legitimately elected government
is predictable and acts responsibly, which is observed in the NKR,
unlike totalitarian Azerbaijan. This fact is very important in a
civilized community, as well as for the negotiation process, which
supposedly worries Baku. By the way, in response to the hysterical
reaction of Azerbaijan, the Foreign Ministry of Russia stated that
"we do not consider that the peaceful settlement of the conflict
could depend on holding the parliamentary elections".

Again, let's remind for educational purposes that the mandate of the
OSCE Minsk Group provides conducting negotiations with the elected
(!!!) representatives of the parties to the Karabakh conflict. Given
this requirement, Nagorno Karabakh, as an equal party to the conflict,
participated in the negotiation process and the international mediators
met and are meeting with its elected representatives.

There is no doubt that the forthcoming parliamentary elections also
will be held in accordance with the international standards and
the high election culture developed in the NKR, which is extremely
important in the context of the prospects of international recognition
of the NKR. Regardless of Azerbaijan's malevolence.

Leonid MARTIROSSIAN Editor-in-Chief of Azat Artsakh newspaper

#6 Yervant1


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Posted 08 March 2015 - 09:17 AM

Belarus diplomat accuses Azerbaijan of violating Armenians' rights in Karabakh

13:28, 07.03.2015

General Consul of Belarus in Daugavpils (Latvia) Vladimir Klimov
accused Azerbaijan of violating the Armenian's rights in former
Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region of Azerbaijan where he was carrying
his military service.

The people in Karabakh were deprived of a possibility to exercise
their right to self-determination, he said in an interview with
SeyChas ( СейЧаÑ?) newspaper, Ð`Ñани.lv reported.

The diplomat said that Armenians made majority of population in
Karabakh when it was an autonomous region within Soviet Azerbaijan.

`When a child was born in an Armenian family of Malumyans, he was
registered as Malumyanov, in Azerbaijani style,' Klimov said when
asked whether situation in Ukraine's South-East resembles conflict in

National traditions were not encouraged, besides there were
disagreements on religious grounds, he said, adding that the conflict
broke out when someone provoked the situation.


#7 Yervant1


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Posted 16 March 2015 - 09:28 AM

Journal Pioneer, PEI, Canada
March 15 2015

Will Armenia and Azerbaijan go to war over Nagorno-Karabakh?

Henry Srebrnik

A low-intensity conflict in the southern Caucasus, involving the now
independent nations of Armenia and Azerbaijan, has been escalating of
late. It concerns the de facto Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh that
emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

While Armenia and Azerbaijan were both full-fledged union republics in
the former USSR, Nagorno-Karabakh was an Armenian-majority enclave
within Azerbaijan, with the status of an autonomous oblast, or region.

According to the British academic Robert Service, in 1921 Joseph
Stalin included the area under Azerbaijani control to try and coax
Turkey into joining the Soviet Union. Had Turkey not been an issue,
Stalin would probably have left it under Armenian control.

With the Soviet Union firmly in control of the entire Caucasus by the
1920s, the conflict over the region died down for decades. But with
the beginning of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s
and early 1990s, the question of Nagorno-Karabakh re-emerged.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, only the union republics gained
international recognition as independent states. So Nagorno-Karabakh,
along with other Soviet entities such as Chechnya, Moldova, South
Ossetia, and Transnistria, was out of luck.

On Nov. 26, 1991, the parliament of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist
Republic abolished the autonomous status of Nagorno-Karabakh, and its
territory was split up and redistributed amongst the neighboring
administrative districts in Azerbaijan.

In turn, the region's Armenians, who comprised three-quarters of its
population, declared their independence in 1991 and then, with the
help of Armenia, defeated Azerbaijan in a war that lasted until 1994.

The new entity gained additional territory during the fighting,
ignoring UN Security Council resolutions on the inviolability of
international borders and the inadmissibility of the use of force for
the acquisition of territory.

Armenia now effectively controls the narrow strips of land to the west
and south of Nagorno-Karabakh, giving the unrecognized state direct
borders with its patron Armenia, as well as with Iran.

An estimated 15,000-20,000 people, including civilians, were killed
during the fighting and hundreds of thousands displaced. Today,
Nagorno-Karabakh is almost entirely Armenian.

Even apart from this, Christian Armenians and Muslim Azerbaijanis have
had a tense relationship, including bloody massacres, that predates
Soviet times. The two countries have now both built up arsenals of
ever more powerful weapons, and January saw an upsurge of fighting
between them, with repeated gun battles and volleys of artillery and
rocket fire. Azerbaijan also shot down a drone not far from Agdam, a
formerly Azerbaijani city now occupied by Armenian forces.

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, which has an economy seven times
larger than Armenia's, has announced that he plans this year to spend
more than double Armenia's entire annual budget of $2.7 billion on
strengthening his military. His Armenian counterpart, President Serzh
Sargsyan (who is originally from Nagorno-Karabakh) countered with his
own threats.

Aliyev also made reference to the influential Armenian diaspora,
formed largely after the Armenian genocide of 1915, when hundreds of
thousands of Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were slaughtered
by the Turks, while others fled.

Today there are major Armenian communities throughout the world,
including in Australia, Canada, France, Lebanon, Russia and the United

"The truth is that the continued occupation of our lands is not just
the work of Armenia," he remarked. "Armenia is a powerless and poor
country. It is in a helpless state. Of course, if it didn't have major
patrons in various capitals, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would have
been resolved fairly long ago."

Neither side seems prepared to step down. As Abdulla Qurbani, a senior
official in the Azerbaijan Defence Ministry told a New York Times
reporter, "When water mixes with earth, this is mud. When blood mixes
with earth, this is motherland."

Nagorno-Karabakh's unresolved status remains one of the most
potentially explosive issues in the volatile southern Caucasus region.

Henry Srebrnik is a professor of political science at the University
of Prince Edward Island.


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#8 Yervant1


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Posted 28 March 2015 - 10:19 AM


Friday, 27 March 2015 17:09

Recently, after a comparatively short period of relative calm, the
situation on the Line of Contact between the armed forces of the NKR
and Azerbaijan has again deteriorated sharply.

Almost every day, the Azerbaijani party, ignoring its own considerable
human losses, is attempting to penetrate into the territory of Artsakh,
which, unfortunately, results in casualties among the Karabakh
servicemen as well.

Yet another armed provocation of Azerbaijan, which was committed on
March 19 and resulted in casualties on both sides, forced the American
Co-Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, James Warlick, to respond to
this. According to him, the renewed violence in Nagorno Karabakh is
tragic and violates the ceasefire. "While the parties accuse each
other, the actions harm the process of peaceful settlement of the
Karabakh conflict", the diplomat wrote in his microblog on Twitter.

Surely, Mr. Warlick's being concerned and anxious about the
deterioration of the situation deserves appreciation, but we should
not ignore the fact that another attempt is made to assign the
responsibility for the gross violation of the ceasefire equally to
both sides. In this regard, it is impossible to refrain from asking
the American diplomat whether he is familiar with the content of the
speech of President Aliyev on the occasion of the Muslim holiday of
Nowruz. We think he should be familiar, as required by his status of
an international mediator in the Karabakh settlement process. And
if he is not, we'll remind him of it. Aliyev said the following:
"The Karabakh conflict should be resolved only (!!! - Ed.) in the
framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. After that, we
Azerbaijanis, will, surely, come back to our ancient lands - Erevan,
Geycha, and Zangezur mahal". Let us prompt James Warlick that all these
geographic names cited by Aliyev in the Azerbaijani ugly interpretation
are the lands of sovereign Armenia, the territorial integrity of which
this Baku official, advocating this international principle, does not
intend to observe. As if in passing or as a remark, let us also remind
the Washington diplomat that "Erevan" is Yerevan, which is older than
even the eternal city of Rome and for this reason cannot be the "old
land" of Azerbaijanis, who did not exist on the planet that period.

But let's return from the depths of centuries to our days and ask Mr.

Warlick a question: did he have the pleasure to familiarize also with
the speech of the country's Defense Minister, Zakir Hasanov, before
his brave soldiers? If not, then it can be only regreted, because he
deprived himself of the opportunity to learn the infinity of human
stupidity in the Azerbaijani filling. Like a parrot, he cited, as if
through a blueprint, the historical pearls of his supreme commander
named Ilham regarding all sorts of mahals, then swung to the armed
forces of Armenia and the NKR. "I openly declare that we'll destroy
70% of the enemies with the first blow. Armenians will not be able
to recover in hundreds of years", promised the formidable Zakir, who
has never smelled gunpowder. It is strange that not 100%. Maybe the
parquet General, armed with a calculator, has kept the remaining 30%
for the second blow. And then he broke up, calling on his subordinates
"to use every opportunity day and night to destroy the enemy". Agree,
it is cruel, first of all, towards their own soldiers, whom the
minister dooms thus to permanent insomnia.

But, let's be serious, because when the heads of state and army
are people with sick mentality, it isn't funny at all. There is a
concept in psychology - "wishful thinking". Such delusion, defined
by psychologists as a personality disorder, is suffered by the noted
persons, who are obsessed by the desire to exaggerate both their
importance and the power of their armed forces. According to experts,
persons with such a diagnosis get used to the role to the degree that
can hardly differ what is the truth and what is fiction in their life.

And they do not want to think about the devastating consequences of
such self-deception. We believe the abovementioned quotations by the
Azerbaijani President and Minister of Defense are more than enough for
James Warlick and his colleagues at the OSCE Minsk Group to realize
the real threat to the region posed by these persons. However, no
less dangerous is the indecision of the international mediators who
do not dare to call the adventurist regime of Azerbaijan to account.

Experience has shown that it is senseless to debate with Aliyev. His
and his defense minister's incessant bellicose statements facilitated
the Minsk Group co-chairs' search of the real perpetrators of the
escalation of tension, leaving no doubt for this. The armed clashes
initiated by Azerbaijan on the front line are becoming more dangerous,
putting the region on the brink of a new war. In these conditions,
the mediator-states must abandon their amorphous position and respond
more efficiently to the military rhetoric of Baku, the actions of
which challenge not only Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, but also the
entire international community. While this does not happen, both
Armenian parties have themselves to suppress harshly any aggressive
encroachments of Azerbaijan, giving a tangible, moreover and as a
rule, an asymmetrical response. It is impossible to act otherwise -
force should be responded with force. As noted in a recent interview
to the 'Voice of Armenia' by the Armenian Defense Minister, Seyran
Ohanyan, who, unlike Zakir Hasanov, knows about the war firsthand,
"the matter is not only the implementation of defensive tasks,
but also the warning and preventive measures and the punishment of
the aggressor. If the Azerbaijanis understand only this language,
so they should be talked to in this language".

Leonid MARTIROSSIAN Editor-in-Chief of Azat Artsakh newspaper

#9 Yervant1


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Posted 01 April 2015 - 09:20 AM

17:57 01/04/2015 » SOCIETY

The Fresno Bee: In upcoming parliamentary elections NKR will assert its national independence and sovereignty

US Fresno County Supervisor Andreas Borgeas will serve as a political observer of upcoming national elections in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, The Fresno Bee reports.
“In the face of opposition from Turkey and Azerbaijan, the Armenian-populated Nagorno Karabakh is holding elections to assert their national independence and sovereignty,” the article reads. It is also noted that Borgeas will be gone from April 25 to May 5. Two more representatives from the US, Mexico, Argentina and Canada are among those invited. They will assess Nagorno Karabakh’s election process by international election standards.
According to the article, in a formal invitation letter, Ashot Ghulyan, chairman of the national assembly, said the parliamentary elections May 3 represent the sixth time since Nagorno Karabakh’s declaration of independence that residents will exercise their right to vote.
“We see the upcoming elections as yet another opportunity to reaffirm the adherence of Nagorno Karabakh people to universal freedoms and liberties and therefore attach great importance to international election observation mission,” Ghulyan wrote.
It is highlighted in the article that the election comes on the heels of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide. Borgeas stressed that this circumstance means a lot. Between the Turks in the west and Azerbaijanis in the east, Armenians are still precariously situated.
On April 23, the Board of Supervisors of Fresno County passed a resolution officially recognizing the Nagorno Karabakh Republic - a region historically and ethnically Armenian situated between Armenia and Azerbaijan – and also called upon the California Legislature, Congress and the US President to grant official recognition. The resolution also called on Congress and the US President to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Empire in 1915, taking up the commitment to fairly presenting the fact to the decedents.
On 27 August, 2014, California State Senate by an overwhelming majority of votes passed the resolution AJR 32, encouraging Artsakh’s (Nagorno Karabakh) continuing efforts to develop as a free and independent nation and formally calling upon the President and Congress of the United States to support the self-determination and democratic independence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. Thus the State of California joined Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and Louisiana in adopting legislation which supports the independence of Artsakh.
Fresno County passes resolution recognizing independence of Nagorno Karabakh Republic

Source: Panorama.am

#10 Yervant1


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Posted 27 April 2015 - 09:21 AM


11:37, 27.04.2015
Region:World News, Armenia, Karabakh, Azerbaijan
Theme: Politics

YEREVAN. - The people of Nagorno-Karabakh have proved that they have
earned the right to self-determination and independence, and they
can independently govern their country.

The president of the Woodrow Wilson Legacy Foundation, Donald Wilson
Bush, who is also the great-grandson of 28th US President Woodrow
Wilson, told the aforesaid to Armenian News-NEWS.am.

He went on to say even though there is legitimacy that this nation
is represented at the UN, there is a need to reach consensus on this
matter. As per Wilson Bush, at present, however, the other big nations
do not offer opportunities for this discourse.

To the query on whether he is afraid of being added on Azerbaijan's
"black list" for visiting Karabakh, Woodrow Wilson's great-grandson
noted that he is not afraid, since he does not like people who try
to sway others. He stated that he believes in equality among nations,
there needs to be a dialogue between nations, and there is a need to
enter a new era that will function in accordance with the Westphalian
system of nation-state.

In Donald Wilson Bush's words, Nagorno-Karabakh is an opportunity
to introduce a new international system, from which small countries
can benefit. As per Woodrow Wilson's great-grandson, the Karabakh
government functions in normal fashion and in full.


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Posted 27 April 2015 - 10:07 AM


15:34, 27 Apr 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Lusine Avanesyan
Public Radio of Armenia

"The recognition of genocide means not only condemnation, but also
restitution. All that has been seized from Armenians, should be
returned to its rightful owner, Chairman of the "Union Against
Genocide" Ali Ertem said in Stepanakert.

Members of the Frankfurt-based "Union Against Genocide" and the
Berlin-based "Support for Genocide Victims" Turkish organization
visitd the Stepanakert Memorial, Gandzasarm other places of interest
and had meetings with the leaders and journalists in Artsakh.

On a first visit to Artsakh, the Turks are aware they will be
blacklisted by Azerbaijan, but are not worried about this.

Representative of the "Support for Genocide Victims" organization
Recep Marasli also considers that being included in Azerbaijan's
"black list" should be treated as an honor. The two are Personae Non
Grata in Turkey, as well. Years ago they fled Turkey to survive.

Recep Marasli, who spoke about the Armenian Genocide in 1985, was
arrested and spent 17 years in jail.

At Stepanakert memorial, the Turkish activists paid tribute to the
memory of the Armenian Genocide victims and visited the graves of
the freedom fighters.

They say Azerbaijan and Turkey will continue to act against Armenians.

The number of those opposing this policy is small, but growing.

According to Marasli, the struggle of Artsakh is a just cause. They
pledge to raise the issue on Europe upon their return.


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Posted 30 April 2015 - 09:27 AM

17:17 30/04/2015 » LAW

International report about Operation Ring: Weapons used against civilians, they are killed and looted

Karabakhrecords.info continues to publish the testimonies and the documents concerning the Operation Ring in spring – summer, 1991 during which the population of about 30 Armenian villages from Artsakh was subjected to terroristic acts, abuse and was deported from the native lands by the Azerbaijani OMON forces.
The website has published an excerpt from Baroness Caroline Cox’s book “Ethnic Cleansing in Progress: War in Nagorno Karabakh,” a document titled “The report of the delegation of the First International Andrei Sakharov Memorial Congress in Armenia and in Azerbaijan about the current events in Nagorno Karabakh, July 13-16, 1991” (abridged).
For the first time an international delegation was admitted to Nagorno Karabakh, interviewed Armenian detainees in Azerbaijani prisons, visited villages where deportations have occurred, and met local population, republican and local officials, military officials, deportees and refugees. The delegation was flown from Baku to Yerevan on an Armenian plane; no plane has flown this route for three years. 

Since our first visit, tension in the region has escalated, with current mass deportations of Armenians, especially from the Shaumyan district. The populations of three Armenian villages of Shaumyan district (Erketch, Buzlukh, Monachuk) have been deported during our stay in the area. 

We conclude that grave violations of human rights are still occurring. We identified four major areas of concern: Forced Deportations; Detentions; Harrassment of Civilians; Azerbaijani Special Forces -OMON
Forced deportations continue in the Armenian villages in and around Nagorno Karabakh. Villages in the Shaumyan region are this week surrounded by soldiers and Azerbaijani OMON forces and the population is being forcibly deported.
Azerbaijani officials, including President Mutalibov, and Azerbaijani Communist Party Second Secretary Polyanichko continue to justify these deportations as voluntary departures. Evidence shows that the deportations are brutally enforced. They involve loss of life, property and physical injury.
In our travels to the formerly Armenian villages of Kirov (Bertadzor district) and Dolanlar (Gadrut district) we interviewed new residents and confirmed that the villages are now populated by Azeris.
We received reports of recent detentions of Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh. 
In Kirovakan, Armenia, we met eleven recently released Armenian militiamen who vividly described their detention by Soviet MVD troops, and their incarceration in Ganja (formerly Kirovabad) Prison in Azerbaijan. They suffered daily beating, displaying bruises and contusions. They described brutal prison conditions including the deprivation of water and the provision of excessively salty food to exacerbate thirst.
In Shusha Prison in Nagorno Karabakh we met eighteen ethnic Armenian prisoners. None of the detainees had had any contact with next-of-kin since their arrest, nor access to counsel. Some of the prisoners did not know why they were being held. At least one of the detainees had bruises and contusions on his back, which suggested the possibility of recent beatings.
Finally, in Stepanakert we received evidence of the detention of Armenians whose whereabouts are currently unknown.
Members of the delegation heard evidence of maltreatment of civilians in both Azeri-Turk and Armenian villages. They also visited one of the villages from which Armenians had been forcibly deported and which had been repopulated by Azeri civilians. Some expressed regret that they were living in homes which only six weeks previously had been inhabited by Armenians. Others expressed hatred of Armenians.
“We found evidence of much abuse by OMON troops during deportations. We (the delegation) were personally harrassed by OMON troops at Stepanakert airport. Five residents of Stepanakert on our plane from Yerevan on July 16 were arrested on arrival. When we protested troops threatened us.”
Another issue raised on both visits was concern over the Closure and Destruction of Churches.
“One member of the delegation spoke in Yerevan on July 16 to Bishop Parkev Martirosian, Bishop of Karabakh (Artsakh) of the Armenian Apostolic Church. In 1805 when Karabakh was part of the Russian Empire there were 1,311 churches and monasteries. In 1923 Nagorno Karabakh was handed over to Azerbaijan. Churches began to be closed immediately. He has the last letter of the Bishop of Karabakh in 1931 to the church’s headquarters in Echmiadzin affirming that there were then 112 churches and 18 monasteries. Six months later all were closed. In 1989, he opened a few churches and monasteries with permission from Moscow (Baku said ‘no’). On 21 November, 1990 Baku took the decision to close all Karabakh churches. The decision was published in the Azerbaijani press. They claimed that Moscow was not entitled to authorise the opening of churches. The Catholicos (head) of the Armenian church had written to various bodies for more than 20 years seeking approval to open churches in Karabakh when there were none.
Last September came the attack on Amaras church, within two days of its official opening. The monastery of St. Grigoris dates from the 4th century. Even before then the church had been attacked. It was rendered unusable and finally closed on 15 May, 1991. Gandsasar Monastery (13th century) is the main Karabakh religious site and seat of the bishop. On 6 July it was raided by Soviet soldiers and OMON troops allegedly looking for guns. Papers were checked and a thorough search, including the raiding of graves, took place.”
On the basis of interviews and observations at 16 different sites in both Armenia and Azerbaijan (because of the complex situation we wished to hear the views of both the Armenians and the Azeris), and of interviews within Yerevan with hospital patients, relatives of prisoners, and Government officials, we believe that serious violations of human rights and of Soviet and international law have occurred and are still occurring. Our concerns include:
1. Killings: e.g. eye-witness accounts of a man shot in the throat 30 times in front of his pregnant wife whom he was trying to defend from a beating; a priest shot while remonstrating with soldiers, who accused him of paramilitary activities. We were also given accounts of multiple killings in several villages.
2. Beatings, Torture and Physical Assault: e.g. a paralysed, bed-ridden elderly man shot in the legs in front of his elderly wife (whom we met), who was forced to leave him behind; many instances of rape and beating. In the presence of Soviet soldiers, a frail elderly woman (whom we met), forced at gun point to stand in a barrel and beaten on the head, was asked to identify ‘bandits’ and threatened with decapitation. Soldiers mutilated ears of girls and young women while ripping off their ear-rings.
3. Forced Deportation: Hundreds of villagers were forced at gun point to leave all their belongings and sign letters of ‘voluntary’ consent to deportation. One whole village was deported at night and the people left over the border in the pouring rain at midnight with no possessions. We are concerned that new forced deportations may be imminent. We urge that they should not occur and that atrocities should not be repeated.
4. Abduction and Imprisonment: Many examples, including 2 doctors sent to provide medical care who were abducted, imprisoned and beaten daily (photographic evidence of maltreatment available).
5. Destruction of Homes, Looting and Theft of Livestock: Tanks, shell and helicopter fire used to destroy homes; gasoline used to burn property. An 80 year-old man was burnt in his home. Livestock, automobiles and other property were confiscated or taken with humiliating offers of derisory payment (such as 3 roubles for a car).

6. Destruction of Churches, Schools and other Public Buildings.
7. Murder, Abduction and Acounts of Imprisonment of Law Inforcement Officers: This has created a state of fear. We met relatives of many militiamen and civilians who had been abducted. We are concerned over their grief and urge that an immediate effort should be made to release those held or to assure that they stand trial according to fair legal procedures. This matter was raised with Marshal D.Yazov this morning who said he would look into it. In a visit to Azerbaijan across the border ftem the northern Armenian village of Voskepar, a group of six delegates walked across the border to meet the Azeris there and to hear their version of events. No villager had walked this road for a month; the Armenians tried to discourage us because it was too dangerous. We had discussions with villagers on both sides, who had been friendly two years ago. The major on the Azeri side said there had been many family tragedies; but that is no excuse for revenge. All were happy that we took the effort to understand them.
On May 6, 1991, eleven Armenian militiamen were killed near Voskepar in Armenia by shots probably from a helicopter. About 14 were taken prisoner. There are other prisoners. The Azeris claim that the Armenian militiamen are bandits – the Armenians call them a legal local defence force. We do not want to interfere in internal affairs, but it is vital to notice the civil rights issues involved. The Armenian village has no one to defend them, we saw no guns and there was no Soviet army present – whereas in the Azeri village we counted over 6 submachine guns and many OMON troops, and there is also a Soviet Army headquarters. The recent damage all came from the Azeri side… 

The document was signed by:
Leader of delegation Baroness Caroline Cox (The UK)

Membership of Delegation: Anton Andresen, Norway; Robert Arsenault, USA; Baroness Caroline Cox, UK (Leader of Delegation); Caroline Croft, USA; Felice Gaer, USA; Alexander Goldin, USSR, Secretary of the Organizing Committee, First International Andrei Sakharov Memorial Congress; Scott Horton, USA; Miiko Kataoko, Japan; David Leopold, USA; Dr. John Marks, UK; Shin-ichi Masagaki, Japan; William Miller, USA; Yuri Samodurov, USSR, Executive Director of the Organizing Committee, First International Andrei Sakharov Memorial Congress; Alexej Semyonov, USA; Professor Richard Wilson, USA. 

Source: Panorama.am

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#13 Yervant1


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Posted 30 April 2015 - 09:31 AM

15:59 30/04/2015 » INTERVIEWS

Russian human rights defender: Azerbaijani authorities strived to clear Karabakh from Armenians with Operation Ring

The Russian writer Inessa Burkova is one of those few human rights defenders who contributed to the truth about the tragedy of the Armenian villages of Artsakh that were deported by the Azerbaijani OMON in the framework of the Operation Ring, to break through the information blockade and reach the international community. 

Karabakhrecords.info publishes the human rights defender’s interview.
- Inessa Yemelyanovna, remember, please, what happened on those days…
- In late April 1991 I managed to get to Shahumyanovsk. I was already aware that something was going on there. But then we could never imagine that the Soviet army could shoot at Soviet citizens. Everything started on April 30. I can very clearly recall the woman-radio-operator’s voice transmitting from Getashen by radio: “Help! We are under fire. They shoot at women, children, elderlies. They shoot guns from the air.” Then she said that tanks were entering into the village. I was immediately reporting on all that by RFE/RL.
Then refugees from Getashen started to appear in Shahumyanovsk. I talked with many of them. Later, in Yerevan, I also talked with the former captives who had been seized in Getashen. I can especially remember father and son Chilingaryans. The father was a Great Patriotic War participant and had lost his leg in the war. They said that when the Azerbaijanis took them hostage and drove away, they already started to beat them on the way in the bus. It is hard to imagine, but they beat the old disabled man with his own crutch. They tortured and mocked at his sun in front of him putting out cigarettes on his body. They threw him on the floor and several men jumped on him at a time, they hit him and mocked at him. Then they pulled him up holding his hair and took off his scalp – and all this before his father’s eyes... 
The Azerbaijani OMON committed dreadful excesses. They broke into the houses on the plea of passport checks and allegedly searched for fighters. Indeed, they were not interested in any passports: they just plundered, drove off whole herds of cattle, behaved as savages, bandits towards the civilians to the point of raping women before their husbands’ eyes. All this naturally induced response hatred, fidayi detachments were formed which defended the village, and they did that very bravely. 
The refugees said that the inhabitants of Getashen were not allowed to get out of the village in the beginning, they were just being exterminated. Though, they were later taken out on helicopters. To all the appeals of the Armenian leadership Moscow answered that, as it said, an operation of Armenian fighters’ liquidation was underway. I had a chance to see them, they were not fighters, but they were people having defended their wives, children, old people, native villages, real men who had saved defenseless civilians. 
During the whole period in Shahumyanovsk, I was writing appeals and letters to different addresses. It did the job. In at least 3 small villages neighboring to Getashen - Buzlukh, Manashid and Erkech - they left a corridor for the inhabitants who left their homes making their way to Stepanakert on foot, in the mountains, over the abyss, with children on their hands and old people. I can remember that a woman then lost her small child who fell into the abyss.
- Eventually Gorbachev likely got his Nobel Peace Prize for that operation, too… After all, Baku would hardly decide on that without the approval and support from Moscow.

- Sure. The ‘OK’ for that nightmare could have been given by no one else but ‘the architect of perestroika,’ Mikhail Gorbachev. Nothing – neither ‘sumgait,’ nor ‘baku,’ nor other bloody events – would happen without his agreement. The deportation scheme had been tested in Afghanistan and executed with absolute one-to-one precision in Karabakh. The villages were first surrounded, after that they were subjected to intense shooting from all the sides with machine guns, assault rifles, guns, from the air. After that the Azerbaijani OMON officers and inhabitants from neighboring Azerbaijani villages were breaking in. They killed the elderly people right in their beds, raped and killed women, beat, abused and killed even children. They marauded and took away everything that could be stolen. All that went on in an organized way; the National Question was apparently being solved by that.
The information blockade is also important to mention. Glasnost declared by Gorbachev apparently did not refer only to Karabakh – there was just a wall there. It was impossible to publish anything you saw. But still, it was an organized genocide of a whole nation. In that way, they were going to exile all the Armenians from the native Armenian lands. And that was being done with the deadliest methods, exactly as the Turks did during the Genocide in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 
- In your opinion, what aim was the Azerbaijani leadership pursuing executing the Operation Ring?
- They were striving to clear that land from the Armenians. In their time, they seized those lands but under the Soviet authorities it was necessary to imitate friendship of nations, though, it must be stated that the people were really friends. And without the arrangement of the authorities, they might be still living side by side. Still, instead of that, one side turned into savages and the other one – into those being mercilessly exiled. 
In spring-summer of 1991 the population of about 30 Armenian villages from Artsakh was subjected to terroristic acts and abuse and was deported from their native lands by the Azerbaijani OMON forces in the framework of the Operation Ring. 

Source: Panorama.am

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#14 Yervant1


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Posted 02 May 2015 - 07:01 AM


19:30 01/05/2015 >> SOCIETY

Panorama.am's interview with Karabakh war participant, head of surgical
department of Masis hospital, Gevorg Grigoryan

- You are a witness of the Operation Ring, you have seen all that
with your own eyes in Getashen. Share, please, your memories, what
really happened there?

- There were the surnames of the freedom fighters and participants
of the self-defense battles of the village who the "defenders of
the law" wanted to seize. The Turkish slaughterers had taken the
village under their control and taking advantage of the connivance
of the Soviet troops they looted with impunity everything they saw:
property, money, cars, livestock and jewelry. This went on for a few
days with the village gradually getting empty. Everyone tried to group
in the houses in the center, often a few families together under one
roof. The moral and psychological situation was critical: one could
hear children crying and women howling incoherently and hopelessly
everywhere. The result of the nervous shocks was the display of
various pathological phenomena of many people: high blood pressure,
heart distress, neurotic spasm, etc. We the doctors ran out of the
houses and helped them how we could.

The journalist Vardan Hovhannisyan had been beaten and I had bound him
up. He went up to the inhabitants in the queue in the naïve thought
that as an injured inhabitant of the village he could freely get into
the helicopter and leave Getashen. But the pack appeared to get active
for they noticed him and got ready to 'meet him.' Vardan came back
to the village but on May 6 he was arrested. The inhabitants walked
towards the takeoff area carrying on their shoulders what they were
able to. I was going in one of the cars inside the village to take the
more helpless ones to the helicopters. By May 7 the village was almost
empty. Some of the inhabitants had burned down their houses not to let
the Turks defile their home; the hospital got the same fate. Along
with one of the last groups of the inhabitants, we also went to the
takeoff area getting ready to go home. The soldiers' behavior was just
disgusting: they made us squat with the hands on napes; they shot into
the air if they wanted to draw attention, they dragged us and swore.

And those were the Soviet soldiers and officers who just resembled

- Why did still-Soviet Azerbaijan need to displace the Armenians from
their historical dwelling places?

- The USSR was really a giant built on artificial basis which tried
to merge nations of different cultures, faiths, traditions, lifestyle
and languages. However, certain aversion between the Turks and the
Armenians retained especially given the fact that the witnesses of
the massacres organized by the Turks were still alive and thus the
historical facts were passed down from generation to generation. The
policy conducted by Azerbaijan in Karabakh and Nakhijevan was not only
unfavorable to the Armenians but it was also marked with Armenophobia:
the offices were assigned only with Baku's approval; the roads taking
to Armenian-populated villages lay through settlements populated with
Turks; the Armenian studies were highly limited at schools; and the
overall atmosphere made the local Armenian population remain under
the burden of concerns of making the daily bread rather than thinking
about spiritual rebirth. Stalin's arbitrary decision naturally added to
that: Karabakh was granted to Azerbaijan. And emptying the territories
from the Armenians was what the supporters of the Great Turan had
always been yearning for. The Sumgait massacres and the right of
permissiveness finally gave freedom to the Turks and they tried to
appropriate Karabakh once and for all, yet without the Armenians.

- The Azerbaijani side often plays on the topic of emptying the
Karabakhi villages from the Armenians to misinform the public by
calling those events as "a fight against the armed detachments." Still
the Azerbaijani OMON officers took you a hostage despite you being
a doctor. How did that happen?

- The long term Chief Physician of Getashen Hospital, Sargis
Hakobkyokhvyan, Valerik Khachatryan and I were arrested by a Russian
soldier and were given to the Turks while getting into the helicopter.

If the head of the state Gorbachev took the liberty of characterizing
the participants of the national movement as separatists and
bandits, didn't that unbind the ties of Baku's hands and ideological
macerations? Any Armenian who was not registered in Karabakh was
considered to be a violator of the passport regime with all its
consequences. All the liberty fighters who were on the territory of
Karabakh were presented as 'fighters' who must be eliminated without
court or trial. Even being from Getashen did not grant the doctor with
the right to move in his native village, let alone us, the doctors who
had arrived from Yerevan. We were arrested and sent to Gyanja prison.

We were released only thanks to the intervention of our republic and
many international organizations which protested against the illegal
imprisonment of the doctors.

- The Azerbaijani propaganda often tried to free itself from the
responsibility of the Operation Ring pointing the Soviet central
authorities as such. Was that really so?

- No matter how hard the Azerbaijani authorities try to wash their
hands off the Operation Ring, it is evident to everyone that the
horrible idea was grist to Azerbaijan's mill and it's spiritual
father was born in that environment. They benefitted from emptying
the territories from the Armenians and trusting in that method they
attempted to have Russia pull their chestnuts out of the fire. And
who was howling like a hound behind the Soviet troops if not the
blood-thirsty Turks who even in the 20th century are not able to leave
looting and raiding which are considered to be their traditional craft?

Of course, it is impossible to clarify the things in short. I do not
grant myself with the right to describe the events I did not really
witness. I remained in Getashen for months but I returned to Yerevan
in March 1991 because the doctor Valeri Khachatryan substituted me
there. I once again arrived in Getashen on May 3, 1991 with a group
of horsemen from Shahumyan as Getashen was in a complete blockade and
even the Soviet military helicopter was prohibited to land in Getashen.

The Operation Ring reached its peak on April 30 when the Soviet troops
attacked Getashen with tanks and helicopters. The Turk OMON officers
hauled after them with the only aim to loot and maraud. Colonel
Mashkov was leading the operation.

I say all this based on the numerous testimonies of the eyewitnesses.

But getting into Getashen I saw the village that was supposed to
be emptied from the Armenians being actually doomed. A part of the
people crowded in the center were from Martunashen as it was already
robbed and burnt down. A tank stood there aiming to spread horror
and it should be noted that it reached its aim. The inhabitants
were heartsick, demoralized, and panic-stricken and were waiting
for news all the time as if hoping for a miracle that the situation
might change and it might be possible to remain in Getashen. But
everything had already been decided by the higher authorities in
Moscow: the village was to be emptied from the Armenians and passed to
Azerbaijan's authority. Military helicopters landed in upper Getashen
and took the population to Stepanakert group after group. The takeoff
area was surrounded by troops. Turkish OMON officers, policemen,
prosecution employees with papers in their hands were running here
and there like hungry jackals.


#15 Yervant1


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Posted 16 May 2015 - 10:03 AM

13:18 16/05/2015 » SOCIETY

The Calvert Journal: Dark picture painted by news headlines covering Nagorno Karabakh is forgotten once one arrives

The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is a territory nestled in the mountains between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The landscape here is beautiful but the locals live with the spectre of war constantly hanging over them. A ceasefire from 1994 creaks uneasily while Armenian and Azerbaijani troops remain permanently stationed on Karabakh's eastern border, in trenches just 150 metres apart, writes Richard Ensor, the journalist of the British website The Calvert Journal.
The guards of Nagorno Karabakh greet the guests with neither guns nor aggression, but instead with the warmth that Armenians seem to display to westerners at all times. After the border checkpoint, the car starts twisting through the mountains again and the crucifix hanging below the rearview mirror flings itself left and right. The driver answered Richard and his friend’s questions: “The people living here, they use Armenian currency, they have Armenian passports, they speak Armenian, they are Armenian…” he said, “But it's complicated.”
Karabakh had its bloodiest week in August 2014 just before the journalist and his friend began their journey in the Armenian capital of Yerevan. Twenty soldiers died in border skirmishes, Azerbaijan's President threatened war via his Twitter handle, and foreign governments issued travel warnings regarding Nagorno Karabakh.
“…yet the dark picture painted by news headlines was forgotten once we arrived,” the journalist writes noting that, in fact, the mood was almost festive. Blessed with beautiful weather, Karabakh would celebrate its 21st birthday in a few days. The locals were not too concerned about the recent fighting. “The people here are used to it by now. It's a part of life,” a passenger told the journalist.
As the author has it, in this part of the world, relationships are everything. Armenians are famed for their fierce hospitality, and new acquaintances can become close friendships at a frightening pace. The more obliging tourists here often find themselves accepting invitations to family picnics and drinking sessions from locals, trying in vain to prevent their vodka glasses from being lovingly refilled. Two Armenian men sitting in the front of their car, Tigran and Asqanaz, invited the journalist and his friend to a pool party in the mountains near Stepanakert, Karabakh's capital. They were attending a private celebration between Karabakhti men, a feast for their friend who was getting married the following day.
Ensor writes that a few years ago the Karabakh government started paying its citizens to marry each other and have children. The idea came from Karabakh-born businessman Levon Hairapetian who in 2008 sponsored a mass wedding in Stepanakert for 700 couples in an extraordinary ceremony that courted international attention. Now the region's birth rate is up 30% from the previous decade.
Coming back to the topic of the stag party, the author adds that it was a day for men who delivered toasts on the importance of mothers (“You need to have a good mother to become a good man”), children (“You care about this, you care about that, but then one day you have a child and you realise that nothing else matters”), and ethno-patriotism (“Some of us are from Karabakh, some are not, but we need to remember that we are all Armenians.”)
One of the men at the table was missing an eye, while another had a prosthetic leg. “These guys, they all work for the HALO Trust,” Asqanaz later explained to the journalist. Their job is to remove land mines that are still there from the war so the land can once again be used for farming. It's extremely dangerous work: Karabakh has one of the highest land mine accident rates in the world, and the region's political status makes it difficult for NGOs to obtain funds to remove the remaining mines. “Not everyone who should be with us here today is still alive,” added Asqanaz.
On the next day, they hitchhiked to Tigranakert, an ancient city from before the time of Christ whose ruins were only discovered in 2005. After climbing a mountain near the small, abandoned Vankasar Monastery, they surveyed the view as vultures fly overheard. Just beyond the mist on the horizon, villagers in Azerbaijan's most western settlements are going about their lives. In the 1st century, before Armenia became the world's first Christian nation, this old stone building was a guard tower. If the guards saw an enemy approaching in the valleys below, they would ring the bells: other towers nearby would follow suit and the warning would soon reach the heart of Armenia.
“We enter the monastery and see an Armenian-language bible at the altar, along with a few small pictures of Jesus and extinguished candles. Someone has been here, praying,” the author writes.
Your Central Valley: Monument ‘Tatik-Papik’ is symbol of victory in Nagorno Karabakh war 
British Journal: Nagorno Karabakh populated with Armenians could become the new wonder of world
Argentinian media: Immersed in cozy landscape around Gandzasar it is hard to believe that contact line is within hour’s drive  

Source: Panorama.am

#16 Yervant1


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Posted 10 July 2015 - 10:57 AM


13:44, 09 Jul 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Russian billionaire German Sterligov has promised to explain the
reasons of his decision to move to Nagorno Karabakh at a press
conference Monday.

"I will tell the simple, clear truth, which many may dislike, but it's
better than all the wild guesses about my family and me," Sterligov
told Russian Ren-TV.

He said Nagorno Karabakh is a marvelous land with a wonderful people.

"Happy are those Armenians, who have such a Motherlland, such history
and beauties. I have traveled all over the world, but have not seen a
place like this - such a beauty, such fertility, and, most importantly,
such kind relations between people," the businessman said.

"I'm happy to have brought my children here, because I told them how
people should treat each other theoretically. Unfortunately, there is
no such attitude in Russia, practically. Here they see it in practice.

This is an extremely useful lesson for them," Sterligov said.

He invited everyone to visit Nagorno Karabakh to understand what he's
talking about. "This is a unique place. This is a cradle of ancient
human relations, which the Armenian nation preserves,"



#17 Yervant1


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Posted 11 July 2015 - 10:20 AM


21:59, 10 Jul 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Setrak Garabedian, a Canadian Armenian, who runs an on-line Armenian
radio station in Montreal, visited Armenia and Artsakh earlier this
year. He shared his impressions in a talk with Public Radio of Armenia.

Visiting the Motherland had been a childhood ream, which Setrak
Garabedian realized in 2012. But even before that he introduced the
foreign audience to the Armenian music and history through his Trik
Track radio airing from Montreal.

"We broadcast Armenian music 24 hours a day. I also host a talk show
and invite different guests every week. The topics we talk about
are different, and are not necessarily related to Armenian issues,"
Setrak said.

"Most of the listeners are Armenian, but there are also a number of
foreigners fond of Armenian music. For example, one of them is from
Chile. He knows the Armenian history better than me. It's the System
Of A Down that has inspired him to listen to Armenian music."

Setrak Garabedian also referred to the Armenian Genocide and its
recognition. He believes every Armenian should visit the Motherland
at least once on April 24 to be present at the commemoration ceremony.

Setrak, whose parents come from Western Armenia, dreams about the
return of lands. "Turkey should recognize the Genocide and return
our lands."

He spoke with particular inspiration and love about the visit to
Artsakh. He admired the land, the nature, the sincere smiles and
something intangible, which he found hard to explain.

"Yes, Armenia is really a beautiful country, but there is something
missing. To me Artsakh is more impressive."

Setrak Garabedian seriously thinks about moving to Nagorno Karabakh
and is now trying to understand how he can do that. He urges all
Diaspora Armenians to visit Artsakh.


#18 Yervant1


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Posted 12 July 2015 - 08:09 AM

Jason Katz's Impeded Development


Jason Katz's `Impediments to regional development in the South
Caucasus' , which Appeared in `Congress blog' on `The Hill' website,
leaves the (informed) reader with the impression that the only impeded
development exits in the author's mind. It leaves the broader reading
public with a badly imbalanced, inaccurate, and utterly skewed view of
the state of affairs in the South Caucasus. Here are most, though not
all of the flaws in Katz' arguments. One hopes the clients of TSG,
LLC, (where Katz is the principal) a consultancy that advises foreign
governments, NGOs and corporations in the realms of strategic
communications, politics and policy, will reconsider their
relationships with the provider of such flawed logic.

`Prosperous,' `stable,' `reliably Western-oriented,' and `most
influential and affluent'
These are NOT terms I associate with the area region in question, do
you? Yet Katz freely applies them. It would be interesting to have him
explain the poverty in the area; corruption and jailing of journalists
and oppression of minorities; Azerbaijan kicking out European and
American civil society entities; and what the influence of the
countries in the area is and in whose hands the wealth is

`Comprised of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and peripherally Turkey'
Interesting, isn't it, how Katz reveals his pro-Turkish bias? If
Turkey is `peripherally' part of the south Caucasus, then so are Iran
and Russia. Why are they omitted?

`Recently, the foreign ministers of Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia
met¦' and `Conspicuously absent from this meeting and, indeed, from
all discussions on regional development, energy and general regional
prosperity was Armenia. Armenia¦ has oddly chosen to excuse itself
from the growing prosperity of the region.'
So Armenia is so stupid as to miss out on opportunities for economic
improvement. It's absence has nothing to do with its being excluded by
its two neighboring genocidal states, Katz' darlings, Turkey and

`As the other nations of the South Caucasus have embarked upon and
continue to navigate independent foreign and economic policies leading
to prosperity for their people, Armenia has increasingly become a
vassal state of the Russian Federation in direct contradiction to the
best interests of their people.' `As the South Caucasus region and
surrounding regions seek closer links with the European Union, Armenia
has opted to join Russian President Vladimir Putin's personal attempt
to usurp the EU, the Eurasian Customs Union suddenly interrupting its
half-hearted talks with EU.'
Katz ignores the imperatives imposed on Armenia by the threats posed
to it by its neighbors. He also ignores the ongoing efforts to develop
connections with Europe under the constraints imposed by his Turkic

`¦ Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a war over the Azerbaijani lands of
Nagorno Karabakh and its surrounding districts. The Azerbaijanis lost
the war as a result of the significant help rendered by the Red Army
and Iran. Following ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis in Nagorno
Karabakh and surrounding regions, Azerbaijan possesses nearly a
million refugees.' `In their place is an unrecognized area¦ seeking to
be the second failed Armenian state. During the fighting, Turkey
closed its border with Armenia in solidarity with Azerbaijan.'
Hallucinogens must be thoroughly in control of Katz' mind. Aside from
the cheap-shot about `second failed state', he also believes that
Russians and Iranians helped the Armenian side in the war. He must
have forgotten about the OMON units that helped Azeris attack
Armenians and Iran's studied neutrality. He also perpetuates the old
chestnut about `Armenia and Azerbaijan' fighting a war, which is far
from accurate, and at best incomplete in describing Artzakh's
liberation war. No explanation is offered as to why Turkey acted `in
solidarity' with Azerbaijan.

`Speaking at a joint press conference¦ Cavusoglu of Turkey eluded to
the real players,'
Since cheap-shots are evidently acceptable to Katz, I'll take one,
too¦ this guy can't even write properly! `Eluded,' above, should
presumably have been `alluded.'

`International agreements should be the basis for a solution,'
What a great idea! How about Katz prevails upon his buddies in Baku to
stop creating border incidents and respect the ceasefire?

1. Return the occupied lands of Azerbaijan with an ironclad agreement
that Azerbaijanis will return to their homes and lands and that ethnic
Armenians will be protected and given the same rights as any other
citizen of Azerbaijan.
2. Based on this gesture, work with Turkey to reopen their mutual
border. If events of WWI are an impediment to these negotiations,
agree to a tribunal of scholars to explore exactly what happened in
WWI and what to do about it all these years later.
3. Work to repair ties and relationships with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey.
4. Force the Armenian Diaspora to use the considerable money spent on
lobbying related to the issues of events in WWI and Nagorno Karabakh
to invest in Armenia's economic survival.
5. Following these steps, engage in talks on regional development and
be a player in existing and future projects.
This prescription reads like and Ankara-Baku joint wet dream. The
lands in question were under Azerbaijan's control during soviet times
and led to ethnic cleansing of Armenians. How and why Turkey enters
the Artzakh picture is a mystery, but Katz is quick to dispense a
solution to the `impediment' to Armenia-Turkey negotiations,
suggesting a `tribunal of scholars' to `explore exactly what happened'
in the `events of WWI''this is identical to the Turkish government's
line. Then we're treated to the presumed need to `repair'
relationships with Georgia (where did this come from?) and the
two-Turk-states, with which there never really existed a
`relationship' in any positive sense, so what's to repair? And, since
Katz was the former head of Public Affairs and Public Relations for
the American Jewish Committee, I have to wonder if he advised the
Jewish Diaspora to `use the considerable money spent' on the Holocaust
to salvage Israel's faltering economy.

`Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are open to solving this frozen conflict'
What do Georgia and Turkey have to do with Artzakh? That problem has
to be addressed by Azerbaijan and the NKR, no one else, not even

This whole piece reeks of the propaganda mills of Ankara. Trying to
introduce irrelevant participants to the Artzakh issue, promoting the
Turkish line on the Genocide, and generally trying to portray Armenia
and Armenians as outliers in the international arena, are all part of
a transparent effort to vilify us and sanctify the perpetrators of
endless massacres.

You might consider writing Jason Katz to give him a piece of your
mind, contacting `The Hill' to suggest they refuse to run such drivel,
and asking your Jewish friends if they are scraping the bottom of the
barrel of late since, given that someone as manifestly inept as Katz
used to work for one of the foremost Jewish groups in the U.S.


#19 Yervant1


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Posted 13 July 2015 - 06:28 AM

Daily Beast
July 11 2015

Nagorno-Karabakh's a Happy Breakaway Republic, But Its War Goes On

by Anna Nemtsova

In the decades since the post-Soviet war that spawned this little
`independent' enclave, the Armenian diaspora in the West has helped
turn it into a surprising democracy.

STEPANAKERT, Nagorno-Karabakh'At sunset flocks of swallows race
through the pink sky over the central square of Stepanakert, a city
once bombed and largely destroyed in a the post-Soviet war between
Armenia and Azerbaijan. In the 21 years since the heavy fighting
ended, there is still occasional shooting around the frontier with
Azerbaijan, but this capital of the self-proclaimed state ' this early
`breakaway republic' ' of Nagorno-Karabakh is peaceful.

Superficially, it resembles other quasi-nations dotting the map of the
former Soviet Union: Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Transnistria and more
recently the embattled self-proclaimed states of Donetsk and Luhansk
in Ukraine. But where those have depended mainly on Russian backing,
and critics would argue they are Russian creations, Nagorno-Karabakh
has found other sponsors.

Some 150,000 people live here, but the enclave has support from a much
greater population of ethnic Armenians around the world, and on a
summer evening the veranda of the Florence Garden restaurant on the
corner of the main square is full of Karabakh's visiting benefactors.
The sound of clinking glasses mingles with leisurely chatting in
Armenian, French, English and Russian. The tranquil scene seems almost
surreal, considering Karabakh's war-torn history and its militarized

In some crucial respects, indeed, it is more at ease and more fair to
its people than Armenia itself. Less than 200 miles away in the
Armenian capital of Yerevan, police detained dozens of civil activists
last week. Armenian protesters unhappy about state corruption and
mismanagement had blocked a street outside the presidential palace
for over two weeks.

Nagorno-Karabakh, tucked in the green mountains of the Caucasus, has
preferred to remain a distant observer of any geopolitical turmoil,
developing under the influence of the Armenian diaspora in the West.

The Artsakh Republic, as locals call their mountain homeland, is aware
that the rest of the world did not acknowledge the republic's
existence. But people also realized that any political instability
could awaken the not-so-frozen war with Azerbaijan. Dozens of soldiers
continued to die on both sides of the 21-year-old front line that is
now the de facto border between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan.
Another all-out war could involve neighboring Iran and Russia, and
wholesale destruction once again, and that's not wanted here.

To prevent traumatizing revolutions, Stepanakert made elections
transparent and honest. Besides, the state is so tiny that it seems
everyone knows everyone, and local officials are just too exposed to
cheat the voters.

Arayik Harutyunyan, the prime minister, told The Daily Beast that
Nagorno-Karabakh is different from the other internationally
unrecognized states in the former Soviet Union. If Abkhazia,
Transnistria, South Ossetia and the recently broken away and still
fighting Donetsk and Luhansk republics embraced opaque authoritarian
governments, Nagorno-Karabakh demonstrated that with transparent and
democratic presidential elections it could beat corruption and
organized crime successfully.

The tranquil scene seems almost surreal, considering Karabakh's
war-torn history and its militarized present.

One could leave a purse on a bench in the park and find it the next
morning, locals told us. `Maybe we managed to cure the typical
post-Soviet diseases because we are so isolated,' Harutyunyan said in
a recent interview, then thought for a moment and conceded with a
smile: `We are intolerant toward gays.'

Democracy is not the only goal for Nagorno-Karabakh. Very soon,
Harutyunyan promised, Karabakh would turn into a black caviar heaven,
to demonstrate to Azerbaijan that they not only despise dictatorship,
they can also grow rich: `In five years, our Golden Fish will produce
and export tons of black caviar,' Harutyunyan said. Last year,
Nagorno-Karabakh founded the Golden Fish sturgeon farm thanks to a
Swiss-Armenian investor, Vardan Semakesh, who was also the largest
investor in the republic's hydroelectric power plant.

Nagorno-Karabakh's shaky status does not allow it to have its own
airport. The windy road trip from Armenia takes six or seven hours.
But at the border checkpoint last week, two reporters in a car did not
have to show their documents.

In the last decade, Nagorno-Karabakh has signed friendly resolutions
and agreements with various American and European cities and regions.
Last year, Basque representatives visited Stepanakert; thanks to the
strong Armenian lobby in the U.S., the state of California established
cooperation with the local administration. Armenia, whose president,
Serj Sargsyan, was born here, provided more than 30 percent of the
modest annual budget of about $200 million.

If in Armenia people are angry with deep-rooted corruption, here in
the break-away state, businessmen feel safe. `I escaped Yerevan and
opened my business in Stepanakert, where there is no corruption and
nobody can make me pay a bribe,' says Dro Karapetyan, the owner of the
Florence Garden restaurant and rock club.

And yet any conversation on the street or in private homes slowly
drifts back to memories of war, and to stories of today's losses on
the border. It can seem at times that Nagorno-Karabakh is living a
Groundhog Day of violence. More than 30,000 people died in the
Armenia-Azerbaijan ethnic conflict in the late 1980s and early 1990s;
hundreds of thousands were forced out of their homes on both sides of
the front line.

When asked about similarities with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine,
Lucine Sarkisyan, an assistant at a grocery store, shook head
dismissively. 'In Luhansk and Donetsk they have water and
electricity'we had nothing when we lived in that basement for two
years,' she said, pointing at her house across the street.

Every local schoolboy knows that right after graduation he will put on
his uniform and go to defend his state from enemies. That is what
school programs taught the post-war generations; schools also train
kids to assemble Kalashnikovs, throw grenades and climb walls for
combat training. Many boys liked to watch weekly television shows
about the army. One of the children's drawings at Stepanakert's School
#3 exhibit themed `Peace' depicted soldiers marching in front of Grad
missile launch systems.

Has Nagorno-Karabakh ever heard of a pacifist movement? `I have
trouble imagining anything like that,' Stella Balayan, a school
teacher in Martuni told The Daily Beast. She is still in mourning for
her son, Col. Garik Balayan, who was killed in May 2014 during his
night shift on the border. Looking at a printout of an official
commemoration, Stella learned more about her son's military service
than she had ever heard from him.

One thing people in Nagorno-Karabakh do not understand is why their
friend Russia is selling weapons to Azerbaijan, for about $4 billion
in the last few years, including sophisticated S-300 anti-aircraft
missile systems. Last August, shooting in the conflict intensified,
the death toll increased by dozens.

Playing the role of peacemaker, Russian President Vladimir Putin
brought the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia to the same table in
his residence in Sochi to discuss the situation with Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev insisted that Armenia should
withdraw its forces from Nagorno-Karabakh, while Armenian President
Serj Sarkisyan accused Azerbaijan of not following UN resolutions.

When asked about how Russia helps Nagorno-Karabakh, the
self-proclaimed state's foreign minister, Karén Mirzoyan, said that
Nagorno-Karabakh did not see much help from Russia. `We receive more
support from the United States,' Mizroyan said.


#20 Yervant1


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Posted 16 July 2015 - 09:10 AM


13 hours ago 15/07/15

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan (L) and the US Co-Chairman of
the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick ®


James Warlick, the US Co-Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group charged with
mediating a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,
is sounding more like Azerbaijan's president Ilham Aliyev than
a so-called impartial diplomat tasked with resolving the longest
conflict in post-Soviet history.

In an interview with Russian daily Vedomosti published this week,
Warlick said that the "occupied" territories of Azerbaijan must be
returned to Azeri control as part of a comprehensive settlement of
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Warlick said that conflicting sides should not focus on just one
element or principle of the settlement. Territories must be returned,
but there are other factors involved, which is why the co-chairs
advocate a comprehensive settlement.

The most egregious part of Warlick's statement, which was a reiteration
of US policy outlined last year at the Carnegie Foundation after
Warlick held a very public meeting with Armenian-American community
leaders in Glendale, is the adoption of the language that has been
used for almost 25 years by one side of the conflict--Azerbaijan.

The "comprehensive settlement" to which Warlick alludes is incumbent
upon the return of the said territories, without any specific
guarantees that may favor Karabakh. Simply put, Karabakh is expected
to make the first move before any other provisions of a settlement
are carried out.

Warlick told Vedomosti that security guarantees are an element of
the settlement, which would include the deployment of international
peacekeeping forces--either UN or OSCE. Who would provide the
peacekeeping troops should be negotiated and decided by the parties
"to ensure the security of Nagorno-Karabakh."

Later in the interview, Warlick acknowledged that the mechanisms
for those security guarantees have not yet been outline, but his
insistence that the territories in question must be "returned to
Azerbaijan" does not, in any way or form, inspire confidence.

In fact, what is being said, in this case by the US Co-Chairman, is
nothing short of bullying, which favors and conforms to the rhetoric
emanating from Baku. How is this arm-twisting supposed to advance
the talks when one side's bellicose rhetoric is being parroted by
the mediator tasked with finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict?

The Armenian National Committee of America astutely observed that
"the OSCE Co-Chairs have developed this bad habit of very openly
lecturing the Armenian side about exactly what they 'must' surrender,
while remaining effectively silent about any specific concessions they
expect of Azerbaijan. This isn't mediation, it's public intimidation."

Coincidentally--or not--the other entity that urges the return of
lands before anything else is Turkey, which has preconditioned its
approval of the dangerous Armenia-Turkey protocols on the return of
"occupied territories." It would not be that far-fetched to infer a
correlation in this scenario.

The trajectory of the OSCE Minsk Group negotiations has shown that in
an eventual peace deal, Armenia and Karabakh stand to lose the most,
while Azerbaijan stands to gain despite its guilt in starting and
escalating the Karabakh conflict, a fact categorically being ignored
by mediators and the international community in general.

Warlick and the other co-chairmen are embracing and buttressing Baku's
victim mentality, thus providing it cover and carte blanche to advance
its military rhetoric and continue its attacks on Karabakh and Armenian
forces. The reaction to these cease fire violations by Azerbaijan has
usually involved a statement urging both sides to refrain from military
activities. This creates a false parity that does not bode well for
the Minsk Group's stated intention of providing security guarantees.

Warlick expresses concern about the escalation of tensions on the
border and claims that the sides must work together to reach a
negotiated peace, with Karabakh expected to make the first move by
giving up what Warlick and Aliyev both call "occupied territories."

There is no direct condemnation of the belligerent attacks on Karabakh
positions by Azerbaijani forces, such as the downing of a helicopter
in broad daylight and Baku's subsequent prevention of efforts to
reclaim the remains of the three soldiers killed in the attack.

The examples of Baku's violations have been reported and are too
numerous to recount here, but the OSCE Co-Chairmen's reactions have
always been the same--urging calm to both sides. Yet that same parity
does not apply when the OSCE Co-Chairmen continue to insist that
Karabakh make concessions in the interest of eventual peace.

What is lacking in this process is a frank reflection on the genesis
of the conflict, from which an equitable solution can be proposed
based on truth and justice.

When in 1988 Armenians in Armenia and Karabakh took to the streets by
the hundreds of thousands, using the new found freedoms envisioned
by Gorbachev's Glasnost and Perestroika, Azerbaijan's response was
to initiate pogroms against Armenians in Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad,
Shahumian and Getashen, coupled with relentless attacks on the civilian
population of Karabakh, thus sparking the war.

Azerbaijan lost the war, and here is the OSCE Minks Group doing
its utmost to minimize Baku's embarrassment and the blemish that
it has left on the Aliyev clan. Interestingly, however, it has been
successive US Co-Chairmen who have carried that torch, with the most
notorious of them being Matthew Bryza, whose entrenched connections
with official Baku and Ankara are also too numerous to enumerate.

To build confidence and to ensure the success of any security
guarantees in the region, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen must act
immediately and unequivocally to return Karabakh to the negotiating
table as a full-fledged party to the conflict. After all, the
signatories of the 1994 cease fire agreement were Stepanakert, Baku,
and Yerevan, with Moscow as the mediating entity.

Furthermore, the parity that is falsely being doled out should actually
be exercised whereby the Armenian side is not the only side that is
forced to make concessions. For the OSCE, which values democracy above
all else, the fact that the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has existed for
almost a quarter of century and is being governed based on democratic
principles (the same cannot be said about Azerbaijan) must become an
important consideration in the eventual determination of its status,
which can be nothing short of an independent republic, for which the
people of Karabakh have shed blood and have expressed their will in
the polling booth.

The famous Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov said at the time of the
Karabakh conflict that the issue of Karabakh is a matter of life and
death for Armenians, but a matter of prestige for Azerbaijan.

Mr. Warlick, conflict resolutions must be guided by matters of life and
death, and not on an insistence to give more leeway to the aggressor
so that it can advance its military agenda.


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