KARABAKH CONFLICT

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The Resolution Submitted to the Armenian Parliament on Nagorno Karabagh

M. Serdar PALABIYIK, ERAREN

The electoral victory of Serzh Sarkisyan in the presidential elections of Armenia and subsequent establishment of a new government under the premiership of former President of the Armenian Central Bank, Tigran Sarkisyan, has been reflected in domestic and foreign press that there might be positive achievements regarding Armenian foreign policy towards Turkey and Azerbaijan. However, since the new decision-makers of Armenia preserved the same lineage with Kocharian period and the outrageous incidents occurred in the demonstrations organized to commemorate April 24 in Yerevan disturbed these high hopes immediately.

Also, there was another significant recent development proving that Armenian foreign policy towards the resolution of the Karabagh question would not change. Armenian Parliament began to discuss a resolution entitled “On Settlement of the Nagorno Karabagh Problem”. Although the title of the resolution included the word “settlement”, the text of the resolution indicates that there are expressions which indeed impede settlement.

As is known, after the demonstrations occurred in Armenia right after the presidential elections state of emergency had been declared, while on the other hand, in Karabagh Armenian-Azeri clashes intensified to a degree inexperienced since the signature of the cease-fire in 1994. Therefore this draft resolution clearly shows the concerns for these recent developments. However, rather than developing a solution-oriented strategy, the other side, namely Azerbaijan was blamed for the initiation of this recent crisis. Accordingly the draft resolution stipulates that “the Azeri high-ranking officials’ anti-Armenian militant propaganda is dangerous and aims to break the peace process”, that the Azeri army’s “provocative” actions violate the cease-fire regime and that Azerbaijan took open steps to “torpedo the peace process”. However it is not absolutely known how these clashes had intensified. While the Armenian side argued that the clashes had started as a result of the provocative actions of the Azeri troops, Azeri side accused Armenia of violating the cease-fire regime. Therefore, while some kind of a mutual understanding would prevent escalation of the crisis, both sides followed the strategy of blaming each other.

In the draft resolution, it is also stipulated that Armenian Parliament takes into account “the blackmail with respect to the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, which is accompanied with threats to express distrust in them and pass the discussion of the conflict settlement to other organizations”. However, seen from the side of Azerbaijan Minsk Group had already lost its objectivity and reliability since the co-chairs of Minsk Group, namely the US, France and Russia had not approved a UN General Council Resolution dated March 14 which had recognized territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and demanded immediate withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories. Therefore, Azerbaijan demanded reorganization of the Minsk Group, or at least consolidation of the efficiency of other members, namely Italy, Finland, Belarus and Turkey.

Another issue in the draft resolution is the emphasis on the self-determination right of the Karabagh people and perception of this right as an indispensable part of international law. However, it is quite ironic that such an emphasis was made by the Parliament of a country which had occupied Azeri territories through violating even the basic principles of international law and which still disregards four UN Security Council Resolutions regarding that matter..
In the conclusion of the draft resolution, Armenian Parliament has two demands from Armenian President and Prime Minister. The first demand is the enhancement of “Armenia’s initiative concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh problem”. The second one is the formulation of “legal grounds for ensuring the security of Nagorno-Karabakh in case of military aggression by Azerbaijan”.

Tigran Torosyan, the Speaker of the Armenian Parliament said that this resolution was prepared as a response to the recent developments in Karabagh and he clearly stipulated that Armenian recognition of the independence of Nagorno Karabagh is among the options. It can be argued that such a strategy shows that Armenia does not positively engage in negotiations; rather opted for a policy of non-resolution of the Karabagh problem.

To sum up, it would be great optimism to expect the new government to take major steps for the resolution of the Karabagh problem with a novel approach. Resolution of this question through bilateral negotiations via the mediation of reliable and objective international platforms is still a significant option on the table for the maintenance of permanent peace in the region.

Source:

http://www.eraren.org/index.php?Lisan=en&Page=Makaleler&MakaleNo=3082

Posted by admin Posted in: Internet Sites No Comments » April 2008


Independence of Kosovo and the Nagorno-Karabakh Issue

By Hasan Selim Ozertem

I believe that it would not be wrong to define International Relations, in a limited sense, as a discipline that tries to depict the formation of new systems and the elimination of the old ones systematically. Moreover, it draws a framework for the art of diplomacy in an interdependent fashion and regional conflicts represent one of the most interesting parts of this area in this context. Since, this topic is an interdisciplinary issue and each conflict requires a sui generis approach.

Formation and dissolution of unions cause instability in terms of politics, economics and security. In this context, the last decade of 20th century was really dramatic when we recall the collapse Iron Curtain, with the fall of Berlin Wall and revolutions in 1989 which was followed by inevitable dissolution in the Eastern Bloc.

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Posted by admin Posted in: Turkish Press No Comments » April 2008


UN- General Assembly: Human Rights Question

General Assembly, Fifty-first session
THIRD COMMITTEE, Agenda item 110
Eldar KOULIYEV   Ambassador

The armed aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the Azerbaijani Republic pursuant to its policy of violent acquisition of territory and its plans to establish a “Greater Armenia” has resulted in gross and flagrant violations of human rights which fall within the category of crimes against humanity.

 The armed hostilities against Azerbaijan were preceded by anti-constitutional actions in the Nagorny Karabakh region of Azerbaijan perpetrated by separatist groups receiving outside support; forming the backdrop to these actions were certain decisions taken by the Armenian authorities in contravention of international law.  Of these decisions, the most notorious is the resolution “Reunification of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic and Nagorny Karabakh” adopted by the Armenian Parliament on 1 December 1989.  Moreover, in Armenia’s declaration of sovereignty of 23 August 1990, part of the territory of another State  the Nagorny Karabakh region of Azerbaijan – is recognized as an integral part of the Republic of Armenia.  These decisions by the Armenian Parliament were enacted by its armed forces with the widespread use of mercenary bands and a sudden upsurge in terrorist activity by the Armenian special services and terrorist organizations against sovereign Azerbaijan with a view to wresting away part of its age-old lands.  All-out hostilities began at the end of 1991 and the start of 1992 when Armenian armed formations initiated combat operations in the Nagorny Karabakh region of Azerbaijan using the very latest weapons systems.  Since May 1992 their armed forces have made incursions beyond the borders of the former Nagorny Karabakh Autonomous Region into other parts of the country.

     As a result of more than eight years of war, approximately 20 per cent of the entire territory of Azerbaijan, comprising Nagorny Karabakh and an area four times bigger than that region, has been occupied and held by the Armenian armed forces.

     A chronological list of the seizure of Azerbaijani towns and districts follows:

     28 February 1992 – Khojaly
     8 May 1992 – Shusha
     18 May 1992 – Lachin
     3 April 1993 – Kelbajar
     28 June 1993 – Agdere
     23 July 1993 – Agdam
     23 August 1993 – Fizuli
     26 August 1993 – Djebrail
     30 September 1993 – Kubatly
     28 October 1993 – Zangelan and Goradiz

It should be noted in particular that the Agdere and Agdam districts of Azerbaijan were seized by Armenian armed forces following the adoption of Security Council resolution 822 (1993) of 30 April 1993, which condemned the occupation of the Kelbajar district; the Fizuli district was seized after the adoption of Security Council resolution 853 (1993) of 29 July 1993 condemning the seizure of the Agdam district; and the Djebrail and Kubatly districts were seized after the adoption of Security Council resolution 874 (1993) of 14 October 1993.  In its resolution 884 (1993) of 11 November 1993, the Council condemned the occupation of the Zangelan district and the city of Goradiz, attacks on civilians and bombardments of the territory of the Azerbaijani Republic.  In all the above-mentioned  resolutions, the Council underscored respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of the Azerbaijani Republic, and the inadmissibility of using force to acquire territory.  It also demanded the immediate cessation of armed hostilities and hostile acts, and the immediate, full and unconditional withdrawal of all occupying forces from the occupied areas of Azerbaijan.  Despite the unequivocal demands of the Security Council, the Republic of Armenia is today still holding on to occupied Azerbaijani territory and increasing its military presence there.

As a result of the aggression and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis from the territory of Armenia proper and from the occupied part of the territory of Azerbaijan, there are currently over 1 million refugees and displaced persons in Azerbaijan.  A total of 900 settlements have been looted and destroyed.  Over 9 million square metres of civilian housing, state enterprises and social facilities have been destroyed and burnt.  The total cost of the destroyed housing and the property removed therefrom amounts to tens of billions of dollars.  An extremely serious humanitarian situation has developed in Azerbaijan.

Every year hundreds of elderly people, women and children die in refugee camps as a result of diseases and epidemics.

The Armenian armed forces, backed by mercenary formations and Armenian terrorist groups, have killed over 18,000 people and wounded or maimed over 50,000.  Several thousand people are missing and extrajudicial executions and mass shootings of civilians have been carried out.  Kidnapped hostages held in Armenia and the occupied areas of Azerbaijan are doing forced labour and being made to endure inhumane treatment, beatings, torture and other gross violations of their human rights.

     According to information from the State Commission of the Azerbaijani Republic on prisoners of war, hostages and missing persons, as a result of Armenian aggression these categories comprised 4,674 Azerbaijani citizens as at 1 March 1996.  This total includes 314 women, 60 children and 252 elderly people (lists of missing women, children and elderly people are attached).  The State Commission knows the whereabouts of over 900 of these people, including 39 women, 12 children and 39 elderly people, in the territory of the Republic of Armenia and the occupied Azerbaijani territories.  The vast majority of them are being detained by the Armenian side without the knowledge of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and therefore do not appear on that organization’s lists.

The hostages and prisoners of war held by the Armenians, many of whom are considered missing persons since they are being concealed from the ICRC, are forced to do heavy physical labour, subjected to beatings and torture, and the sick and wounded are denied basic medical assistance.  The State Commission has learnt that 145 Azerbaijanis have died in Armenian captivity.  Four people, who endured indescribable degradation and suffering, died shortly after being released.

Ethnic cleansing of Armenian territory of its Azerbaijani inhabitants

The widespread settlement of Transcaucasia by Armenians began after tsarist Russia’s military conquest of the Caucasus.  Taking advantage of the changed demographic situation, the Armenians, under the tutelage of the rulers of tsarist Russia and, later, the communist leaders of the Soviet Union, encroached on the native Azerbaijani population in various parts of the region.

It is a matter of historical fact that in 1828-1829 alone, 130,000 Armenians were resettled out of Middle Eastern countries into the area now forming the Republic of Armenia; another 600,000 were resettled later. 

By 1918, the number of Azerbaijanis in what is now Armenia stood at 575,000 – more than a third of all the inhabitants of the area. But as a result of the Armenian Government’s deliberate policy of expelling the Azerbaijani population, there remains today in Armenia not a single Azerbaijani out of that half-million-strong community.

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Posted by admin Posted in: Khojaly, United Nations No Comments » April 2008