Author: Natig NAZIMOGHLU
Armenia continues to play with fire. Its new war crimes on the line of contact, regularly repeated destructive rhetoric full of lies and disrespect for the principles of international law and peaceful coexistence of peoples undermine the negotiation process with a real prospect of complete and final failure. The speech of the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinian at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly proved this again.
Pashinian’s address at the largest and most respected international organisation gives reasons to doubt his sincere desire and readiness to take serious steps towards the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The leader of the Armenian “love revolution” once again proved himself only as a primitive politician sowing seeds of hatred and enmity between the two peoples. At the UN General Assembly session in New York, he made a series of openly provocative statements demonstrating his loyalty to the practice of subversive rhetoric, which completely negates the process of a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
Last summer, the Armenian Prime Minister revealed unprecedented examples of scientific, historical, political and legal ignorance. In fact, his statements incited a potential, full-scale war when he declared with all seriousness that Karabakh “is Armenia and full point” and that the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Republic “left the Soviet Azerbaijan for the same reason as Soviet Azerbaijan left the USSR." During his recent address at the session of the UN General Assembly, he again tried to substitute facts and distort the truth accusing Azerbaijan of exacerbating anti-Armenian sentiments, wasting huge resources on weapons, allegedly misrepresenting the Karabakh conflict as a territorial problem between Armenia and Azerbaijan. According to Pashinian’s “fiery” speech, “this conflict is not about territories. We are talking about people, about men and women, about their right to live in their homeland, to live the way their ancestors lived for centuries.”
It is truly absurd to hear such statements from the leader of a country in which anti-Turkic sentiments and Azerbaijanophobia have been elevated to the rank of state policy; a country engaged in military aggression against Azerbaijan, which results in the occupation of a fifth of the internationally recognised territory of a neighbouring state, the expulsion of a million Azerbaijanis from their native lands! That is, a huge mass of civilians deprived by the Armenian occupiers of the very right to live in their original homeland, about which the leader of the notorious “velvet revolution” dares talking so cynically!
Pashinian repeated his thesis that “the people of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region”, by which he understands exclusively the Armenian community of the region, allegedly “exercised its right to self-determination and declared independence, and left the USSR through legal means.” While it is well known that even before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenian nationalists pushed Nagorno-Karabakh's decision to withdraw from Azerbaijan and join Armenia. At the same time, Pashinian forgets about the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh, which was the victim of brutal ethnic cleansing carried out by the Armenian military. Nevertheless, the Armenian prime minister accuses Azerbaijan of being “interested only in territories - but not people, or rather, territories without people.” Pashinian called on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to accept the formula allegedly proposed by him: to find a solution that "should be acceptable to the peoples of Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan." What can we say about the “formula”, the details of which are apparently known only to Pashinian himself, and therefore are kept in the strictest confidence? Or maybe there is no secret, for Pashinian’s “formula” is another product of his rhetoric, with whom he has become so widely famous both in Armenia and beyond since his ascension to the top of the Armenian government?
The truth is what the international community knows and recognizes. Firstly, according to all international documents, the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are Azerbaijan and Armenia, which carried out and continues to occupy Nagorno-Karabakh and other adjacent territories of Azerbaijan. Secondly, Azerbaijan has consistently proposed a single and concrete option for resolving the conflict, which, following the spirit and letter of international law, would include the observance of the territorial integrity of states and the provision of a high degree of autonomy to the Karabakh Armenians, the comprehensive restoration of the violated rights of the Karabakh Azerbaijanis, and establishment and development of comprehensive cooperation between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the interests of the peoples of these countries.
Remarkably, the head of the foreign affairs department of the presidential administration of Azerbaijan, Hikmet Hajiyev, commenting on the Pashinian’s New York speech, emphasized: “In order to resolve the conflict, Armenia must withdraw its troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, end the occupation, Azerbaijani immigrants must return to their homes, and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan must be restored. A self-government model should be defined, taking into account the joint residence of the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno-Karabakh in peace and security within the borders of Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict does not have a settlement model outside the territories of Azerbaijan. An early settlement of the conflict will lead to ensuring lasting peace and security in the region, improving the conditions of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, which are currently in poverty, and will also give an impetus to the development of Armenia itself.” Is there any other acceptable formula for genuine peace in the region of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict?!
Undoubtedly, Pashinian’s demagogic and populist rhetoric on the Karabakh conflict continues to include such a powerful domestic political motive as an attempt to earn points in order to strengthen his own power. Perhaps, the Armenian prime minister seriously believes that his earned political points will come in handy amidst the escalating struggle against the "counter-revolution", that is, with the forces of the former Kocharian-Sargsian regime. Pashinian started a game that aims to bring obedient leadership to power in occupied Karabakh. According to Pashinian’s expectations, the effect of his “Karabakh rhetoric” can save him from an ever-decreasing rating. Perhaps the murder of an Azerbaijani soldier on the contact line of troops on September 22, right before the next meeting of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia and his own “bravado” at the UN headquarters was a real chance for him that Pashinian wanted to use in his own games.
However, his cynical political motives do not, apparently, rule out a possibility that everything presented by Pashinian on the Karabakh settlement represent his real position. Otherwise, it would be impossible to explain the statements pointing to the impossibility of holding a new meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia due to the lack of the very possibility of reaching any agreements.
However, the problem for Pashinian and the whole of Armenia is the strategic inevitability of the collapse of any attempts to present the realities of the Karabakh conflict in inverted and distorted way in order to mislead the world community. Pashinian's demagogic activity is only the biggest disservice to his own country, which the prime minister is pushing to a dead-end of hopelessness and, eventually, to a war with Azerbaijan, which is always ready to fight for the liberation of its lands from the Armenian occupation.