Sunday, January 28, 2007

What is the future of our liberated territories?

After our visit to Southern Kashatagh (Lachin), visiting with persons in government and then reading the December 1994 Human Rights Watch/ Helsinki (HRWH) report titled “SEVEN YEARS OF CONFLICT IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH,” I’m starting to think that the Artsakh/Armenian government does in fact have plans on turning over those territories they are presently neglecting to Azerbaijan in exchange for a legal status. Though this contradicts their actions in terms of repopulating those territories over the last 10 years, it seems the direction they are going.

I will say one thing in terms of such a plan and that is that if we give land for peace/status today in the form of a treaty, mark my words, just like the United States, who has signed into many treaties and broken all of them, Azerbaijan will do the same thing. A Treaty with Azerbaijan means nothing and the only thing it will do is prolong the inevitable.

If it was up to me, we would not give anything to Azerbaijan and build our country on what we have today. Of course to successfully do this, you have to have a committed government who are working for the people and not for themselves. This is also why today’s government is ready to give Azerbaijan these territories, because they know without sacrificing their personal economic control/gain of the countries resources and upholding the laws for the benefit of the greater population, there is no way such a plan of action could be realized.

Maybe I was too harsh with the Minister of Territorial Administration, Armo Tsaturyan when he told me during our January 7, 2007 meeting that those that have stolen and taken control of our economy for themselves should all be lined up and shot. I thought that the law should punish such people, but he insisted the only way was a firing quad.

Anyway, enough of why I think Artsakh and Armenia really are opting of giving Azerbaijan liberated territory that is vital for our security now and in the future.

According to the 1994 HRWH report, page 109 to 110 reads:

In an interview with the American-Armenian publication AIM, [Robert] Kocharian [Chairman of the Karabakh Defense Committee] stated that, "We should be completely be assured that the territory returned will not be used as a base to commence military action." Consequently a "land for peace status" relationship has formed.

The Karabakh Armenians repeatedly claim they do not intend to hold most of the territory they captured outside of the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh. (page 110) According to Foreign Minister [Arkadii] Gukasyan, "Captured territory is also an object of the negotiations. We don't have any claims to the territory in Azerbaijan and are prepared to view this question in the context of all the rest..." In February 1994, Defense Committee Chairman Kocharian commented that, "Each side could now benefit from negotiations: Azerbaijan could get territory and we could get the recognition of the status of the NKR”

The Karabakh Armenians, however, seem unwilling to return certain territories, like Lachin or Kelbajar for the band of Azerbaijani territory that separates Karabakh from Armenia on the west. At its narrowest part, the city of Lachin, only about ten kilometers separate NKAO from Armenia. Defense Chairman Kocharian has stated that, "Concerning the question, 'All or not all of the (captured) territory', then the Lachin corridor or the Lachin region should be the subject of special discussion during the negotiations. Lachin is the only connection linking us with the outside world....Kelbajar also has a special status and we shouldn't consider conditions for its return to be the same for the return of Agdam or Fizuli."

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