Monday, July 09, 2007

5 Jul 07

Academician Kamal Abdulla has called for the promotion of contacts between Azerbaijanis and Armenians to finally resolve the Karabakh conflict. In an interview with news agency, Abdulla shared his impressions of the visits to Azerbaijani separatist region of Karabakh, and Armenia by a group of intelligentsia representatives where they had discussions on how to resolve the conflict. Abdulla believes that we are "doomed to coexistence by God and history" and therefore, everything should be done to settle the conflict by peace means to avoid war. The following is the text of his interview with C. Ali entitled "Kamal Abdulla: 'Azerbaijanis and Armenians are doomed to coexistence by God and history. This is our mission and we should be ready for it'"; published on the website on 5 July; subheadings have been inserted editorially:

A interview with Prof Kamal Abdulla, the rector of the Baku Slavonic University (BSU), corresponding member of the Azerbaijani Academy of National Sciences and honoured worker of science.

[Correspondent] Kamal muallim [mode of address], after your visits to Nagornyy Karabakh and Armenia, there are again many talk about a big role of people's diplomacy in settling the Karabakh problem. What can you say on its potential in settling the conflict in the wake of your latest mission?

[Abdulla] I think that any alternative form of diplomacy in the long run serves to our main line based on the will of the Azerbaijani people and the political leadership of the country. Any step in this direction should be welcomed since every single man should work within his or her powers.

Politicians should do their job, leaders their own and intellectuals should also seek ways out of this situation. In the end, all these will be part of our common search and opportunities.

Positive mood

[Correspondent] Although the trip was brief, nevertheless, you felt the mood of the Armenians. Do you consider that the Armenian community of Nagornyy Karabakh is ready for open dialogue?

[Abdulla] I can say that those people we met are completely ready. Because the war, the actual state of affairs have already bored everyone and everybody is looking for ways of breaking this deadlock. Undoubtedly, I cannot speak on behalf of all but those whom I saw and contacted are ready.

Above all, this contact was established without any intermediaries. It is also important that this contact contemplated our crossing to Nagornyy Karabakh exactly through the Azerbaijani soil, in other words, we went from one part of our land to another part, and it was not from Tbilisi, Moscow or from somewhere else but from Barda, from where we went directly to Xankandi [Stepanakert]. If someone else can, let them also go.

[Correspondent] Other members of the trip speak about the possibility of continuing cooperation between Azerbaijanis and Armenians even they suggest specific forms. As the rector of the BSI, do you assume the possibility of adjusting such contacts, say, in the sphere of education?

[Abdulla] Any further effective contacts should take place once all the problems are tackled. We did not discuss any political moments, the possibility of adopting any declaration there. We simply communicated with them. We pursued the purpose of understanding whether we can speak the same language and if we can ever understand one another.

My understanding of "some time ever" means a complete solution to the problem: after the liberation of the seven [occupied Azerbaijani] districts and the establishment of Azerbaijan's political and state control over Nagornyy Karabakh. It is essential to know if there are forces with whom we can later start speak about life, construction and restoration. This was the kernel of the trip.

[Correspondent] Are there such forces?

[Abdulla] I think there are.

Armenian leader backs coexistence with Azerbaijanis

[Correspondent] Armenian President Robert Kocharyan once said from a high tribune that the peoples of Azerbaijan and Armenia cannot coexist in principle. What would your reaction be to that statement of the Armenian president after the visit?

[Abdulla] He spoke absolutely the opposite at the meeting with us that our peoples should finally coexist. After all, none of them will go to another planet or another part of the globe. We are doomed to coexistence by God and history. This is our mission and we have to be ready for it. By saying "we", I mean the Azerbaijani citizens of Armenian origin living in Nagornyy Karabakh and we saw that in principle they can be ready for it, and the citizens of Azerbaijan - the Azerbaijani population of Nagornyy Karabakh.

Therefore, by any means - naturally, it is important that this means is peaceful - we will liberate our lands.

So, what shall we do once Azerbaijan fully restores its authority there? How shall we communicate each other? Will the communication take place at all?

Will there be people understanding everything what will take place? After all we cannot tell the Armenians that you have to leave as we have restored our authority here. Can we say this?! Can any political leader ever say this?! Certainly, not. We have to return to the system which existed before the confrontation. Therefore, it is necessary to find out the degree of our readiness to talk with one another.

I do not even want to answer those sharp but at the same time irrational remarks on inadmissibility of such contacts and so on. What is to be done?

To avoid dialogue in order to make this problem exist further so that those "gentlmen" continue to get their grants?

Many ready for contacts with Armenians

[Correspondent] You said the Armenian side is ready for dialogue. Now I would like to learn your opinion about the readiness of the Azerbaijani public. At a news conference in Baku on the results of the visits to Karabakh and Armenia, you yourself witnessed that so far not all representatives of the Azerbaijani public view such contacts positively. Do you think the Azerbaijani society is ready for this?

[Abdulla] As a whole, it is ready. This is obvious for those people who call me, send telegrams and give their views in support of the mission. The vast majority is ready and supports this mission.

Naturally, there are those who disagree but disagreement should, in my view, be expressed within the limits of certain ethic norms. Regrettably, there are people who like to go beyond those limits without thinking that they might be asked: Who are the judges then? You have no right to judge others.

One should do better. I think that this communication, which we managed with the representatives of the Armenian intelligentsia, should be developed.

Maybe, others will go in future. Incidentally, there are already many people who express such a will.

You know so many people call me and tell me about their desire to visit Karabakh and propose that such a trip be arranged. They are residents of Susa, in general, representatives of Karabakh and refugees from Armenia, Baku residents, friends, acquaintances and even those who do not know me at all. To put it differently, there are many people who support us. However, unfortunately they are often inert and unresponsive. Those who are active and responsive are few. An Azerbaijani saying goes: that's his guilty conscience speaking. Regrettably, this happens sometimes.

I believe in wisdom of my people and both in wisdom of our earnest and genuine journalists and analysts. We were told there that we will have a bad time when going back home, they said that "your folk will attack you, blame you for all faults". I told them this would not happen as our people would understand everything and support us.

I think that we did it right and my belief in this is based on the support I am receiving.

No comments:

Post a Comment