Monday, November 24, 2008

Serzh Sargsyan scared the people of Artsakh [Karabakh]?

Aravot, Armenia
Nov 20 2008

During his recent visit to Karabakh [Armenian President] Serzh Sargsyan surprised the local population, particularly by the unprecedented security measures. Quoting his sources in Karabakh, Aleksandr Kananyan, a member of the Miatsum National Initiative [which calls for Nagornyy Karabakh's unification with Armenia], said this yesterday [19 November] in the Urbat [Friday] discussion club.

He said that the life in Stepanakert [the capital of Karabakh] was paralysed on those days, and citizens, who could not get to their workplaces [due to the security measures], were surprised, saying: "Why is Serzh Sargsyan so afraid? He is among his compatriots."

According to Mr Kananyan's reliable information, Serzh Sargsyan had "a secret meeting behind the closed doors with the Nagornyy Karabakh leadership and top brass, during which he said in an unquestioning tone that he had decided to resolve the Karabakh issue. The settlement will be according to the Madrid principles; the Armenian troops will leave five territories [Azerbaijani districts adjacent to Karabakh], then a referendum will be held on the status [of Karabakh] two years later, and afterwards Kalbacar) [an Armenian-controlled Azerbaijani district in between Armenia and Nagornyy Karabakh] will also be ceded to Azerbaijan. This is a new idea."

According to the speaker [Kananyan], attempts are already being made to disseminate this approach among the population of Karabakh via police and village leaders, "impressing them that in case they do not agree to this, they will again turn out to be at war." Kananyan hopes that the people of Karabakh will not fall into this delusion, because they realize very well that the probability of a war would be high if such a settlement plan [is approved]. As a result of this plan, in fact, Azerbaijan would get a positional strategic advantage. Kananyan is sure that there is no foreign pressure upon the Armenian government and the Armenian government goes for the existing settlement option voluntarily - being guided not by national but by its own business interests.

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