PanARMENIAN.Net - Ten years ago, then leader of Azerbaijan, terminally ill Heydar Aliyev said at his meeting with Robert Kocharian, then president of Armenia: “The negotiation potential for direct meetings between the presidents is not exhausted yet. We must resolutely – I’m speaking on behalf of Azerbaijan – maintain the ceasefire regime, reinforce it, proceed with the talks, and promote activities of the OSCE Minsk Group. We must use all opportunities to assist the peace resolution of this issue and continue our personal meetings. I believe our meeting was very useful and interesting, and it once again comes to prove that the format of presidential meetings with the mediators can be pursued, and we can reach peaceful settlement of the conflict.” These words belong to a person who is now honored as a “national leader” in Azerbaijan and whose opinion must be taken into account, according to logic.
At least the son, the current president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev should have remembered his father’s statement. Of course, it is clear now that the senior Aliyev was not happy to advocate for peace back then; he had to leave the country to his son at least in its current state. To do this, he could have been cunning in telling what he was expected to tell, instead of revealing the actual state of things. In fact, he feared for his son.
Heydar Aliyev would never tolerate such unbridled anti-Armenian sentiment which is now spread in Azerbaijan. He might have hated Armenians no less than his son; still, he never afforded hate speech naming them “number 1 enemy in the world”. The senior Aliyev was shrewd in his actions, as a KGD boss should be. The current clumsy moves of Azerbaijani rough propaganda stand no comparison with Heydar Aliyev’s actions as first secretary of Azerbaijan’s Communist Party Central Committee. It was the “national leader” who sparked mass exodus of Armenians from Azerbaijan. Armenians had no opportunity to get proper education and work, while those few who did succeed, paid too much for this.
However, it should be noted that much has changed over the past 10 years, including the military- political situation in Southern Caucasus. The only thing that still remains invariable is visits of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and their statements, which might as well not be voiced. Similarly, their recent statement dos not differ from the previous ones at all.
“The Co-Chairs continued their discussions with the sides on how to implement the commitments made by Presidents Sargsyan and Aliyev in their January 23 joint statement in Sochi, including to "accelerate" reaching agreement on the Basic Principles as a framework for a comprehensive peace settlement, to work on the mechanism to investigate ceasefire violations, and to develop humanitarian contacts. The Co-Chairs expressed their concern over recent incidents along the frontlines, and urged the sides to exercise restraint and refrain from retaliation. The Co-Chairs welcomed the sides' reaffirmation of their commitment to seek a peaceful settlement.
The Co-Chairs also discussed with the sides the development of confidence-building measures in the military and people-to-people spheres to enhance trust and strengthen implementation of the 1994 ceasefire. In addition, the Co-Chairs discussed the importance of assessing and preserving at-risk sites of Armenian and Azeri cultural and historical value, in order to protect the shared heritage of the region's peoples while negotiations continue toward a final and lasting peace.
The Co-Chairs plan to continue discussions with the Foreign Ministers of the two countries in the near future,” the May 14 statement of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs says.
It covered everything and did not say anything, at the same time. The most “touching” part is the urge for restraint and preservation of cultural heritage; a peak of cynicism, indeed.
Most likely, another meeting between Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev will take place by summer; this means we will again face shooting attacks on Armenian settlements; this is reality.