Azerbaijan had some role in frustration of Armenian-Turkish process

Ara Papian:

Azerbaijan had some role in frustration of Armenian-Turkish process

PanARMENIAN.Net - The OSCE Minsk Group has accomplished its Field Assessment Mission in the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh. A year has passed since signature of the Protocols on normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations. What can Armenia expect in the future and how can the latest developments in the region tell on the most delicate issues: resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Armenian-Turkish reconciliation. Head of the Modus Vivendi Center, historian Ara Papian comments on the situation in an interview with PanARMENIAN.Net.
How would you assess the OSCE Minsk Group’s field mission? How necessary was it at this juncture?
The point of that act is unclear to me, and so it is absolutely unacceptable to have such a “fact-finding” mission. To what end are “facts” being found? I believe that, as long as Azerbaijan has not accepted the right to political self-determination of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian parties – and especially the authorities of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic – must not encourage the activities of the mediators, even more so when they are being carried out on Azerbaijan’s demand, and in such a one-sided manner.

Azerbaijan never tires of declaring that it is ready to solve the Karabakh issue. What are such proclamations doing: campaigning for domestic politics, or blackmailing the international community?
What is the solution to the Karabakh issue for the Azerbaijani leadership? It is the repetition of the massacres of Baku (September, 1918), Shoushi (March, 1920), Soumgayit (February, 1988) and, once again, Baku (January, 1990). Is there anybody in the world – except, of course, for the major and minor Turks – who really believes that Armenians could be fully-fledged citizens of Azerbaijan? If the Karabakh issue is solved according to the desires of the Azerbaijani leadership, then the best scenario that awaits the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh is a destiny of exile.

I have had the opportunity to meet General Roméo Dallaire in Canada, who was the commander of the UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda during 1993-94, that is, in the course of the years when the Hutus were carrying out a genocide of the Tutsis. The general would recount the details of the genocide in horror and he would say that he neither had the capacity nor the authority to defend the population. Why do some think that peacekeepers would serve better and be more efficient in the South Caucasus? If the international community is any good at maintaining anyone’s security, let them stand by the poor people of Darfur. We must not allow the Turks to carry out yet another Armenian Genocide.

Is there any organization in the world, including the UN, which would be able to do more to resolve the Karabakh issue, than the OSCE Minsk Group?
If the UN’s involvement would be through political bodies (the Security Council, the General Assembly), then it would have no positive effect, because the political fields reek of oil. If the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) would take charge, then that could give the process a good boost. Ultimately, the ICJ is the least politicized of the UN bodies and it conducts its activities based on international law. Let the court decide why the Albanians of Kosovo enjoy the right to political self-determination, for the realization of which some countries are ready to bomb Belgrade, while those countries do not wish to bomb Baku in order to assure that same right to the Armenians of Karabakh. Perhaps those countries are trying to avoid damaging the oil derricks that flow profits into their coffers?

They say that the Armenia-Turkey protocols were scuttled to a certain extent due to Azerbaijan. How true is that?
Of course Azerbaijan had some role in it. But if that did not correspond to Turkey’s own interests, then Azerbaijan would not have been able to do anything. The truth, in my opinion, is that Turkey, in comprehending Armenia’s internal weakness, wishes to reap the maximum benefit and legitimize the despoiled and occupied territories of the Republic of Armenia by way of the recognition of borders, while rendering the eastern frontier of Armenia vulnerable by handing Nagorno-Karabakh over to Azerbaijan.

What is your view on the prospects of Armenia-Turkey relations?
If we wish to normalize relations between Armenia and Turkey, then we must take the criminal – Turkey – to court, where it will bear the ruling it deserves, while the damaged party – the Republic of Armenia – will receive its corresponding territorial, material and moral compensation. Without this, it would be impossible to have regular relations with Turkey; they would be insincere and highly unstable.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan / PanARMENIAN News
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