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Friends of Azerbaijan Shape EU Policy Toward Armenia

Armen Hareyan's picture

The European Union is after rescuing Euro and South Caucasus may not necessarily be its top priority. Yet, it just contradicted itself in a big way by allowing friends of Azerbaijan to shape its policy toward Armenia, Georgia and Nagorno Karabakh. If this continues in this direction, the policy shaping and impartiality may become the second casualty after Euro vs Dollar exchange rate dilemma.

Yesterday, The European Parliament published its legislative dossier number 2216 called EU strategy for the South Caucasus. What is odd about the strategy report is that it contradicts to EU's previous position on the region and is prepared by a person who has never been in the subject land of Nagorno Karabakh.

In that report Kirilov Evgeni and Kazak Metin call on Armenia to withdraw all of its forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Yet, for some reason, they don't call on Azerbaijan to withdraw its forces from the Shahumyan region of Armenia and Martakert region of Nagrono Karabakh. Never mind that Azerbaijan started this war in 1988 against the Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh by bombing cities and deporting the civilians and the Armenian forces just had to liberate those territories to stop the killing of the innocent civilians. Any person who has read more than one book in his or her life, should be able to know the cause and the root problem of the conflict and the liberated territories.

Why did the international community intervene in Kosovo? What would happen to the Albanian population of Kosovo if the NATO forces did not interfere? The same things would happen to the Armenian population of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic if the Armenian forces did not intervene and defend it from Azerbaijan. Here I would like to remind Mr. Kirilov and Metin that Armenian forces were not able to intervene in Azerbaijan's city of Sumgayit and thus yet another Armenian genocide there. Here is a documentary about the Sumgayit Genocide of the Armenian people from YouTube. We warn you that it is graphic.

The response from Armenia came quick. Azerbaijan, naturally welcomed the EU report on South Caucasus. However, the Armenian response was rather revealing. The Foreign Minister of Armenian Mr. Edward Nalbandyan said the parts of the EU strategy report for the South Caucasus that refer to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict resolution are not in line with the Madrid Principles set forward by the mediator countries, nor the Mayendorf statement, signed near Moscow between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. If the person, who prepared the report, at least consulted the French representative of the Minsk Group he would understand that this report totally contradicts the 2009 OSCE statement made in Athens, which is a very balanced approach to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

While the response by the foreign minister of Armenia was rather reserved, the parliamentarians were more direct and revealing. "Saying that this document is a non-binding one Naira Zohrabyan from the Prosperous Armenia Party recalled that Kirilov was the initiator president of the group called Friends of Azerbaijan, assuming that he could not have been impartial, reports this morning.

Thus, we question the morality of such a report when only one party is called upon to remove its forces and nothing about the other party of the conflict. We question this report when one party is asked to remove its force without giving any security guarantees to another party of the conflict. We question the credibility of this report when it is prepared by people who have never been in the region of Nagorno Karabakh. It is simply called trying to heal the symptoms and not the root problem.

On the other hand, while Azerbaijan has welcomed the report, it is better that it reads the report more carefully. This report calls on the "peaceful resolution of conflicts." If Azerbaijan welcomes the report, it should put an end to its bellicose statements about the resumption of war if the negotiations fail. The reporters "condemn the idea of a military solution and call on both parties to avoid any further breaches of the 1994 ceasefire."

Here is where Azerbaijan should read it very carefully. The reporters call on the international community and the EU to influence in finding a solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict "but without introducing conditions for the respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the South Caucasus states." This sentence is pretty ambiguous. "In respect" here rather means in regard. So far it is only Azerbaijan who puts its territorial integrity as a condition for the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. So far only Azerbaijan makes the conflict resolution conditional on its territorial integrity. Thus, when EU report says "without introducing conditions," and Azerbaijan has welcomed it, this can mean two things. Either Azerbaijan's politicians did not carefully read this part of the report, or Azerbaijan had a change of position toward a construction direction.

Written by Armen Hareyan

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