Artsakh

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Postby Lernakan on Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:57 pm

This article, written by Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan is worth a read. I didn't know he could be this funny. :)


OKLAHOMA GUARDSMEN RECOGNIZED AZERBAIJAN

A few days ago a delegation of the U. S. servicemen headed by the Head of Okhlom-, sorry, Oklahoma National Guard Major General Harry Wyatt visited Azerbaijan. According to the Azeri tradition, any guest from the U. S. is received by the most high-ranked persons of the identical profession. Naturally, the Major General was received by the Azeri DM Safar Abiyev. The guest was shown the most important sight of Baku: a monument to the Azeri nation’s outstanding chieftain Heydar Aliyev situated on the square bearing his name. Having put flowers to the legs of the bronze chieftain, the American General with those accompanying him drove along the avenue named after the father of the current President of Azerbaijan to the Republic MOD, where he participated in a splendid banquet with black caviar and Armenian cognac with the label “Khazar”.
According to the tradition, a guest of any rank in the course of a banquet in his honor must say a phrase, the point of which is that he inveighs (recognizes, protects, respects – the options depend on the guest’s professional activity and the degree of his modesty and breeding) Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. The guest with shoulder straps and stripes did not surprise anyone with his modesty.
In the course of the banquet the Oklahoma General, being deeply touched by the caviar with cognac and unusual total attention managed to utter what he has learnt: “the U. S. recognized and recognize Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity”. However, it was not enough for the brave General, so he went on swaggering. As if getting ready for the assault of the Afghan fortress of Tora Bora, behind the strong walls of which Usama Ben Laden’s phantom is hiding, he resolutely exhaled: “within the frames of the USSR’s era”.
Oh, General, oh, maladroit person, who remembers about the USSR’s existence and has forgotten (or did not know) the map of the U. S. President Wilson. And yet it is said there are no former presidents in the U. S. Though Wilson – it was so long ago, in the first years of Azerbaijan’s Sovietization, so the present generals could forget about it.
The Azeri generals, by the way, turned to be more diplomatic than their colleague from abroad, who can feel comfortable everywhere. Having pretended that they know nothing about the Azeri Republic’s refusal from the Azeri SSR’s succession, they amicably applauded following their Minister.
The Azeri MOD Press Service informed with unconcealed pride that the MOD Chief delivered an address, having noted the successful development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO. “We highly appreciate the role the U. S. has played in the development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO. The Subdivisions of Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces actively participated in the peacemaking operations in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq”.
Having paid tribute to decency and reminding the Oklahoma inhabitant of Azerbaijan’s great contribution to the NATO peacemaking activity, Abiyev came to the point: “the Armenian – Azeri conflict has not been resolved yet, the activity of the OSCE Minsk group dealing with the conflict settlement cannot be considered satisfactory. We speak up for the conflict’s settlement within the frames of the standards of the international right and on the basis of observance of the principle of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. We also request that the Armenian troops should be immediately withdrawn from the occupied territories. The Armenian party adopts a destructive stand in the conflict’s settlement and does not wish to take into consideration the current situation. Taking the above-mentioned into account, Azerbaijan has to undertake adequate measures”.
Abiyev did not verify who they “request” and who they have to “undertake adequate measures” against. However, his expansive speech made necessary impression: according to those present, without habitual encirclement of the brave corporals the Oklahoma General worried, not to say was afraid. What if the Minister has taken him as someone else? Though he is a Minister, he tried cognac as well. Worried Wyatt began to carefully remonstrate to his too zealous interlocutor, stating that all the conflicts must be settled by diplomatic way. “We are ready to help you in the issue”, he said, “the U. S. highly estimate the Azerbaijan’s efforts in the direction and we are ready to help you. We believe Azerbaijan will demonstrate its strong stand and will in the issue and at the negotiating table”.
Abiyev, who a bit cooled off the words and affirmations, also started affirming that personally he, Safar, was against any hostilities. In general, Azerbaijan, which denied Soviet heritage, is still devoted to the slogan “Peace to the world”.
I do not know what about the American uncle, but I believe in his words’ sincerity. Safar Abiyev really speaks up for peace and arms race. First, arms race is the Azeri Minister’s favorite and quite profitable business; second, it is easier, than to run around the world searching for his own deserters and others’ disposable pilots. Finally, being a son of a benefactor father, I. Aliyev every year increases the Republic’s military budget twice. It should be noted that Abiyev himself manages the state budget. According to the Azeri proverb, a dog will not run away from meat, while Abiyev has been brought up on the traditions of deep respect to the national wisdom of his tribe. Why should one wage war, if it’s possible to buy armament in Ukraine, on the points of collection of black and colored metal, and then register it at the astronomic prices and put the difference in his own pocket? And yet, a war is a war. What if after a current failure one will have to lose his profitable post? For instance, the Karabakh war made a lot of Ministers tender their resignation. Some were even sent to jails. It should be noted that Abiyev is not Don Quixote.
Levon MELIK-SHAHNAZARYAN
www.ArmenianHighland.com

Yes Tseghakron Em - Yev aha K'yerdnum Vahagni Achi Vrah Yerbek Chmexanchel Ukhtis Dem - Aprel, Gorcel u Mernel Vorpes Tsexamard.
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Postby Lernakan on Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:46 pm

95 PERCENT WILL NOT SURRENDER TERRITORIES

A1+
[07:18 pm] 18 June, 2007

Aharon Adibekyan, the director of the "Sociometer" Center, left
for Karabakh to conduct public polling on the Karabakh conflict
settlement. He released the results on June 18 at the "Friday" Club.

95 percent of respondents think the Karabakh conflict should be settled
either by independence or by unification with Armenia. 8 percent
think the territories could be exchanged for independence, Adibekyan
says. The pollster also made a sensational statement; according to him,
about 1-1.5 percent voted for broad sovereignty within Azerbaijan.
www.ArmenianHighland.com

Yes Tseghakron Em - Yev aha K'yerdnum Vahagni Achi Vrah Yerbek Chmexanchel Ukhtis Dem - Aprel, Gorcel u Mernel Vorpes Tsexamard.
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Postby Lernakan on Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:51 pm

PROMISED LAND CONTINUES TO IMPLEMENT PROGRAMS IN LIBERATED TERRITORIES

KarabakhOpen
19-06-2007 11:39:29

The Promised Land NGO was set up in 2000 and has been implementing
programs for settlement of the liberated regions since 2001.

Thanks to sponsors from the Diaspora villages were founded in the
region, houses, schools, nursery schools and medical stations were
built.

According to the chair of the NGO Vahram Gevorgyan, 85 houses,
6 schools, 4 nursery schools and medical stations, four regional
administration buildings have been built over this period. The NGO
helped 55 families to move into these houses. The NGO also provides
aid to the families which already live in these places.

The NGO and the American benefactor Karapet Harutiunyan founded the
village of Knaravan in Nor Shahumyan region. The same benefactor
helped build houses in the region of Hadrut.

Vahram Gevorgyan said in an interview with the KarabakhOpen now the
NGO focuses on social and cultural programs because "the roots of
the village need to grow deeper."

"We have finished excavations at Handabert, and reconstructed the
church. We resumed excavations of Tigranakert. The construction of
Narekatsi Cultural Center continues in Shushi. We also plan to build
an amphitheater and reconstruct the dormitory in the Center," Vahram
Gevorgyan says.

He also said in July 70 computers will be provided to the schools
and other offices in the liberated territories.
www.ArmenianHighland.com

Yes Tseghakron Em - Yev aha K'yerdnum Vahagni Achi Vrah Yerbek Chmexanchel Ukhtis Dem - Aprel, Gorcel u Mernel Vorpes Tsexamard.
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Postby Armanen on Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:10 pm

AZERBAIJAN DOES NOT NEED NAGORNO-KARABAKH: EXPERT

arminfo
2007-06-29 20:23:00

Azerbaijan does not need Nagorno-Karabakh, the director of the Center
for Analysis of Theater of Terrorism and Conflicts of Low Intensity
Ramil Latypov says in an interview to Yerkramas daily.

He says that the Azeris have never needed Nagorno-Karabakh - there
were no historical prerequisites for that.

But for some unknown reason the Azeri authorities have taken up an
unyielding stance: war till victory. Latypov is sure that no victory
is possible. He says that this stance is a synthesized catalyst of
an artificial process and it will result in long-term instability,
economic stagnation, declining living standard, atmopshere of
fear and distrust, growing hysteria in Azerbaijan, Armenia and
Nagorno-Karabakh. This all is good for those who are planning to
gain control over the global energy resources. It is time to stop and
solve this problem on one's own on the basis of historical justice,
good sense and interests of ordinary people.
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Postby Ararat on Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:37 pm

A special new fund for rebuilding Shushi



http://www.shushi.org/en/
Ararat
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Postby Armanen on Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:43 am

ARMENIA DEVELOPS RELATIONS WITH NATO, WON'T BECOME MEMBER

ITAR-TASS News Agency, Russia
July 15, 2007 Sunday 04:41 PM EST

Armenia will develop relations with the North Atlantic Alliance but
will not become its member, President Robert Kocharian said in an
interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel published in Yerevan
on Sunday.

The entry into NATO would not enlarge Armenia's security, but it
would spoil the Armenian relations with neighbors, the president said.

"The accession to any military bloc cannot be a goal in itself or a
fashion," Kocharian said. "Meanwhile, the accession to the Collective
Security Treaty (CST), whose member Russia is, will meet our security
interests."

"It is important for Armenia to develop relations with NATO, but
membership in that alliance will not enhance our security. It will make
our position ambiguous," he said. "We live in an complicated region. We
have constructive relations with Iran and close contacts with Russia."

As for the affiliation to the European Union, the Armenian leader said,
"We are realistic and do not set the goal of entry into the EU for
the near future. Plenty of states have voiced their wish to enter
into the European Union."

He said, however, he "will do his best for bringing cooperation with
the EU to a higher level."

Armenia objects to new international sanctions on Iran and thinks that
the Iranian nuclear problem should be resolved with political methods,
Kocharian said.

"Tighter sanctions will escalate tensions. It is hard to predict
where such negative dynamics may lead," he said.

"We are against sanctions that may be harmful for us and other states,"
he said. Punitive measures "will hardly pave the way to the solution
of the Iranian nuclear problem," he added.

"The Iranian administration is convinced that it acts in compliance
with international agreements," the chief of state said. "Iranian
officials said that their nuclear program does not have military goals,
while the West thinks the opposite."

"However, if the pressure on Iran escalates, the country feels that
it is not being treated fairly and the Iranian people think that the
West is applying double standards, Iranians will decide that they are
ready to make sacrifices for the benefit of the just cause," he said.

Armenia "has constructive relations with Iran and develops economic
cooperation," Kocharian said. "Relations with the other two neighbors,
Azerbaijan and Turkey, leave much to be desired, so we do not want
to spoil relations with the third neighbor, Iran."

Kocharian reaffirmed the Armenian position in the Karabakh conflict.

Karabakh residents have a right to independence and self-determination,
he said.

"An asymmetric confederation is the future of Armenia and Karabakh,"
he said.

"Karabakh residents have no less rights to independence than Kosovo
Albanians," the president said. The unrecognized Karabakh republic
"has developed into a full-scale state," he said.

He called for using peacekeepers in the Karabakh settlement. "It
should be an international peacekeeping force," Kocharian said.


The president admitted the permanent threat of war in the region but
said, "Yerevan has no intention to start a military operation."

"However, we will act in compliance with the military situation and
our security interests in case of an aggression," he said.

Azerbaijan strongly disagrees with the Armenian position. Azerbaijani
officials have said many times they will not allow the independence
of Karabakh, which is a part of Azerbaijan. Baku demands that Yerevan
must withdraw from the occupied lands. The settlement of the conflict,
which has been on for over 15 years, involves representatives of
Russia, the United States and France that make up the OSCE Minsk
Group. The consultations of intermediaries with the leaders of the
conflicting sides are held in parallel with the negotiations between
the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders. The Karabakh ceasefire agreement
has been in effect since 1994.
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Postby Armanen on Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:48 am

He called for using peacekeepers in the Karabakh settlement. "It
should be an international peacekeeping force," Kocharian said.


What the hell is he thinking saying that?

This fits in perfectly with the following article, even though it's written by 2 azeris.



WHAT THEY ARE AFRAID OF IN KARABAKH; SEPARATISTS ARE PANIC-STRICKEN
B. Safarov, N. Aliyev

Agency WPS
DEFENSE and SECURITY (Russia)
July 13, 2007 Friday

AZERBAIJANI ANALYSTS REGISTER PANIC IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH; Azerbaijani
analysts perceive panic in the self-proclaimed Republic of
Nagorno-Karabakh.

Separatist media outlets keep discussing the return of the
Armenian-occupied territories to Azerbaijan. They are clearly upset
by the lack of certainty concerning the future status of the so-called
Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. These speculations strike the reader with
the unmistakable absence of the feeling of security, hopelessness,
fear, and panic caused by the shortage of personnel and finance and
by the grave economic crisis affecting Karabakh separatists.

This is the only conclusion that leaps to mind upon reading a piece
by analyst Vagan Arzumanjan posted on the pro-separatist Karabakh
Open website last night. Here are some experts from it with comments.

"It is common knowledge that the conflict settlement plan stipulates a
delay with definition of the status of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh
in return for: 1) return of jurisdiction over seven districts apart
from the Lachin corridor whose size and status is to be discussed
separately; 2) Azerbaijani refugees' return to their homes; 3)
deployment of international peacekeepers on the Azerbaijani-Armenian
front-line.
" The first two conditions are viewed as fundamental and
Armenian politicians add "in return for sovereignty only" essentially
second them.


Let us consider the consequences of these concessions for the Armenian
side. The front-line will become almost twice as long as it currently
is. The new positions will be much more vulnerable. It will take much
more in terms of personnel and military and engineering resources to
fortify the extended "border" and the particularly exposed positions
on it. Renewal of the hostilities will make control over the Lachin
corridor, wide open to attacks on both sides, extremely difficult
to retain. The enemy in the meantime does not even need to retake
it. Using artillery pieces, aviation, and raiding parties, the
enemy may make the Lachin Corridor impassable and Karabakh will be
essentially in a siege. A sudden mass bombardment of settlements
will kill a lot of noncombatants causing panic, demoralization,
and undeniably a stampede of civilians. Foreign contingents along
the front-line will merely permit third world countries to promote
their own interests in the region instead of trying to resolve
the crisis. Any "buffer" zone along the front-line will be purely
symbolic. Located as it is on the plains, a forced march across it
will take the Azerbaijani regular army less than half an hour.

"Restoration of Azerbaijani jurisdiction over the Zangilan, Jebrail,
and Fizuli districts will move the front-line closer to the Megri
district. This district of Armenia only 40 kilometer wide will be made
extremely vulnerable by this development. The return of Kjalbajar
in the meantime will allow for Azerbaijani control over Karabakh's
water resources. The water supply of the enclave will be in jeopardy,
and the threat of acts of sabotage at water-flow control objects will
become imminent.

The railroad connecting Goradiz, Megri, and Nahchyvan enormously
benefits Azerbaijan and Turkey. Using it, Azerbaijan will be able to
bring whatever it needs from Nahchyvan and Turkey with insignificant
transportation costs. As for Armenia, it is not going to benefit much
and Nagorno-Karabakh not at all. The use of the railroad between
Hankendi, Agdam and Yevlah is unlikely for several reasons: being
a dead-end, Hankendi is not what Azerbaijan desperately needs. And
Nagorno-Karabakh does not produce anything the Azerbaijanis would
want to buy but flatcars and echelons."

The piece asserts as well that "Azerbaijanis alone will benefit from
the use of highways since they themselves will control them. Their
high birth rate, coupled with the deliberate policy of settlement in
new territories, will tip the Armenian-Azerbaijani population ratio
in favor of the latter."

Colonel (retired) Ildrym Mamedov, ex-commander of an army brigade,
is convinced in the meantime that the separatists are panic-stricken.

"Noncombatants have nothing to fear as long as their hands are not
smeared with the blood of peaceful Azerbaijanis from Shusha, Hojala,
and other cities and districts," Mamedov said. "It is Kocharjans,
Gukasjans, Sarkisjans, and other war-mongers who murdered Azerbaijani
who should be afraid. I reckon that there will be a special panel
one fine day, a structure established under the UN or a Council of
Europe aegis. Whoever broke the law will be brought to justice to
prevent something like that from happening again."

According to Mamedov, thousands of Armenians live beyond the
territories occupied by Armenia these days. "Everyone knows where
they live but has anyone harmed them in any way?" he said.
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Postby Armanen on Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:52 pm

Armenian, it should also be noted that when Armenian officials make statements like the one Kocharyan did about peace troops in Artsakh, that it gives more clout to the aaa to carry out their toxic acts in Armenia and the u.s.
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Postby Armenian on Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:42 pm

Armanen wrote:Armenian, it should also be noted that when Armenian officials make statements like the one Kocharyan did about peace troops in Artsakh, that it gives more clout to the aaa to carry out their toxic acts in Armenia and the u.s.


Kocharyan is a politician. Kocharyan deals with international power brokers. Kocharyan is forced to play the diplomatic game. Kocharyan can't tell the IMF, WTO, UN, EU, USA, etc, that Yerevan is going to negotiate with Baku over NKR and then come home to Yerevan and say - "hey, calm down I was just bullshitting them, we are not going to negotiate anything with Azeris."

There is no agenda to give back territories. Believe me, had such an agenda really existed, as it had during the time of the treasonous Levon Ter Petrosian administration, Kocharyan would have been ousted or assassinated a long time a go. The status quo in the region not only satisfies Armenian nationalists, but it also satisfies Moscow and Tehran. As such, there will be no "peace troops" in the region, especially "western" ones. There will be no surrendering of any lands within the region. However, the Turks and the Americans will be trying very hard to change the status quo.

In diplomacy, especially when you are a small dependent struggling power, you have to pay lip service to various major powers. There are serious diplomatic games going on. That is essentially what I see happening when I read comments made by this or that politician in Yerevan. Having said that, however, I must also say that the situation on the ground seems to be quite different. There are no indicators in Artsakh that the liberated territories are to be handed back. On the contrary, I see people there very confidant about their hold on the territories.

I see Armenia/Artsakh engaged in a diplomatic game of deception.

All this has been discussed in the past:

No one is giving away the liberated territories.

Not even a square meter of our liberated territories can be in discussion. Besides the fact that the territories in question belong to Armenians, they are also vital for the Armenian Republic militarily and economically. What's more, most of the lands in question are already privatized and divided up amongst the native population in Artsakh. The Artsakh military, and the general population there, will fight to the last soul to ensure their hold on every square meter of the liberated territories.

Thus, anyone that even attempts to give up any amount of our liberated lands will be killed promptly. There are many individuals, organizations, associations, militants, etc, that will make sure that such an attempt does not go unpunished. Have no doubt.

In my opinion, such rumors about "imminent" deals being made with Turks/Azeris most probably stem from foreign intelligence services and the political manipulations of certain major powers interested in the region. These anti-Armenian forces are attempting to start a social/political upheaval within the Armenian Republic similar to what they have done elsewhere.

Several moths ago the big rumor was that Kocharyan and company had struck a deal to sell Artsakh to the Azeris for 9 billion US dollars. Sadly, because the ruling administration is hated by the hungry masses, there were many Armenians willing to believe the dark fairy tale in question.

Just realize that these dangerous rumors begin circulating around election times. Several weeks ago it was the elections in Armenia. And now, its the upcoming elections in Artsakh. Nonetheless, no one, especially the dominant Artsakhtsi establishment in Yerevan and Stepanakert, is willing to give away any lands.

I fear, however, that some well meaning but ignorant Armenian, feeling betrayed and distraught by such rumors, may attempt to bring harm to our leadership by assassination. If such an attack occurs against the current leadership in Yerevan and/or Stepanakert, it will only serve to weaken the Armenian Republic. Moreover, such an attack will only serve to weaken Armenia's vital alliance with Russia and Iran and it will only serve to endanger the unique internal stability that our nation has thus far enjoyed.

A violent uprising against the current leadership in Armenia and Artsakh is what our enemies want, it's what certain major powers want. The aforementioned have been seeking an internal uprising, a social upheaval in the Armenian Republic. Sadly, because the general public generally speaking only understands the politics of the stomach, Armenia today is in danger of falling victim to foreign manipulation. In this respect, I have more confidence in Moscow and Tehran not allowing Armenian politicians too veer to far off course.

Nevertheless, it's always good to be vigilant.
Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
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Postby Armanen on Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:37 pm

I understand what official Yerevan is trying to, but we both know that many others don't realize this, and that is what gives ammo to outside ngo's, like the aaa, to carry out their "programs" with the support of some of the population, both in Armenia/Artsakh and the Diaspora.
What I'm saying is that Kocharyan should be very prudent on how often he makes statements like the above, because one never knows if, or when the great powers will hold him to it.

This issue is very complex, and official Yerevan has done a fairly good job when one considers the cards that they had to begin with, however, other routes should be pursued, which includes stressing the history of the region to the world, that Artsakh and areas around have been Armenian for more than 3,000 years.
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Postby Lernakan on Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:15 pm

ALIYEV WILL REJECT OUR COMPROMISE

Lragir, Armenia
July 17 2007

Azerbaijan fails to use its oil factor to reach success regarding the
Karabakh issue, stated Republican Member of Parliament Armen Ashotyan
July 17 at the Hayeli Club. He said Azerbaijan's oil and gas trump
cards will start weakening in two decades. Ashotyan's opponent, the
editor-in-chief of the Haykakan Zhamanak Daily Nicol Pashinyan held
another opinion.

"Azerbaijan is not interested in this type of resolution of the
Karabakh issue in this stage because the Aliyev family has adopted
the following policy on the Karabakh issue. Unfortunately, there is a
difference in the range of thinking. By saying the issue of Karabakh
Azerbaijan means not only the Karabakh issue but also the issue
of Armenia. Meanwhile, Armenia, all of us mean the Karabakh issue,
only the Karabakh issue when we consider the Karabakh issue.

Unfortunately, Azerbaijan succeeded in using the Karabakh issue
to isolate Armenia in the region," Nicol Pashinyan says, adding
that Azerbaijan will not be interested in resolving the Karabakh
issue unless Kars-Akhalkalaki is built, the energy programs become
crystallized.

Pashinyan says the Armenian government is restricted by the Karabakh
issue because it set a difficult hindrance of resolution, namely
a territory of 8 thousand square kilometers, and now we cannot
give up on it. He thinks time works for Azerbaijan, and if now the
Armenian government proposes a peace agreement based on a compromise
on territories, Aliyev will reject it because Azerbaijan is step by
step enhancing its international importance. Armen Ashotyan admits that
the Armenian government is restricted but he states it differently.

"It is restricted because it set a high moral, political, legal
benchmark and a retreat will endanger the national interests. It is
not a restriction, it is a principle. Any principle restricts a person,
any system of values, no lying, no stealing. There can be no bargaining
on the Karabakh issue. This is the principle," Armen Ashotyan says.
www.ArmenianHighland.com

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Postby Armenian on Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:43 am

Armenia Concerned at Caucasus Arms Race

Image

Could dissolution of CFE treaty herald outbreak of conflict in the Caucasus?

The sharp rise in defence budgets and accompanying militarization of the countries of the South Caucasus is alarming the international community. Growth in military spending in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia now exceeds GDP growth by 20 to 40 times. For every million inhabitants of the South Caucasus, there are 75 tanks and 85 artillery pieces. This is a much larger proportion than in the three big neighbours of the region, Iran, Russia and Turkey. If you factor in the number of weapons in the three unrecognised separatist territories in the region, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorny Karabakh, the figures rise by around a third.

However, the militarisation of the region needs to be put in a wider perspective. The Stockholm peace institute, SIPRI, calculated that last year world military spending reached 1.2 trillion US dollars, a rise of 3.5 per cent on the year before. That suggests that, despite the end of the Cold War and efforts to put in place a new international security framework, most countries still believe that the best means of preserving their security is maintaining an effective army.

Armenia’s military budget for 2007 was just over 271 million dollars, or 3.5 per cent of GDP. The spending is based on a perceived actual military threat from Azerbaijan and a potential one from Turkey. The Armenian government rejects accusations that it is exceeding the military quotas set by the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, or CFE, and says that it is keeping to the limits and preventing a new arms race in the Caucasus. (Azerbaijan for its part accuses the Armenians of maintaining weaponry outside CFE in Nagorny Karabakh. See accompanying article).

Armenia has been accused of militarising the region by receiving Russian weaponry transferred from the former base of the 62nd army in Akhalkalaki in Georgia - now closed - to the Russian military base in Gyumri in northern Armenia. Armenian officials responded to this by saying that most of the equipment transferred was vehicles and ammunition and that all equipment in the Gyumri base remains the property of the Russian armed forces, not of Armenia. They say that the whole process was transparent and agreed with the Georgian government and that it complies with CFE quotas.

Armenia is watching as Azerbaijan sharply increases its military budget year on year and says that their neighbour is breaking its CFE commitments. For example, in 2006 Azerbaijan declared that it possessed 217 tanks and bought 41 tanks from Ukraine and Belarus, thereby exceeding its CFE quota by 38 tanks. Former Armenian defence minister Vagarshak Harutiunian said, “It’s far from clear to what extent the OSCE and NATO can force Baku to keep to the quotas set out in the CFE. In this situation, it is obvious that Azerbaijan should either leave the CFE or observe it properly.”

The Armenians say that Azerbaijan is trying to use its enhanced defence budget, based on increased oil revenues, to try to force them to make unilateral concessions in negotiations over the Nagorny Karabakh peace process. However, they say increased military spending by Azerbaijan is a necessary but not sufficient condition for achieving success should fighting resume. It is worth noting that a large part of Azerbaijan’s military expenditure is being directed towards naval forces in the Caspian Sea – and therefore not against Nagorny Karabakh or Armenia. Disputes over this large and energy-rich basin are a potential source of conflict in the future. Baku is also compelled to keep some of its forces in other parts of the country, such as the southern border, to repel other potential threats.

“The Armenian side in response to Azerbaijan’s purchase of expensive offensive weaponry is giving its preference to cheaper defensive weapons systems,” said Sergei Minasian, a military expert who is deputy director of the Caucasus Media Institute in Yerevan.

“[Armenia] is also using sensibly its membership of the CIS Collective Security Pact and its alliance with Russia. For example at the end of 2006, Baku bought expensive modern MiG-29 fighter aircraft from Ukraine. And just around the same time there was an announcement that the Russian-Armenian anti-aircraft system on the territory of Armenia had been replaced by a more up-to-date system and put on a state of battle alert.”

Both NATO and Russia are contributing to the increased militarisation of the South Caucasus. The argument can be made that both NATO and the CIS Collective Security Pact have their place in the region and the two are in a state of competition for allegiance rather than outright hostility. NATO’s activities in the region have been met with understanding in Armenia, which has hosted NATO training exercises. However, up till now, relative stability has been guaranteed in large part due to a military balance, whose cornerstone has been the CFE treaty. If the CFE treaty begins to unravel that could lead to a destabilisation and rise in tension in the South Caucasus, with the threat of unresolved conflicts flaring up again.

Source: http://www.iwpr.net/?p=crs&s=f&o=337252&apc_state=henh
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Postby Armanen on Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:37 am

It is worth noting that a large part of Azerbaijan’s military expenditure is being directed towards naval forces in the Caspian Sea


I hadn't heard this before, good to know if it is indeed true.
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Postby Armanen on Sun Jul 29, 2007 8:34 am

It is difficult to overestimate significance of the state of peace in
Karabakh conflict zone

Interview of NKR President's advisor on foreign political affairs Arman
Melikyan with ArmInfo Agency

Mariam Levina

ArmInfo, June 25, 2007
2007-07-27 16:17:00


A declaration on principles of peaceful and fair settlement of the
Abkhazian, Ossetian, Karabakh and Transdniestr conflicts has been
recently signed in Tiraspol. How much viable will the document be
taking into account that it was signed by some of the parties to the
conflict , while other parties responded in no way?

As representatives of our states, we present the positions of our
peoples and, in this sense, no one can neglect these positions which,
in addition, fully meet the international legal regulations, moral
norms and concepts of justice. In this context, indication of our
approaches was important and one cannot but pay attention to this. I am
sure it will be taken into account in any case. It is quite another
issue what decisions will be made by one or another states per these
approaches.

You have recently expressed an opinion that Abkhazia, South Ossetia and
Transdniestria have some apprehensions regarding GUAM. What does
Nagorno Karabakh feel towards this organization?

Every GUAM member seeks its interest in this community. They try to
achieve some common goals by joint efforts. Fundamentally, this is an
alliance of states which try to escape the `trusteeship' of RF towards
the West, on one hand, and these states have some unresolved problems
which they try to solve, on the other hand. In particular, this is the
problem of interrelations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia for Georgia,
the problem of interrelations with Transdniestr Moldovian Republic for
Moldova and that with Nagorno Karabakh - for Azerbaijan. Georgia,
Moldova and Azerbaijan try to settle these interrelations by means of
dictate, pressure, threats of force application and, doing it jointly,
they want to legitimatize the force approaches and persuade the world
community, which has also ambiguous interests, into it. In a global
geopolitical context, the issue that exists in Azerbaijan-NKR
interrelations, seriously differs from all the other conflicts in the
post-Soviet space. If in a situation with Abkhazia and South Ossetia
much is linked with interrelations of the Western Europe with Georgia,
on one hand, and the relations of Russia with Georgia, on the other
hand, this is the issue of influence on Georgia for RF and the western
states. The same concerns Transdniestria. The situation in Karabakh is
different and the significance of Karabakh is quite different. It goes
beyond the regional processes and it is of global nature. Resumption of
military actions in Karabakh-Azerbaijani conflict zone will seriously
hit both the communications and possible energy supplies to the West,
as well as influence of Europe and the USA in this region, in general.
In this sense, it is difficult to overestimate significance of the
state of peace, not so much for the conflict parties as for the world
community. That is the serious difference.

Is preserving of peace in the region also important for Russia?

Undoubtedly it is. The issue of war and peace here is sufficient for
Russia.

Does it seem to you that attempts are lately made to artificially raise
the authority of GUAM?

It does not seem to me, it is unambiguously so. Problematic states have
gathered in GUAM. They have huge internal problems, which are not only
concerned with their unrecognized neighbours. First of all, this is the
problem of society's self-organization, which they are unable to solve
in view of several reasons. GUAM is a community of states-semifinished
products. Being recognized by the world community, they turned out
unable to organize the internal life, govern their own people and the
political process without violence. I am not talking of Ukraine, it has
no conflicts, however, the internal political situation there is
unstable. This is an unstable state, torn up by opposite forces. It is
difficult to predict the result of this confrontation. There are lots
of opportunities there, right up to split of the country. As for us,
though we are in the gravest condition, we have nobody to blame and ask
for something, we have to set hopes upon ourselves, and I am sure we
shall be able to overcome this difficult situation worthily. We should
model the situations, which create conditions, by ourselves for the
world community be interested in our position and reckon with our
opinion.

Can you tell in more details how these situations are modeled and what
is done particularly?

I would prefer not to go into details as many elements are already
afoot. I think it will be shown better with time. In general, we have
the same problems as in other states of the post-Soviet space and the
countries of the transitional period. We should be able to formulate
our goals more clearly and determine their solution ways, i.e. to be
better self-organized. I am sure we shall manage it.

There was the information that EU Special Representative on South
Caucasus Peter Semneby had changed his mind on his way to Nagorno
Karabakh and turned back. Do you have any data on this issue as it is
difficult to imagine that a European official may `change his mind'
being on the way?

It is also difficult for me to imagine. However, this is an issue
concerned with piquancy of the situation in the region. Any miscounted
step may lead to catastrophe. Therefore, the world forces prefer fixing
a status quo and undertaking no actions able to break it. Imbalance may
lead to irreversible consequences. However, this is the greatest plus
for us, since it means that within the frames of status quo, each of
the parties in the territory under its jurisdiction can realize the own
plans and no one will oppose to it if such plans do not contain a
threat of using force.

Do you consider the steps of OSCE MG cochairman, who made different
statements about the negotiation process, non- calculated?

I would not say that they are not calculated. Matthew Bryza acts within
the frames where he is authorized to make statements about the peaceful
process. However, I think that the USA will lose at any result. That is
the advantage of their foreign policy: they will have some average
profit, that one cannot say of EU. Therefore, it is not by accident
that the French co-chairman Bernard Fassier is the most active among
the three co-chairs. In itself, the process of Karabakh conflict
settlement is very interesting and instructive. I think one should not
set hopes upon someone's favour. Both the people and the state must be
able to seek the ways of their prosperity, their future and security,
for which it is necessary to neatly count the same factors for
contiguous states. Some common geopolitical vector exists, we have to
catch this vector and lay our interests within its frames. I think it
is real. No money can replace this calculation, no spread-eagle or
militaristic statements can do what correct calculation can.

I would like to specify, do you mean Armenia or NKR or all together
under the word «we»?

I mean both Armenia, NKR and Diaspora. Fundamentally, this is a
national problem today.

In your opinion, do the relations between Armenia and NKR need some
specification?

Specifications must be introduced continuously. The life is running and
new ideas come to take the place of the old ones. However, one should
remember that Nagorno Karabakh Republic is not the Republic of Armenia.
Everyone who is there and here, must learn it. The second aspect is
that the talks on NKR's joining Armenia mean serious territorial
changes, that is a great luxury for us and for which there are no
grounds. By the way, I would like to emphasize that both the co-chairs
and the Azerbaijani party mean NKAR when saying Nagorno Karabakh, that
is unacceptable for us. NKR has formed as an independent state with the
territory it controls now. This is the only approach to allow us avoid
the territorial losses. We must know what we shall receive in one or
another case. The talks on Karabakh's joining Armenia mean not only
loss of great territories ` this joining will never be legitimized. It
means that even a territory to be joined to Armenia, will be always
questionable. Finally, the policy for NKR independence was taken in
1991, it is efficiently carried out and it will continue up to the
international recognition. There is no alternative. We should realize
it and not rush about in the hope of finding indulgence of Turkey or
Azerbaijan or someone else. No one will be on friendly terms with us by
force. All the pathetic calls to friendship with Turkey or Azerbaijan
lead to the one - they say: `Guys, we do not want to deal with you!'.
This will last until they have a burning desire to settle the relations
with us, for which one should act and not to seat and complain.

The Azerbaijani party has recently made a statement saying that Armenia
intends to take time-out in negotiations, that was responded by RA
Foreign Minister. Who takes the time-out in fact?

Mutual accusations are not a basis for negotiations. The point is that
the Karabakh party multiply claimed that the format of negotiations has
been perverted. I think it is impossible to achieve some settlement,
acceptable for Karabakh, in this format. The Azerbaijani party achieves
its goals via this format, i.e. it makes Armenia's positions
vulnerable, as Armenia unambiguously figures as an aggressor in this
format. There are issues, on which Armenia cannot talk to Azerbaijan at
all: the issues of territories and refugees. Indeed, Armenia touches on
the issue of the status, that is right, since Armenia today is a
guarantee of NKR security. I think one may talk of real settlement only
when the negotiations are held with participation of all the involved
parties to the conflict. In addition, each party will bear
responsibility for a definite segment of agenda of the negotiation
process. We are in a cross-point of geopolitical interests. In this
sense, all the interested external forces try to create maximum
comfortable conditions for them. In this case, they have been trying to
create such conditions over several years due to exclusion of Nagorno
Karabakh from the negotiation process. Therefore, the process remains
fruitless from the viewpoint of positive shares. The only positive
moment here is non-resumption of the military actions.

There is also a positive moment of work of public organizations
concerning attraction of attention to the issue of refugees-Armenians
from Azerbaijan. This issue was long suppressed. However, due to the
work, being carried out, in particular, by the network of civil society
`Refugees and the International Law', the issue attracts more and more
attention and the co-chairs have to respond to it. A poll was conducted
among the refugees and, if I am not mistaken, 90% of respondents
refused to return, while over 50% of Azerbaijanis, according to the
polls, are against their return. However, these people must live
somewhere. They should find their second Motherland. Karabakh, as one
of the two state formations in the territory of the former Soviet
Azerbaijan, has a right to receive its former nationals from
Azerbaijani SSR. It is noteworthy, that ethnic demarcation and
territorial division may become a key for the problem solution. In its
time, Azerbaijan was created as a common state of Armenians and
Moslems, since there were no Azerbaijanis at that time. Well, they
could not part in a civilized way, the Azerbaijani authorities applied
force, and now they have to bear with the reality. They have lost the
trust of the former Armenian population of Azerbaijani SSR and the
moral right to make any terms. In addition, the way of ethnic
demarcation is not a know-how, it was applied in the European practice
as well. It is quite another issue that the superpowers will have to
revise some of their approaches.

The American party periodically claims of uniqueness of the Kosovo
conflict, justifying it by the fact that this conflict was considered
by the USA, NATO and UN. How will you comment on it?

We must understand that the Law is a serving discipline. After every
repartition of the world, the parties negotiate about observance of the
agreements achieved. The agreements are periodically violated. Part of
the states says it is necessary to follow the agreements, while another
part says that they have become outdated and need to be changed. Today,
we are at the next crucial stage. Every conflict is unique. I do not
know how the statement of the American party `on uniqueness of the
Kosovo problem' sounds verbatim, but what's the difference if the NATO
participated in it or not? The Karabakh conflict is unique by the fact
that NATO did not take part in it! However, this is not the ground for
recognition of one or another newly-formed state. Fundamentally, it
gains the right for existence by itself.
It's a custom of the human condition for the masses to remain ignorant. It's what they do. In fact, that IS how "the peace" is kept. Whatever democracy we have here is a spectator's sport.
Armanen
 
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Location: Arnor

Postby Armanen on Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:06 am

August 28, 2007


Raffi Hovannisian Introduces Bill on Karabagh Recognition


Yerevan--The Heritage Party's parliamentary leader Raffi K.
Hovannisian today introduced in the National Assembly of the Republic
of Armenia a law officially to recognize the Republic of Mountainous
Karabagh (Artsakh). This first of Heritage's legislative initiatives,
once duly adopted, signed and entered into force, will bestow
Armenia's long-awaited de jure recognition upon the de facto sovereign
state established pursuant to international and Soviet laws at
Stepanakert in 1991.

A copy of the resolution is attached.


Founded in 2002, Heritage has regional divisions throughout the land.
Its central office is located at 31 Moscovian Street, Yerevan 0002,
Armenia, with telephone contact at (374-10) 536.913, fax at (374-10)
532.697, email at office@heritage.am or info@heritage.am, and website
at www.heritage.am
It's a custom of the human condition for the masses to remain ignorant. It's what they do. In fact, that IS how "the peace" is kept. Whatever democracy we have here is a spectator's sport.
Armanen
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:13 am
Location: Arnor

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