U.S. expert: Armenia must immediately end occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh [EXCLUSIVE]
By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The protracted armed conflicts in Azerbaijani territories and Armenia’s occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh must end immediately, Peter M. Tase, Scholar of International Affairs and author of various books on Azerbaijani Studies and Latin American Politics, said in an interview with Azernews.
He noted that Azerbaijan has been very careful, pragmatic and consistent when it comes to solving the armed conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Tase stressed that Baku is a trusted partner of the West and has established an admirable reputation when it comes to embracing a negotiations practice that is envied by some of the most sophisticated democracies in Europe.
"On the other hand, issues arising from the internal disputes in Armenia are matters that must be resolved among Armenian political leaders and civil society. The final status of Nagorno-Karabakh and its re-insertion in the territorial sovereignty of Azerbaijan should not be taken hostage by the domestic political and judicial disagreements that exist among Armenians," he mentioned.
The expert pointed out that Nagorno-Karabakh is a sovereign territory of Azerbaijan, historical sources and archaeological sites show ample evidence of this region considered to be the heart of Azerbaijani nation and economy. He added that greater pressure from international actors towards the solution of this protracted conflict, fueled by Armenia, is detrimental to solve by peaceful means this conflict that has serious security implications throughout Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East.
As to additional steps needed to be taken to advance the negotiation process on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he considers that first, the Armenian Armed Forces should withdraw from the occupied territories and second, the Azerbaijani communities, that were forced violently to leave their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh, should be allowed to return in their hometowns.
"These are the two pillars that ensure a peaceful solution to the 30-year long armed conflict that has shed so much blood of innocent Azerbaijani civilians," he stressed.
As for the involvement of the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Nagorno-Karabakh to conflict settlement process, Tase considers that the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities directly connected to Nagorno-Karabakh may garner a greater role and involvement in solving peacefully such a protracted conflict, adding that this was the topic of the meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian FMs held in Paris on January 16.
"Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, one of the greatest prerequisites of upholding human rights is our drive to continue with persistence and defend the rights of Azerbaijanis that were forced by Armenia to abandon their native villages and convince influential European actors to exert economic and political pressures against Yerevan; such a strategy would bring results towards ensuring Azerbaijan’s full territorial sovereignty," he said.
Commenting on the recent repeated Armenian provocations, in particular the killing of Azerbaijani servicemen on the frontline, and the expediency of the agreements on reducing tensions reached in Dushanbe in September 2018, he recalled that the Commonwealth of Independent States’ summit in Dushanbe held in September 28, 2018, hosted on its sidelines a bilateral meeting between the President of Azerbaijan and Prime Minister of Armenia.
He expressed confidence that the Dushanbe Agreement has been seriously violated precisely due to the repeated armed provocations conducted by Armenian Armed Forces over the last eight months against civilians and Azerbaijani soldiers nearby the line of contact.
"European Community of nations and Washington must actively condemn belligerent acts led by Armenia and its armed forces that are operating, with full impunity, from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan; unprecedented silence is as evil as Armenian bullets being shot at Azerbaijani civilians and military posts," the expert stated.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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