There were several important events that occurred in the South Caucasus over the past few days: a year has passed since the beginning of April clashes for Karabakh, parliamentary elections were held in Armenia on the same day, and President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev visited Baku the next day. The deputy director general of MIA ‘Trend’, political scientist, Arzu Nagiyev, discussed these events and how they are connected in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
- What are the main results of clashes for Karabakh that happened on April 2-5, 2016?
- One of the highlights of four-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh was an unprecedented rise in the morale of Azerbaijanis. After the escalation many people have realized that the myth of invincibility of the Armenian army, which was created over the years, has been dispelled. It became clear that the problem can be resolved through military means, and most importantly, that Azerbaijan can force the aggressor to sit down at the negotiating table. In addition, the fact that citizens supported the army so much showed how Azerbaijan cares for every soldier. Soldiers also realized that the entire country is behind them.
- What can you say about recent parliamentary elections in Armenia, held on the anniversary of April clashes?
- During the election campaign, the authorities have once again used the Karabakh problem to ensure their victory. Karabakh was their trump card. It's no coincidence that the elections were scheduled exactly on the anniversary of above mentioned clashes. I believe that the results don't mean that this is the choice of Armenians, because President Serzh Sargsyan's party, the supporters of military and political protraction of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, actually won. The fact that "Dashnaktsutyun" party was elected to the parliament shows that nationalism will be the main part of Armenian authorities' policy. Humanism has faded into the background.
If we connect both events on April 2, 2016 and 2017, it becomes clear that status quo in the Karabakh issue will continue for a long time after these elections, since the parliament is full of those who aren't interested in resolution of this crisis. At the same time, Armenian authorities understand that Azerbaijan will never agree to the creation of second Armenian state on its territory, and I think this is the main result of April events.
- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited Baku this week. During the meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev he once again confirmed the commitment of Kazakh authorities to the implementation of four resolutions of the UN Security Council on the de-occupation of Azerbaijani territories. How Baku assesses Kazakhstan's position?
- Kazakhstan is one of those states that have always supported the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Any participation of Kazakhstan in the peace negotiations and its support for Azerbaijan are of great importance for us. Today Astana is a platform of international negotiations, in particular negotiations on the Syrian crisis settlement. So Azerbaijan benefits every time Kazakhstan expresses its opinion on Nagorno-Karabakh as the CSTO representative. Within the CSTO framework Astana can influence Yerevan politically and make Russia and other CSTO member countries do the same.
- How important was this visit for the Azerbaijani-Kazakh relationship?
- First of all, presidents discussed the Caspian issue, after all, we all are united by the economic issues of the Caspian Sea, where we're implementing joint projects, including through the North-South international transport corridor. Baku International Sea Trade Port will later become a large transport hub, which Kazakhstan will be able to use to export its goods to Europe. In addition, both countries represent the Turkic world, and we support each other here. Again, it's important that Kazakhstan, the CSTO member, constantly supports Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement. Overall, today Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are partners, so Nursultan Nazarbayev's visit was of great importance for us.
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