Fulfillment of Karabakh peace deal key to sustainable peace, security
By Vafa Ismayilova
Through its victory in the 44-day war with Armenia in 2020, Azerbaijan opened a new page in the history of two neighbouring countries and the region. The restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and the planned unblocking of transport corridors will transform the region and ensure peace and cooperation in the region.
Baku regards cooperation between the two nations as a key to post-war sustainable peace and security despite the Azerbaijanophobia prevalent in the Armenian society.
Lasting peace, security
At a presser in Baku on February 26, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated that the only way to peace is possible through collaboration between the two nations.
“Today we are discussing the issue of permanent, sustainable peace and security in the region. The only way to do this is through collaboration,” Aliyev said.
The Azerbaijani leader added that there can be a sustainable peace “when there is a demonstration of commitment to the 10 November statement” signed by him along with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to end the hostilities in and around Karabakh.
On March 3, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva voiced similar views, reiterating the importance of fulfilling the Karabakh peace deal which acts “as the main guarantor of lasting peace amid the new situation”.
Thus, Azerbaijan’s top officials and society believe the sides can turn the page of enmity if both show the will and determination to achieve peace.
Meanwhile, some ponder if Azerbaijan will be able to build relations and integrate into Azerbaijani society the Armenians of Karabakh, who have not yet got rid of the nationalistic ideas.
At the same presser, Aliyev touched on the issue, saying the integration of Khankandi and other territories where the Armenian population now live is an inevitable process. One must understand and accept the historical perspective. The Armenians of Karabakh, he said, are “citizens of Azerbaijan who have been brainwashed by war criminals”.
Aliyev noted that “it is necessary to treat these people, innocent people who have become victims of Azerbaijanophobia, the propaganda against Azerbaijanis. I think that time is the best healer”.
He stressed that “it is necessary to give time for the wounds to heal... and for Armenia to understand that all attempts to demonize Azerbaijan, which they have taken and are taking, are counterproductive in the first place for them”.
Meanwhile, Day.az reported that on social networking platforms, groups are being created where representatives of the two nations make attempts at rapprochement and normal communication.
However, the website regretted there are only a few Armenians in those groups, and mostly Azerbaijanis, who talk about peace, good-neighbourliness and friendship.
"This has always been the case, even during the years of occupation, when we were losers and, in theory, should have hated. We are actually talking to ourselves there. Although it is hard to believe that there are so few people in Armenia and the Armenian-populated part of Karabakh who wants peace and normal life for their children. They probably exist, and there must be a lot of them, just fear does not allow to speak about it loudly yet, because aggressive propaganda is still strong,” the website said.
It should be noted that the anti-Azerbaijani propaganda is structured in such a way that even those who live far from Armenia cannot avoid it and every year it becomes more and more difficult to rid the Armenian people of this disease. A video made by an Armenian doctor from Moscow which appeared on social networking platforms is a glaring example of this. The doctor in the video speaks about her hatred towards Azerbaijanis.
To recap, in his speech at the presser Aliyev noted that Azerbaijan will retaliate any further step of revenge.
“Another condition for us, a condition for peace is that political circles of Armenia should understand: any attempts at revenge will be severely punished by Azerbaijan... I warn that there should not be any attempts at exacting revenge,” he said.
He ruled out any negative steps towards the Armenian population in villages located on liberated Azerbaijani lands.
“There is no tension between the Armenian civilian population and Azerbaijani border guards. A peaceful life continues,” he said.
Aliyev noted that the two countries do not have to strive for anything else to achieve sustainable peace.
“We have returned what is ours and demonstrated that our words and deeds have equal value,” he noted.
In an interview with Day.az, political scientist Fikrat Sadikhov stressed that Armenian politicians and so-called military leaders who dragged the Armenian population of Karabakh into this pool must understand that after the end of the victorious war and the liberation of the territories, the Armenians simply have no other way but to integrate and continue normal life within the borders of Azerbaijan.
All these fabrications about "Artsakh [Karabakh]", "independence", all their fantasies about secession from Azerbaijan, joining Armenia - all this failed and it is impossible not to reckon with this, the political scientist noted.
“Only within Azerbaijan, the Armenian population will be able to live normally, develop and benefit from the results of the country's socio-economic development. And Azerbaijanophobia is a terrible disease that has existed for a long time in the minds of those who have started everything that has been happening over the past 30 years... If the Armenians want to live in peace in Azerbaijan, raise children, work, enjoy the benefits that the country’s citizens enjoy, they must eradicate hatred and Azerbaijanophobia from themselves and stop demonizing our country. Otherwise, only they themselves will suffer,” Sadikhov said.
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