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NKR: Why Azeris Dislike Armenians

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  • NKR: Why Azeris Dislike Armenians


    Azat Artsakh - Nagorno Karabakh Republic [NKR]
    30 June 05

    Azeri-Armenian relationships are one of the fundamental factors,
    directly affecting the formation of a new geopolitical architecture
    in the post-Soviet South Caucasus. The martial law lasting in Armenia
    and Azerbaijan for 13 years now because of the unresolved issue of
    Karabakh, on the one hand, does not allow these countries to use
    their full potential for economic and social development, and on the
    other hand, enables the world and regional powers to manipulate this
    factor to solve their geopolitical, economic and strategic issues.
    With the current confrontation the concerns of Armenia and Azerbaijan
    about security make them look for foreign allies. As a result Armenia
    and Azerbaijan have been involved in such military and political
    alliances, the front line of confrontation between which directly
    passes across the South Caucasus. Thus, Armenia joined the CIS
    Collective Security Treaty, while Azerbaijan aspires to enter NATO,
    being a member of the overtly pro-Atlantic GUAM alliance which is
    a rather military and political than economic alliance. The content
    of the Azeri-Armenian relationships is one of the chief reasons for
    the absence of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey, which
    aggravates the vague military, political and economic situation in the
    region. These actualities directly impact the implementation of any
    economic project, making them too politicized. This was particularly
    the case with the project of pumping Caspian oil to the world markets
    via Turkey. Although economically it seems to be more favourable
    if the pipeline passed through Armenia, it was decided to build the
    pipeline through Georgia. The implementation of the project TRASECA
    runs into serious hindrances again because of being politicized. The
    Iranian-Armenian, Azeri-Iranian, Armenian-Georgian, Azeri-Georgian,
    Russian-Armenian, Azeri-Russian, Azeri-Turkish, Armenian-American,
    Azeri-American and even Turkish-American relationships depend to some
    extent on the Azeri-Armenian relationships. Several years ago proposals
    were made in Baku to form a new alliance by Azerbaijan, Turkey and
    Israel, which was to be targeted at the Iranian policy in relation
    to the legal status of the Caspian Sea and Armenia. In response,
    staring military cooperation with Moscow, Iran set out to establish
    "the alliance of three" with Greece and Armenia in counterbalance
    to GUAM. All this comes to prove that the rehabilitation of the
    Azeri-Armenian relationships through resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh
    conflict based on compromise is one of the chief preconditions for
    establishment of lasting peace and stability in the region. But is
    this likely to happen in the near future? In order to forecast the
    development of the Azeri-Armenian relationships it is necessary
    to define the chief components underlying the foreign policies of
    Baku and Yerevan. These components bear both positive and negative
    charges. And the future content of the Azeri-Armenian relationships
    will be greatly determined by the fact which component, positive or
    negative, will prevail in the "Azerbaijani" policy of Yerevan and the
    "Armenian" policy of Baku. Unfortunately, Baku's political line on
    Armenia is currently based mainly on the negative component. Thus,
    Armenia is perceived by Azerbaijan as a country which: claims to the
    territory of Azerbaijan; implements a policy of usurping Azerbaijani
    territories by artificially causing the issue of Nagorno Karabakh;
    is interested in dividing Azerbaijan on the basis of ethnic and
    territorial features and supports the separatist aspirations of the
    ethnic minorities living in the country, particularly the Talish and
    the Lezgi peoples; "annexed" the "historical lands of Azerbaijan",
    Zangezour and the basin of Sevan; is hostile to the natural strategic
    ally of Azerbaijan - Turkey; is an obstructing factor against the
    implementation of the strategic issue of Turkey and Azerbaijan to
    bring together and unite the Turkish-speaking states and peoples of
    the post-Soviet space; has "artificially divided" the territory into
    "continental" and "exclave" (Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan)
    parts; is highly interested in setting up and developing cooperation
    (including military cooperation) with "undesirable" countries
    for Azerbaijan and Turkey, such as Russia, Iran, Greece, Syria,
    Turkmenistan, and others to form "anti-Turkish and anti-Azerbaijani"
    alliances; "caused" the death of tens of thousands and deportation of
    hundreds of thousands of ethnic Azerbaijanis (from Armenia as well).
    This is the incomplete list of the negative components that determine
    the Azerbaijani foreign political line on Armenia. Combined with this,
    the "Armenian" policy of Azerbaijan is based on the recognition of a
    set of circumstances by the Azerbaijani authorities, which comprise
    the positive component of the "Armenian" policy of Baku. Among these
    are: the recognition of Armenia by the international community
    as a country which aspires to adopt the rules and values of the
    Western democratic society; the perception of the Nagorno-Karabakh
    conflict by the West as an issue of the political status of Nagorno
    Karabakh and the security of its Armenian population; the interest
    of the West represented by the OSCE to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh
    conflict on the basis of compromise in the framework of the OSCE;
    improving relationships between Armenia and the countries in the
    neighbourhood of Azerbaijan - Russia, Iran, Georgia, Turkmenistan;
    the interest of the US and Europe in establishing lasting peace through
    an acceptable resolution of the ethnic and political conflicts in the
    South Caucasus; the aspiration of the US to establish relationships
    and cooperation between Turkey and Armenia, dictated by the strategic
    plans of Washington in the South Caucasus; Armenia as the country
    with the most effective army in the South Caucasus. Because the
    set of the negative components of the "Armenian" policy of Baku
    shows that having such a country in its neighbourhood as Armenia is
    "a threat to the security" of Azerbaijan, Baku authorities have to
    seek for ways of eliminating this threat. There are three possible
    ways: increasing the military capacity of Azerbaijan to use force
    against Armenia; conducting a policy of provoking the international
    community to use international isolation against Armenia and using
    force against Armenia without the direct participation of Azerbaijan;
    a foreign policy of improvement of relationships and cooperation with
    Armenia from the position of the "economic capacity" of Azerbaijan.
    It is true that there exists the fourth way as well. It is the
    blocking of the resolution of the Karabakh issue, which means a
    "cold war". However, it is not thought to be promising since it
    does not lead to the isolation of Armenia as a factor of threat to
    the security of Azerbaijan. The "Azerbaijani" policy of Yerevan too,
    is chiefly based on the negative components. Thus, Armenia perceives
    Azerbaijan as a country which: claims to the territory of Armenia; had
    annexed the historical Armenian territory - Nakhichevan and Karabakh;
    seeks to launch a policy of ethnic cleansing of Armenians; is actively
    involved in the fulfillment of the idea of Pan-Turkism by Turkey, that
    is the unification of Turkish-speaking nations under Turkey; does not
    wish to have in its neighbourhood an Armenian state, therefore provokes
    the international community to place economic, military and political
    pressure on Armenia; rejects the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh
    issue by the principle of self-determination; is ready to resume
    military actions against Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia at any time
    favourable for it and resolve the conflict through force. The main
    positive components of the "Azerbaijani policy" of Armenia are: the
    interests of the US, Europe and Russia in Azerbaijan as a country
    which has an important geo-strategic position in the region, rich in
    energy resources; the aspiration of the US and Europe to conciliate
    Armenia and Azerbaijan on the issue of Nagorno Karabakh on the basis
    of compromise achieved through mediation. It is important to notice
    that the negative components determine the attitude of Armenia and
    Azerbaijan towards one another, whereas the positive components
    are mainly determined by external factors which are to be taken into
    consideration both by Baku and Yerevan. This means that if Armenia and
    Azerbaijan were not under external influence, the armed conflict would
    be inevitable. The evidence to this is the military actions started by
    Azerbaijan against Nagorno Karabakh immediately after the dissolution
    of the USSR. The conclusion is outlining already: the prospects of
    improvement of relationships between the two countries will be vague
    unless at least some of the positive components of the "Armenian"
    policy of Azerbaijan and the "Azerbaijani" policy of Armenia come true.