POLITICAL ANALYST: AZERBAIJAN'S BELLICOSE RHETORIC INTENDED EXCLUSIVELY FOR DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION

/ARKA/
June 29, 2011
YEREVAN

Azerbaijan's bellicose rhetoric is intended exclusively for domestic
consumption, Alexander Markarov, director of Armenian branch of the
CIS Countries Institute, said Tuesday at the Yerevan-Moscow video
bridge focused on results of trilateral meeting on Karabakh conflict
settlement.

"Warlike gestures became Azerbaijan's visiting card recently," he
said. "However, regarding its three-billion military budget, its
readiness for war is not as important as its ability to win this war.

And this is doubtful."

The political analyst thinks that if Azerbaijan was ready for a short,
but victorious war, it perhaps would resort to force.

But, he said, Baku acknowledges very well that the international
community will any condemn any breach of peace process not only by
imposing sanctions. That is why Azerbaijan's bellicose rhetoric is
intended for internal usage and should be taken adequately.

Karen Bekaryan, political analyst, on his side, said expressed opinion
that if Azerbaijan was sure that Armenia and Karabakh were unable to
resist its military attacks, it would start fighting.

He thinks that horrible is that Azerbaijan has managed to impose
the following idea on the international community and co-chairs: it
is a big concession from Azerbaijani side to refrain from resorting
to force.

"Azerbaijan's bellicose rhetoric has produced a remarkable effect -
some forces and grups proposing to make a preventive strike against
Azerbaijan instead of waiting for attacks from its side appeared here
in Armenia," Bekaryan said.

Karabakh conflict broke out in 1988 when Karabakh, mainly populated
by Armenians, declared its independence from Azerbaijan.

On December 10, 1991, a few days after the collapse of the Soviet
Union, a referendum took place in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the majority
of the population (99.89%) voted for secession from Azerbaijan.

Afterwards, large-scale military operations began. As a result,
Azerbaijan lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven regions
adjacent to it.

Some 30,000 people were killed in this war and about one million
people fled their homes.

On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the
military operations.

Since 1992, talks brokered by OSCE Minsk Group are being held over
peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is co-chaired by USA,
Russia and France.