By Lusine Avanesyan

Information-Analytic Agency NEWS.am
Aug 31 2009

"We have always stated that Nagorno-Karabakh must have a status,
but we do not see this status apart from Azerbaijan's territorial
integrity," Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated yesterday.

In the negotiations for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict our neighbors' trump card is the fact that Azerbaijan became
a UN member with Nagorno-Karabakh as part of it. All the states,
including the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, recognized Azerbaijan's
territorial integrity. Nonetheless, a Declaration adopted by Azerbaijan
(a UN-member) on August 30, 1991, states that the Democratic Republic
of Azerbaijan of 1918-1920 was re-established in Azerbaijan. Thus,
the new independent state declared itself a legal successor to Musavat
Azerbaijan of 1918-1920. Speaking of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity
now, our neighbors forget all about that fundamental document.

Knowing the "blind spots" of history, however, helps reveal the
implications of this seeming forgetfulness. How can they in Azerbaijan
remember that modern-day Azerbaijan is successor to a state that
had no definite borders, without Nagorno-Karabakh, Nakhichevan and
Zangezur being part of it? In the last case, our neighbor is still
laying claims.

According to the international norms in effect at that time, those
were disputable territories. Evidence thereof is the proceedings of
the Paris Assembly of the League of Nations, when the newly formed
Transcaucasian republics were admitted to the League of Nations.

Also, both the agreements signed during the first years of the Soviet
state and Bolsheviks' statements prove that. According to historical
documents, Azerbaijan's claims to the neighboring territories once
proved to be an obstacle to its admission to the League of Nations. In
December 1920, the organ of the League of Nations that considered
the issue of Azerbaijan's admission, unanimously voted against, as
Azerbaijan's border disputes with Georgia and Armenia did not allow the
organization to be properly informed of whether Azerbaijan's borders
had been finally fixed or not. So when Azerbaijani officials state
that Azerbaijan joined the UN with Nagorno-Karabakh being part of it,
they should specify which Azerbaijan they mean: if it is the successor
to the Musavat Azerbaijan of 1918-1920, Nagorno-Karabakh was not part
of it then. Therefore, the state of Azerbaijan that was admitted to the
UN in 1991 was to be admitted without Nagorno-Karabakh as part of it.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress