Repeating predecessors’ grave mistakes, Armenian premier soon to reach deadlock

Fuad Muxtarlı Analysis 10 May 2018
Repeating predecessors’ grave mistakes, Armenian premier soon to reach deadlock

Armenia’s newly-crowned idol Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan remained loyal to and followed suit of his predecessors’ sense of adventure by visiting Azerbaijan’s occupied Karabakh on May 9.

Addressing a news conference in Xankandi with Karabakh’s separatist leader Bako Sahakyan, who, experts say, is soon to be replaced, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan made a number of statements on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, which harbinger that he would repeat what his predecessors did unsuccessfully, devastating both Armenia and the occupied Azerbaijani lands, retarding the region’s development.

Pashinyan’s understanding of a compromise, or who should make it?

“There can be no compromise in the conditions when the Azerbaijani leadership announces plans to seize Yerevan, Zangazur. We can talk about compromises only if we get a clear signal from Azerbaijan that Baku is ready to recognize the right of the people of Karabakh to self-determination,”  the new leader of the occupying country said in Xankandi.

It would be naïve to think that Pashinyan would not repeat the dreadful tragedies of his predecessors. They all quit in disgrace, reducing to abject despair Armenians who only see their hopes either in Russia or in the West. The Armenian elites have always mistake the wish for the reality and this tragic path has been unsuccessfully repeated for centuries, bringing only misfortune and hopelessness to this tiny nation in the circle of powerful neighbors who could have been a powerful driver in taking them out of the impasse if Armenians behaved responsibly without pinning empty hopes on big patrons far away from their borders.

Azerbaijan has been urging Armenia to end the occupation of Karabakh and seven surrounding districts. But what the newly-minted Armenian prime minister is claiming defies any logic and rules out hopes for a peaceful outcome of the conflict as old as the independence of the conflicting states. What Armenia does is to sing another song and unashamedly, avoiding to openly recognizing the occupation and trying to misrepresent both own people and international community.

The only compromise can Azerbaijan make to the occupying Armenia is to let it pull its troops out of Azerbaijan’s internationally-recognized territories. Whatever tricks can Armenians resort to justify the occupation is deprived of any logic and understanding but only by a clique of people doped by Armenian propaganda behind closed doors.

United both at home and abroad, Azerbaijanis are able to bring about what we have been striving for many years. Time has repeatedly proved that national unity is able to unlock any problem and the Karabakh conflict can both unite Azerbaijanis and accelerate de-occupation.

“On the negotiation format”

“We consider it very important to continue the negotiation process, which will take into account the right of the people of Artsakh (Karabakh) to self-determination. I stated that I am ready to negotiate with the Azerbaijani president under the OSCE Minsk Group mediation, but I also believe that this negotiating format cannot be considered full unless one of the full parties to the conflict participates in it - the leadership of Artsakh,” Pashinyan said in Xankandi.

Karabakh will never have a self-determination status as the Armenians have their state though they have not until now fully realized and enjoyed full sense of independence as several attributes that define independence lack in the example of Armenians. So, self-determination is ruled out for a community of Armenians in Azerbaijan.

Nikol Pashinyan, though sly he is, cannot and will not be able in pitting his wits against the Azerbaijani leadership to reformat the negotiations framework. In the past, we saw Armenia’s former president Robert Kocharyan fleeing the negotiations table when in trouble and the same will soon be done by him.

Now making the separatist Karabakh a party to the talks bodes nothing well for Azerbaijan and is unacceptable, though Armenia has what to gain from it. A) it is designed to spin out the process; B) to keep the occupying nation behind the curtain and free from responsibility; C) to turn the puppet Karabakh regime into an equal partner status for Azerbaijan, and thus achieve its recognition as an independent actor; D) to get international status and guarantees for existence, and speed up the process of alienation from Azerbaijan.

Pashinyan’s empty claim that the talks on the settlement of the conflict to date have not yielded the desired results is because of Karabakh’s non-involvement is wide of the mark as Armenia has never been after tackling the conflict but ending the occupation in its favor.

“About stereotypes”

“In negotiations, we should not be guided by stereotypes. We must understand that the purpose of these negotiations is not the negotiations in themselves, but the settlement of the conflict. We must be able to find effective tools for resolving the conflict. The most important component of the conflict settlement is the negotiations in the right format: one of the full parties to the negotiations should be the republic of Artsakh,” is another claim by Pashinyan.

Baku has never been guided by stereotypes and called for an end to the occupation of Azerbaijani lands and four UN resolutions are extra proofs of the occupation. However, the new Armenian prime minister distorts facts, hoping to mislead those unaware of the realities.

“I am ready to conduct full-fledged talks on behalf of the Republic of Armenia, but on behalf of Artsakh negotiations should lead its leadership in the person of the president of the republic of Artsakh,” Pashinyan added.

In a nutshell, what Pashinyan said and would do times and again until he shares Sarkisian’s fate will not be different. The Azerbaijani army must be ready to complete the unaccomplished task of the April 2016. Whatever we say or predict will not become true until the enemy digs thousands of graves for young sons, reaching them under cargo 200 marking.

“About international recognition of Artsakh”

“We must make efforts, including - to tap the potential of the Diaspora so that the international recognition of the Artsakh republic not only continues, but also acquire a new dimension. There is no doubt that the Armenian government will exert every possible effort to protect the republic of Artsakh and its people, including in the international arena, but I believe that the interests of the Artsakh republic and the Artsakh people in the international arena will be best protected by the authorities of Artsakh. Therefore, our efforts should be aimed at ensuring that the republic of Artsakh and its authorities are internationally recognized as early as possible,” Pashinyan said.

This rhetoric of the newly-minted Armenian premier leaves no hopes for a peaceful outcome of the conflict and makes the Azerbaijani leadership to press hard for the liberation of the lands before Pashinyan strengthens his grip on power and gains solid foothold both at home and abroad to advance his delirium.

It will take a while for Pashinyan to consolidate his control over the government apparatus and the Azerbaijani relevant structures should come up with options for any scenarios. Pashinyan will gradually distance from Russia as it cannot serve two masters equally and simultaneously.

Any slight move empowering Russia’s suspicion benefits Azerbaijan as pro-Kremlin experts rightly note no Armenia and independent state could have been possible without Russia. And it is the Kremlin that encourages and feeds the Armenian occupation of the Azerbaijani lands. Once the Kremlin comes to terms that Armenia betrayed it, it will do the same and open the floodgate. As for the Diaspora, it has been doing what it can up until now and it will be impossible for it to outstrip itself.

“On Azerbaijan’s rhetoric” or Pashinyan cannot play the fool forever

“The time has come for the reaction of the international community to the belligerent rhetoric of Azerbaijan to become more practical and public. Azerbaijan and the international community must understand that Armenia and Artsakh will not back down to the bellicose rhetoric of Azerbaijan, especially now that our nation is united as never before,” Pashinyan said.

As a saying goes “the thief is sorry he is to be hanged, but not that he is a thief”; you – aggressor - fear of Azerbaijan’s “bellicose rhetoric” and no mention of the reasons behind it. You can play the fool for a certain period but not forever. The reason behind Azerbaijan’s “bellicose rhetoric” is the loss of Iravan, Zangazur, Kalbacar, Lacin, Qubadli, Susa, Agdam, Cabrayil, Fuzuli, Zangilan and hundreds of villages! And the call from cemeteries of the occupied lands has to melt our hearts and mobilize for the last blow!