Azerbaijanis, Armenians can be good neighbours

Tue 02 March 2010 17:38 GMT | 22:38 Local Time

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Zardusht Alizade

News.Az interviews Azerbaijani political scientist Zardusht Alizade.

I'll start our interview with what may be an unexpected question. How do you explain the fact that while the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno Karabakh remains unresolved, Armenians and Azerbaijanis living in third countries set up joint businesses, become friends and even marry?

First of all, this shows the vagaries of life when even a son can be against his father at times. But everyone knows that the superpowers, primarily Russia, are the real initiators of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. It was Russia that kept this conflict going, supporting Armenia and Azerbaijan at different times. By doing so, this superpower attempts to keep the whole region under its control. Ordinary Azerbaijanis and Armenians have fallen victim to these geopolitical games. They have lost their houses, land, loved ones and relatives and become refugees. The fact that Armenians and Azerbaijanis in third countries are in close contact, work together, set up joint businesses and even create families is a normal response to the demands of human nature which strives to live in peace and accord, not in a state of war.

Have the years of the unresolved Karabakh conflict created a gulf between our peoples in which there is more ideology and myth than real understanding?

Of course, let’s take, for example, the Armenians. They have been living in conditions of hatred for Turks and they consider Azerbaijanis to be Turks too. This has led to great losses for the Armenian nation. Unfortunately, Azerbaijanis have suffered losses and made mistakes without learning from the example of others, in this case the Armenian people. The same situation of encouraging hatred towards Azerbaijanis can be seen now in Armenia. Just small groups of people in Azerbaijan and Armenia understand that this is mistaken and dooms us to further manipulation by the superpowers who are fighting for their geopolitical interests.

Is there hope that Azerbaijanis and Armenians will again live in peace and accord?

This is inevitable. There have been many wars between England and France, between France and Germany, Germany and Russia. Millions of people died in these wars, but these countries live in peace and collaborate successfully. I am confident that Azerbaijanis and Armenians will also live in peace and neighbourliness. I am sorry about the young people who have fallen victim to the artificially created conflict between our peoples.

Akper Hasanov



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