Dashnaktsutun has urged the Armenian authority to refuse from further negotiations with Azerbaijan on Karabakh. Might the country’s authorities follow this call and what can be the result?
To the best of my knowledge, it’s not only Dashnatsuitsuin that is calling the government of Armenia to abandon the negotiation process. Any party in Armenia or their sponsors within the Armenian Diaspora abroad may demand from the Armenian leadership to stall the mediated talks with Azerbaijan.
However, it is not really them who will dictate how and why Armenia should continue its participation in Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks, but Armenia’s patron and closest ally in the region, Russia. The infamous 2009 Turkey-Armenia protocols are a good example of how the Armenian-American lobbying groups in the United States, France and elsewhere were pressuring the Sargsyan government to abandon the talks but failed, as Moscow insisted on Armenia’s signing of the protocols. We all remember how Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov personally guided Nalbadian, so to speak, through the signing ceremony.
Therefore, I highly doubt that the Armenian leadership will stop any talks without explicit instructions from Russia and at the moment I don’t see Russia interested in stalling the peace negotiations.
Spokesman for the US National Security Council Tommy Wiegor said that Washington is disappointed with Safarov’s pardon and considers this decision ‘contradicting to efforts to reduce tensions in the region and assist reconciliation”. Do you think that the reference of the spokesman for the US leadership to Safarov’s issue is really the sign of Washington’s attention to this topic or a ‘shrug-off’ in favor of the Armenian lobby?
Actually, several governments, including those of US, Russia and France issued statements on the release of Ramil Safarov. From Washington, both the State Department and NSC Spokesperson Tommy Vietor did indeed express their discontent on the release of Ramil Safarov by the Azerbaijani authorities.
Mr. Vietor, for instance, mentioned that “this action is contrary to ongoing efforts to reduce regional tensions and promote reconciliation”. Secretary General of CSTO, led by Russia, Nikolay Bordyuza, stated that the pardoning of Safarov “goes against international law”. At the same time, the French Foreign Ministry commented stating “risks seriously damaging the negotiation efforts and the establishment of a climate of trust between the parties.” As parties to the OSCE Minsk Group mediating team, it is commendable that U.S., Russia and France are troubled by the possible worsening of situation in South Caucasus, however; the attention and concern should divert to Armenia rather than concentrate on Azerbaijan. In other words, why should the Sargsyan government allow any tensions to rise? If it is so concerned over the death of an Armenian citizen in Hungary by an Azerbaijani citizen, then it should definitely trouble itself with finding and bringing to justice the perpetrators of the massacre of 10 Armenian citizens in March 2008, peacefully protesting against this government? Should it not?
Secondly, if any parties to the Minsk group are concerned over possible effects of this pardoning on possible rise of tensions or violation of international law, then they should definitely issue timely statements to Armenia, for it is the country which takes steps to undermine the peace process. First and foremost, the international community has recognized all along that it is Armenia which keeps violating international law and sustaining its occupation over Azerbaijani region of Karabakh. Secondly, at the end of August, Armenian troops on the territory of occupied Karabakh held military exercises. Shortly thereafter, the separatist government in Khankendi held a parade, as it does annually, marking the “independence” (read occupation of) Nagorno-Karabakh. So, how do these moves not inflate tensions and impede the reconciliation process while release of one Azerbaijani prisoner does? Why doesn’t the Minsk Groups jointly and independently issue statements to Armenia warning it against violation of international law or possible repercussions as result of their “parading” activities?
How serious can be the impact of Safarov’s release to the relations between Baku and Washington?
I doubt the release of Ramil Safarov will affect US-Azerbaijani relations at all. The bilateral relations are too good, too well intentioned, too friendly and too strategic to fall victim to Armenian lobbying efforts.
Azerbaijan is aware of cases when the Armenian leadership freed its fellow citizens convicted abroad as international terrorists. What can the Azerbaijani diaspora do to inform the world community about these facts and neutralize the attempts to present the release of the Azerbaijani officer as Baku’s encouragement of hatred toward all Armenians?
Indeed, the Republic of Armenia has been a safe house for renown terrorists glorified as national heroes all along. The latest case of Armenia glorifying an infamous terrorist was when one of the perpetrators of the Orly Airport attack in France, Varoujan Garabedian was released from prison and welcomed in Armenia, where he was greeted and glorified by then the President Robert Kocharian and Prime Minister Andranik Markarian. Garabedian did not kill a fellow military officer for insults on his ethnicity and national flag. He killed 8 civilians, among them an American, Swede, four French and two Turks. Yet, after serving 17 years of life imprisonment, he was freed from a French prison and accepted as a hero in Armenia.
Same goes for Mardiros Jamgochian, who killed a Turkish diplomat Mehmet Yerguz in Geneva, yet served only 10 years out of 15 sentenced. Same justice evasion was presented to Armenian criminal Eduard Grigoryan who was extradited to Moscow in 1988 after committing murders of Azerbaijani citizens of both Azerbaijani and Armenian ethnicity during Sumgayit events in February 1988, even though he was caught, tried and convicted publically.
Another group of four Armenian murderers Hrachik Petrosyan, Arvet Mangasyan, Gagik Argustamyan, Arno Mkrtichyan who were convicted of killing the Azerbaijani journalist Salatyn Askerova and three Soviet officers in 1991, went free after their extradition to Russia. The list goes on. In neither of these cases, did any government but that of Azerbaijan, question why and how they were released after these grave crimes. The Azerbaijani American community and organizations are simply notifying the public of these simple facts. Truth must prevail.