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Nagorno Karabakh conflict: “Liberated Territories” in Focus

The Armenian blogosphere is full of speculations about the seven regions in Azerbaijan currently under the control of Armenian and Karabakh forces, which are referred to as the “Liberated Territories” by those with a more nationalistic perspective.
Now that the parliamentary elections are behind us the international community is once again turning to what is perhaps the number one problem in the regions – unresolved frozen conflicts and in particular, Nagorno Karabakh, says Onnik Krikoryan looking at the latest developments on way of conflict resolution examining RFE / RL, Today.az and Eurasia Daily Monitor.

No surprise to discover that mediators from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were in Yerevan earlier in the week before moving on to Baku. According to RFE/RL’s report posted on the day of their departure, the OSCE Minsk Group mediators have said they hope that the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents will meet on the sidelines of a summit to be held in St. Petersburg on 10 June. With presidential elections set to take place in both Armenia and Azerbaijan next year, there really is very little time and only a small window of opportunity for a long anticipated breakthrough framework agreement.

While Oneworld Multimedia is looking for possible solutions to the conflict, Armenian Breaking News reports that Turkey is inciting Azerbaijan to war in Karabakh:

«The Nagorno Karabakh conflict cannot be settled peacefully. Everyone should know that lands which were seized with bloodshed cannot be returned bloodlessly,» said lieutenant general Yasak Demikbilek, former chief of Turkish intelligence agency.

As noted also by Onnik Krikoryan in the post referenced above, the problem of seven regions in Azerbaijan currently under the control of Armenian and Karabakh forces, continues to bother politicians and activists in Armenia. Via Ahousekeeper (ru) I learned that Anaid1708 (am) has posted some video extracts from the presentation of the book “Liberated Areas of Armenia”, where Armen Ayvazyan (political scientist) and Zori Balayan (publicist, writer) speak about the importance of keeping these lands in the Armenian hands and putting this issue in the context of solving the Armenian Question, which is a diplomatic term, referring to the protection and the freedoms of Armenians from their neighboring communities.

The new wave of discussions seem to have started at OpenArmenia forum, after which Kornelij Glas (ru) posted about the petition signed by a number of internet resources (ru) against the surrender of the liberated territories, saying that the negotiations currently in progress are based on “the readiness of Armenia to surrender already all seven (!) liberated territories around NKR, living only the Lachin corridor (not the region).” In exchange Karabakh would gain the right to conduct a referendum on its status after about 5-15 years. Kornelij Glas (ru) says that his opinion — that this will definitely lead to a new war in which Armenia will be on the losing side — is only shared by a few people, and of those few, most think, that Robert Sedrakovich (president of Armenia) is from Karabakh and would never make concession on the issue.

Ahousekeeper (am) here, here and here as well as the Freedomfight777 (am) and Hayblog (ru) are also joining the petition and urging everybody to sign the petition “AGAINST THE SURRENDER OF THE LIBERATED TERRITORY” at http://www.miacum.ru. Armenia Breaking News is writing that according to Vahram Atanesyan, chair of the NKR Parliamentary Committee of External Relations, all the issues discussed during the talks must become subject of public debates:

I think the people of NKR are to solve the question of status of NKR and the territories surrounding former NKAR[Nagorno Karabakh], because only people are empowered.

Looking at all the polemics in the blogosphere Uzogh (ru) is stating that there is no way to go without Kharabakh conflict resolution and is asking – what are the options?

I know 2 [positions in circulation currently]: the position of Jirayr Sefilyan (which can be described in short as: “the hell do we care about resolution, we are OK as we are now”), which rejects the concept of resolution per se, and we have vague suppositions, that can be reduced to the phrase “surrender of 7 regions”.

Uzogh’s (ru) post has definitely generated a lot of interest: 103 comments when I last checked it, which by Armenian blogging standards is pretty big deal.

Pigh (ru) says he won’t sign the petition. This is all pointless noise the blogger says: “Serge and Robert [Prime Minister and President] would never surrender Karabakh – 100%”.

One thing is sure – if Armenia wants peace and integration in this region, we have to be prepared to surrender something. But what will be the true price?

3 comments

  • Comments to the original variant of this post are at:

    http://ditord.wordpress.com/2007/05/29/liberated-territories-in-focus/

    I think it would be a good idea to close the comments on this post and link to the former comments section so as to have one unified “conversation” in the same place.

  • haykar

    “One thing is sure – if Armenia wants peace and integration in this region, we have to be prepared to surrender something.”

    For the first time in our recent history we are gaining lost territories. For this particular reason, western countries want us to surrender these territories. Some powers do not want a balance of power in the region, they want a weak Armenia so they can control the region and get resources.

    They want a strong Azerbaidjan, like they wanted a strong Turkey in 1923. Every Armenian knows what resulted from this western diplomatic desire, Armenia lost its western provinces, lost Cilicia and was invaded near Erevan. It could have lost the chance to have a country. A first loss is followed by other losses, until the complete annihilation of the subject.

    Armenia should learn from its history.

  • Onnik – I don’t think I have enough access to do that on this blog. As to Haykar’s comment – there’s a discussion going on here Armenian Blog Review
    which you can join, and that would be more effective.

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