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‘Liberation’ of Karabakh is Equivalent to ‘Liberation’ of Baku Armenians: Opinion

The Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Nagorno-Karabakh don’t exist and didn’t exist at least since the beginning of the Sovietization of these territories. And there has never been a system of inter-community relations in Karabakh. This view was expressed in an interview with Vesti.az by Caucasus Center of Peace-Making Initiatives President Georgy Vanyan, who at the end of November in Berlin, participated in a meeting with Azerbaijani refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh.

According to him, the population of Karabakh was a Soviet society that was split along ethnic lines into two parts.

“The Azerbaijani part of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding areas was deported, expelled. In the context of this confrontation, the ‘liberation’ of Nagorno-Karabakh is equivalent to the ‘liberation’ of Armenians from Baku.

“But this isn’t the problem. The problem is the lack of freedom in public communication, the problem is total and violent control toward any action that might lead to peacemaking. The problem is the occupation of civil dialogue. The problem is the statements of NGOs and public figures in Nagorno-Karabakh word for word repeat the statements of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Foreign Minister and Armenia’s Foreign Ministry, these bodies which have now brought the negotiation process to a standstill. And the public has not only signed, but also awards each such statement the status of constitutional law.

“As a result, the Armenians of Karabakh did not come to the Berlin meeting in light of the fact that participation was prohibited by ‘law.’ They could come and discuss with their former fellow countrymen obstacles that might arise in establishing dialogue in the ‘community format’. In this case, open, sharp and sincere dialogue would take place. But dialogue today is ‘forbidden by law,’ the violation of which is fraught with punishment.

“Unfortunately, the vast majority of all these ‘opportunities’ are reflected in our common ‘propaganda’ mirror. When will we finally realize that that isn’t serious? When we finally realize that the twenty-year war of terms is yielding any results and reaches neither [the ears of] the international community nor our citizens. As a result, we only demonstrate to the world and to each other our washed brains and inability to engage in dialogue.

“With regard to the community format, it must also be filled with the sense of a hypothetical future, when nations that have reconciled begin to develop and implement a specific sociopolitical plan of the inter-community life of two peoples on the territory of the autonomous province of Nagorno-Karabakh,” he said.