'Resumed hostilities in Karabakh may lead to World War III'

Wed 27 April 2011 09:00 GMT | 14:00 Local Time

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Eldar Ibrahimov

News.Az interviews Eldar Ibrahimov, member of Azerbaijani delegation to OSCE PA.

In your opinion, may Russia’s increased efforts to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict give positive results?

Of course, we should appreciate Russia’s increased efforts in resolving the Karabakh conflict. I understand very well that Russia can resolve the Karabakh conflict if it wants to do so.

How fruitful can Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev’s personal participation in the negotiating process be? What role does his personality play in negotiations?

Of course, Russian’s President’s efforts need be commended. As a member of the Azerbaijani delegation to the OSCE PA, I have witnessed how Medvedev seeks to achieve progress when organizing meetings between Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents delving into the most minor details of the negotiation process. I believe that Medvedev is able to achieve progress.

There have been contradictory assessments of the work of the OSCE Minsk Group both from Azerbaijan and Armenia lately. And how do you assess work of this Group?

I am one of those politicians who constantly criticize OSCE Minsk Group. This is due to the lack of any results in the Group’s work. Initially, wrong tasks were put forward to the mediators. Otherwise, it would not be difficult to notice occupation of 20% of lands and availability of over one million Azerbaijani refugees. This group would be effective if it used certain sanctions against Armenia.

They could have noted the fact of occupation and a need for withdrawal of the Armenian troops. Progress is not excluded in conflict resolution in this case, too.

However, it is obvious that OSCE applies double standards inherent in international relations which dispels hopes that the group may achieve progress in the conflict resolution.

As a rule, the conflicting parties are required to express their positions each time when the Minsk Group makes new initiatives. When Azerbaijani President shows political will and accepts them, Armenia does the opposite. In other words, Armenian side in this way delays the conflict settlement.

Armenian side has increasingly accused Azerbaijan of making militaristic statements recently. What is the OSCE attitude to Armenia’s accusations?

Such accusations are groundless, because the world is well aware of the state of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement and the fact of occupation of Azerbaijani lands. However, it is understandable that patience of the Azerbaijani people can run out not only the issue of continuation of endless peace talks, but also the appropriateness of the OSCE Minsk Group mediation mission to resolve the problem.

Frankly, it should be noted that the unresolved conflict increasingly reduces the patience of Azerbaijan, who can resort to force to liberate its own territory. In addition, international organizations themselves push Azerbaijan to this path, not showing a determination to resolve it peacefully.

By the way, I have repeatedly raised the issue that the OSCE Minsk Group should report to the OSCE PA session.I am required to obtain information from them about the position of the organization to the problem, so that later I report it to my electorate. As people’s representative.

However, OSCE aims to mediate an agreement between the conflicting sides, that is, between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The question is: why there is a need for the OSCE Minsk Group if presidents of conflicting sides have failed to reach an agreement over the last 19 years.

What consequences may resumption of the Karabakh conflict have?

Renewed fighting in Karabakh could push the world into the World War III. If hostilities are resumed, CSTO will defend Armenia while Turkey, supported by NATO, will defend Azerbaijan.  Either way, peace is the only way to solvethe problem. In turn, this way passes only through the withdrawal of Armenia's forces from the occupied lands of Azerbaijan.

Lala B.



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