Turkish-Russian dialogue would bring Karabakh conflict to peaceful settlement - Irish historian | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

26 November, Thursday

Turkish-Russian dialogue would bring Karabakh conflict to peaceful settlement - Irish historian

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Since the start of war on 27 September, Armenian Armed Forces have shelled the civilian settlements in Ganja and other cities of Azerbaijan far from the conflict zone with artillery, cluster bombs and rockets, as they have lost in battles in the front to Azerbaijani army. A number of experts stated that the targeting of the innocent civilians living in the non-conflict zones is a blatant violation of the norms of international law and Geneva Conventions.

Speaking to  Eurasia Diary portal, Irish historian Patrick Walsh criticized Armenian aggression and the unjust attitude of the international media to Armenian atrocities as well as the hypocrisy of the OSCE Minsk Group to the fair solution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

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Dr Patrick Walsh is a one of the few western historians who shared his criticism on Armenian claims of territories and the issue of genocide in the history.

He is an author of numerous books, a political analyst and a teacher of history and politics in his home land of Ireland.

- Dear Professor, first of all thanks you for sharing your views with us about new Karabakh war. You know well that there is a now deplorable situation in the international media that depicts Armenia as “victim” and Azerbaijan “aggressor” in Karabakh war, ignoring Armenian brutality against innocent civilians. Please tell us, what is a main reason for that?

- One reason is that the West, and in particular the US and UK, are having so many problems at the moment with corona virus, elections, and Brexit that news about Karabakh has no chance of being broadcast. The news agenda is dominated by internal crises in the US and UK. Second, there is almost total ignorance about the Caucasus in the West and little awareness of the facts. Thirdly, there is a bias in favour of Armenia due to historical reasons, common Christianity and the success of their lobby among the Western media.

- What do you think about hypocrisy of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group to the fair solution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

- Russia and France have strong interests in supporting the Armenians and the US has really withdrawn interest from the region. It is not a fair balance without a strong US role in favour of balance. Really Minsk Group is stacked against Azerbaijan and a much more welcome development would be a Turkish/Russian dialogue to bring the conflict to a lasting and functional peace settlement.

- How should Azerbaijan treat the liberation of its territories from Armenian occupation?

- With generosity to the Armenian inhabitants, despite the past. They should take the attitude of Ataturk to the enemies he had defeated that enabled good relations for the future. Bobby Sands, the Irish patriot once said “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children.” This is the best attitude to take. Occupy the high moral ground and let the Armenians continue in their low ways. The world will reward Azerbaijan for that.

- From your opinion, how will the liberation of all Karabakh from Armenian occupying forces affect peace and security in the South Caucasus?

- It is the only solution that can endure. Anything else will result in further conflict which will condemn future generations to the same battles. The main objective must be to seize this chance to find a resolution once and for all. Compromises may have to be made and victory may not be totally complete. Wars seldom result in total victory. However, a substantial victory will be better if it ensures a lasting peace. A difficult and resentful Armenian populace will be much more costly, both in blood and finance, for Azerbaijan to hold sovereignty over.

- We saw your books and researching articles about the history of Ottoman Empire and the South Caucasus. As historian, how can you confirm the fair position of Azerbaijan in the history of Karabakh?

- Azerbaijanis, like Armenians have a long presence in Karabakh and were the majority up until a century ago when the Russian colonisation concentrated Armenians to facilitate a Christian majority. From 1918 and the collapse of Tsarist authority, until the 1990s Karabakh was under Azeri authority, under the ADR, British and Soviet occupation. Only the Armenians believed that Karabakh was exclusively their’s. Essentially it is a shared territory which should be put back under Azerbaijan de facto sovereignty and given autonomy with strong safeguards built in for equality and to promote stability. When Karabakh was under a similar system from 1920 until 1990 it was not perfect, but people lived together and visited freely. Over the last 28 years it has been ethnically cleansed and is a declining place, in every sense - economically, socially and demographically. The Armenian solution for Karabakh has totally failed. Armenia has become a pariah state, cut off largely from the world. All parties need a new, functional dispensation that guarantees peace and stability for the whole region.

Interviewed by Yunis Abdullayev 

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