President's Zangazur statement is a message to them - Expert | Eurasia Diary -

8 May, Saturday

President's Zangazur statement is a message to them - Expert

The reluctance in implementation of the articles of the November 10 agreement confirms that the relations between Russia and Armenia are regulated and harmonized in Karabakh. This poses a serious threat to the region…

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In his interview to the Azerbaijani State television, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's views on the Zangazur corridor project has captured the agenda of Armenia and Russia. The media of both countries have already begun to form different interpretations. Thus, President Aliyev's statement "We will implement the Zangazur corridor, whether Armenia wants it or not, whether by force or not" has blasted the separatist and revanchist groups in Armenia.
In fact, these views of the President were a message to Armenia, which is trying to tarnish the name of Azerbaijan. Armenia, which agreed to the capitulation document of November 10, 2020, led by Russia, today again tries to evade the implementation of the main provisions contained therein. One of the main points of these articles was the opening of the Zangazur corridor and ensuring security in the region. However, with the help of the forces behind Armenia, it is still trying to violate this agreement, even in the eyes of Russia.
Does Russia see this, or is it trying to turn a blind eye being allured by its common interests?
Although Russia initiated the November 10 agreement, its insincere approach to many of the processes in Karabakh revealed its inner intentions from the very first time. Today, Russia is not interested in the realisation of the Zangazur corridor, nor in the return of the remaining territories of Karabakh to Azerbaijan, which are still under the control of Armenian and peacekeeping forces.
Sadraddin Soltan, political analyst and chairman of the Centre of the Middle East Studies, has given an interview to Eurasia Diary about the situation.
- "We will implement the Zangazur corridor, whether Armenia wants it or not." What is behind the President's message "we will do it by force"?
- With this statement, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev does not claim the occupation of another country or the forced opening of the corridor. The statement issued by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry also clarifies the issue. The statement said that those who tried to distort the views of the head of state said that the statements made by President Aliyev in his speech on April 20 were addressed directly in response to possible revanchist groups in Armenia. Because recently, different views have been voiced in Armenia on the Zangazur corridor, and forces have emerged that want to disrupt this idea. Even today, the visit of Armenian Prime Minister Nicole Pashkina to Syunik province became possible after many difficulties. Although they intended to march against the Prime Minister there, they were prevented in some way. All this shows that there is a third party in Armenia that does not like the opening of the Zangazur corridor, and, of course, the sponsoring countries behind them are not excluded. This can be seen more as pressure on Russia. Because it is known that Russia is the author of the draft agreement, which includes the November 10 agreement and 9 articles, and in that draft, Russia also touched upon the issue of Zangazur. Thus, it is once again clear that the protests in Armenia over the Zangazur corridor are aimed directly at Russia.
In general, Ilham Aliyev's statement on the Zangazur corridor is purely due to Armenia's desire to fulfill its November 10 commitments. Because Azerbaijan also signed this document because Armenia agreed to the Zangazur corridor. However, today Armenia's failure to comply with this commitment and its opposition can be called a threat to Azerbaijan and its territorial integrity. As an example, I can say that early parliamentary elections will be held in Armenia in June, and some of the participants in these elections are the forces that committed crimes on Azerbaijani lands, as well as in Khojaly. They are again trying to violate the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and at the same time often make foolish statements.
Thus, the statements in Ilham Aliyev's speech are a message addressed to those revanchist forces. If there is any threat to the territory of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani side will respond harshly to those forces. However, as I mentioned earlier, today both the Armenian and Russian media have distorted the news of the president's statement in a self-serving way.
- Azerbaijan still does not have full control over Khankendi, Khojaly, Agdara and some other areas. Armenian and Russian military units are stationed there. In such a situation, what is the purpose of the President's firm stand on the issue of Zangazur, raising this issue often?
- It is true that today the flag of Azerbaijan does not wave in Khankendi, Khojaly, Aghdara and a number of territories of Karabakh, and these territories are controlled by Russian and Armenian military groups. Let me note that from a legal point of view, the seizure of control by Armenian and Russian troops in Karabakh is completely contrary to the November 10 agreement. At the same time, the Azerbaijani side brings this issue to the attention of Armenian and Russian officials.
Another item delayed in the November 10 agreement, as I mentioned earlier, is the project of Zangazur corridor. Therefore, with this statement, the President called on Russia and Armenia to fully implement the provisions of the agreement. I would like to add that Azerbaijan may withdraw from this statement if Armenia and Russia do not fulfill their obligations. In this case, it will undoubtedly have a more tragic end for Armenia.
- If there is a conflict with Armenia over the Zangazur corridor, what will be the reaction and intervention of Russia, which is interested in this issue, along with Turkey, which signed the agreement, as well as Iran, which will pass near the borders of the corridor?
- It is impossible for Iran to openly interfere in this issue, because the Armenian-Iranian relations are not at the level of Russian-Armenian relations. Iran has participated in three-thirds of the format and may object to those who oppose the project in terms of support. However, revanchist forces in Armenia oppose the project, and Russia's silence on the issue suggests that Russia is not interested in opening the Zangazur corridor. Russia, in particular, has not been pleased with Turkey's recent support for Ukraine's territorial integrity in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. It is true that they do not express this openly, but it is clearly felt in the failure of a number of other projects, including the suspension of flights between the two countries. Both sides say there is no political motive behind the restriction, but what a guide to the visible village: Russia is trying to apply the same policy in the Zangazur corridor, because it is clear that if the corridor is opened, Turkey will also benefit here.
In addition, Russia is not interested in the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Karabakh. Thus, the reluctance in implementation of the articles shows that the relations between Russia and Armenia are regulated and harmonized in Karabakh. In short, Armenia and Russia pose a threat to the region with their behavior. Of course, in this case, Russia will be completely ignored because it does not justify its trust as an international mediator.
I would like to note that in the past, the working groups on the Zangazur Corridor project held frequent meetings. Recently, however, these meetings have been delayed. This means that Russia, the initiator of the agreement signed on November 10, is not interested in the implementation of its provisions.
As for Iran, although it is not in a leading position here, it will undoubtedly side with Russia in any case.
- Armenians describe Ilham Aliyev's statement as a territorial claim to Armenia.
- First of all, I would like to note that when the Armenians conducted many archeological excavations, they witnessed the facts that these territories historically belonged to Azerbaijan. Also, the area that Armenians have fomed the State of Armenia today is the ancient territory of Azerbaijan.
Ilham Aliyev does not make a territorial claim against Armenia, he just reminds the world of this well-known historical fact. The President wants to prove that Armenia has formed a state by occupying the territory of Azerbaijan, and the way that they tried to seize Karabakh with the desire of forging a great state.
Today, this step taken by Armenia is a violation of international law and the principles of neighborliness, and it is nonsense to describe the president's speech as a territorial claim.
Elnur Enveroglu


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