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"International forces are not interested in resolving the conflict"

Elkhan Mehdiyev: As long as the occupation continues, possibility of war remains

Defense Ministry of the Republic of Azerbaijan warned Armenian side again. It was noted that starting from October 30 evening, Armenian Armed Units began firing at Azerbaijani army positions situated in the north-west part of the frontline, using 60-mm mortars, grenade launchers, AGS-17 Plamya automatic grenade launchers, and large-caliber machine guns. The enemy was silenced  with immediate retaliatory action. The Azerbaijani Defense  Ministry stated that Armenian side is fully responsible for any escalation on the contact line. 
As can be seen, predictions on increasing tensions on the frontline came true. The main reason of this is that negotiotions process have reached in stalemate. 

Conflictologist Elkhan Mehdiyev shared his views with "Kaspi” on future of negotiations and development of the process.

-In your opinion, why does the situation on the contactline remains tense ? 

-As long as, the occupation continues, possibility of  war remains. Depending on the negotiotions, the process takes a different direction. The current situation is that Azerbaijani side maintains to continue the  ceasefire. This also raises questions. I have not found answer to these questions. Armenian side has more enthusiasm today. After the April clashes they were in panic and defeated condition. However, since September, they are much more confident than before. Giving them the missiles demonstarted in the parade completely changed the mood of army and political leadership. They gained a psychological advantage. Naturally, it is unpleasent case for Azerbaijan that the enemy side got new weapons. Obviously, they want to show they are stronger on the contactline. 

  -Azerbaijan allocates  enough fund for the army. Even, it was stated that  budget of Azerbaijani Army is much more than whole budget of Armenian state. In your opinion, will  "Iskander” missiles  get Armenia out of a difficult situation ? 

- Sometimes  Azerbaijani media takes wrong position. They report Armenians withdraw from 5 regions or Karabakh is returned to Azerbaijan and so on. Sometimes they  report such news that it is not even a matter of debate in Armenia. They are not going to withdraw from the occupied lands. This situation is unpleasent for Azerbaijan.  Instead of claims about weakness of Armenian army and exictence of useless weapons in enemy side it must be determined power of missiles and to be prepared to eliminate those weapons . 

-What do you think about positions of international forces ?They suspended the April clashes and stated they would continue negotiotions process. However, to change the status –quo they have not done anything yet. What should Azerbaijan do in this case ? 

-When we say international forces mainly they are 3 countries. Other countries do not have such force to be able to intervene this issue.  This issue has been completely monopolized by the three co-chair states. They do not allow other international organizations and states to be involved in negotiations process.  Azerbaijan has been faced with the occupation fact for over 20 years. Foreign states and organizations content themselves with just calling for peace. They are not interested in the reality that which part’s lands are under the occupation, or civil people were killed and flled their homes. They show apperantly  sympathy to the occupier. Armenians had pretended to be powerful but our country managed to destroy this myth. After the April clashes Armenians were in panic.  If our army continued with the same speed we could liberate more lands from the occupation. That is why, I am saying that resolution of the conflict is not a business of only the co-chairs but Azerbaijan’s too. 

-They have a spesific committment. They took responsibility for reoslution of the conflict. Then, why has not the UN resolutions been implemented yet? 

- They are not interested in the UN resolutions. Liberation of occupied territories was reflected in the Constitution of the country. This is full right of Azerbaijan. International forces do not intend to return occupied lands to Azerbaijan. They are only interested in getting agreement between the sides. One of the sides is an occupier. The occupier  puts forward its conditions and says a peace agreement would be reached  when its terms have been adopted. Armenian side has not been imposed any sanction over its agressive policy. Consequently, they continues their occupation. Before, they did not refuse liberation of regions around Nagorno Karabakh but today they try to join all regions to Armenia. International forces are not seem to take any measures to put pressure on Armenia to withdraw from those lands. 

-May the April clashes be repeated ? 

-Though the April clashes was in small scale but it managed to destroy the myth created by enemy. The peace comes after escalation. If Azerbaijani army deals a severe blow to the enemy and seize some strategical points, the conflict will be solved. In April, we were very close too it. We could seize more strategic posts, if we carried on  operations for more 3 days. Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Aghdere would be liberated from the occipation. Liberation of Gubadli and Kalbajar would be reached through negotiotions. 

- What developments do you expect to resolve the conflict in 2017? 

- Actually, I expect nothing. Armenian side has been trying to delay the issue which is harmful for Azerbajian. Sargzyan plans to delay the issue to the end of  2017. He supposes after his presidency period, new condition will be a result of new regime’s policy. However, he intends to be a Prime Minister.   

-How do you predict the future of this issue? 

- It is difficult to make predictions about the future in advance.  Delay of the conflict for more than 20 years shows that predictions may be unreal. I think, Azerbaijani Army is prepared, strong and fully ready to fight. If the war starts our army will definitely destroy the enemy's points. It was difficult to state it before the April clashes when we witnessed courage of our army and military staff. Azerbaijani  Armed Forces are able to use modern techniques and this fact gives us more opportunity. 

Shafa Tapdıg



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