We reported that pro-opposition Armenian National Congress hold a conference in Yeravan on December 17. The speech Levon Ter-Petrosyan, former president of Armenia and the leader of the organization, gave during the event caused a lot of controversy. It’s because he talked about Nagorno-Karabakh conglict and the real situation and how this course of events would make Armenia even more miserable.
We should note that, he stated during his speech that Karabakh conflict could only be resolved through phased solution. He said that the resolution conflict rested solely on the shoulders of the current regime and political forces that support it: "If they want to listen to our position, that’s good. If they don’t want to listen to us, they will answer for it with their heads”.
Petrosyan’s speech has been hotly debated by the public for a few days now. Naturally, his openness about the issue very interesting. What is the reason behind his election slogan that promotes peace? How will the Armenian public react to him voicing the truth? We have to remind that Ter-Petrosyan wanted to achieve peace once in the past, but it resulted him being overthrown.
Speaking to Kaspi, political analyst Fikret Sadigov said as a sensible politician, Ter-Petrosyan understood that Armenia has backed itself into a corner and there is no other way out: "They have to make certain compromises to Azerbaijan. The issue of Nagorno Karabakh stops them from developing. I don’t think it’s only Ter-Petrosyan who thinks like this, several Armenian politicians and sensible statesmen understand this reality. They can only get rid of the burden on their shoulder by making some agreement with Azerbaijan”.
It should be noted that, Ter-Petrosyan claimed in his speech that Russia wanted to resolve the conflict. He pointed out that Russia was holding the key of the conflict and that they were ramping up their efforts. We asked Sadigov what he thought of this. He admitted that there was some truth to this statement: "Sargsyan was one of the people to fight in Nagorno-Karabakh. This situation benefits him. The other reality is that Russia can pressure Armenia, if they wanted to do so. But it seems Russia is acting carefully. Of course, a lot of things depend on Russia. If they show some effort, there would be progress in this issue”.
Political expert Elkhan Shahinoghlu thinks Petrosyan’s speech is sensational: "Levon Ter-Petrosyan has been the president of Armenia and it was during his presidency that Armenia invaded Azerbaijani territories. That’s when Khojaly massacre took place. It was Levon Ter-Petrosyan who appointed people who went on to commit these crimes. He is responsible for the current situation. Despite this, instead of being in a victory euphoria, Ter Petrosyan was one of the first to understand that the occupation of Azerbaijani lands and hostility between Azerbaijan and Armenia would bring nothing to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. But it was too late when he understood this and chief separatists Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan was controlling all the power structures in Armenia and they didn’t let Ter-Petrosyan to sign the "phased solution” plan that would accelerate the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. They overthrew him and the last words of the former president as the head of the state was to say : "there will come a time when you will be forced to sign a document with even harsher conditions than the one I wanted to sign”. 18 years later, Ter-Petrosyan’s remarks were proven to be true with one statement he made during the conference – the situation has worsened in the last 18 years. Armenia has rapidly become poorer and Armenian youth don’t want to die for Nagorno-Karabakh”.
In different parts of his speech, the former president stressed the importance of reconciling with Azerbaijana and Turkey. Shahinoghlu also pointed out that Ter-Petrosyan made positive comments about Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev during his speech: " Stating that Azerbaijani people were suffering as a result of the situation as much as Armenian people, Ter-Petrosyan called Ilham Aliyev a rational thinking leader. In other words, former president thinks not his president, but the president of a country who his country is at war with is the rational one. It means that Ilham Aliyev is the one with the rational approach to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We can draw the conclusion from Ter-Petrosyans comments about Ilham Aliyev that both of them favor the stage by stage solution to the conflict. Ter-Petrosyan’s speech was also contradictory. For example, on one hand, his speech can be interpreted as the April clashes leading Armenian society to further degradation, on the other hand if Azerbaijan starts a war, it will lead to more losses. It seems these words were said to calm down the Armenian audiences. He doesn’t want to be seen to be on the side of peace no matter what. But the leitmotiv of his speech is that if Armenia doesn’t reconcile with Azerbaijan and Turkey and accept the stage by stage solution plane, a more dire future is awaiting Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Petrosyan’s party Armenian National Congress has started their election campaign. It’s possible that main opposition parties will form a bloc. If the opposition doesn’t win in the parliamentary elections, Sargsyan will become the prime minister and will continue to drag his country back. In April, Ter-Petrosyan offered moral support but this speech was an indication that he won’t repeat it again”.