Lebed Warns of Bloodshed If OSCE Proposal Approved

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A number of media outlets recently published General Alexander Lebed’s letter addressed to the OSCE Minsk Conference Co-Chairmen Valentin Lozinsky–Strobe Talbot and Jacques Bleut.

Voicing fear that the willingness to settle the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh as soon as possible could prompt the simplest solution–that is a full support of the principle of maintaining Karabakh within Azeri borders and subordination of Armenia’s in Nagorno Karabakh to Azeri authorities–Lebed pointed out that this solution is almost unconscionable.

"There’s going to be much blood–but no peace. The conflict between Armenia’s and Azeris has too deep roots to be resolved by openly giving preference to either of the sides," Lebed commented in his letter.

"In 1921 the Caucasian Bureau of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) sacrificed the fate of the Karabakh people in the interests of ?the world revolution.’ Yielding to a temptation to impose your will on the Armenian people in a similar way–you will achieve only one thing-the resumption of large-scale hostilities".

In Lebed’s opinion–"in case the war resumes in Karabakh–there will be a real danger for the neighboring countries to get involved in it–in the first place for Russia and Turkey. Instead of speeding up the process of developing the Caspian oil–which is the major reason for your decision–as far as I can see–you may obtain quite an opposite effect."

Lebed offered the co-chairmen "a more circumstantial–albeit not so quick way of seeking mutually acceptable decisions on the basis of international law that was admitted as a basis for the conflict settlement by all three parties to the Karabakh conflict–that is the way of accepting the generally recognized right to self-determination of nations."

The General referred to the example of Chechnya. "Confirm your loyalty to the UN Charter–do recommend the sides to submit their juridical dispute for an impartial judicial or arbitrate inquiry. There are decisions in the world practice which are known to have ensured the peaceful co-existence of conflicting nations. Thus–the status of a self-governed associated country or a more traditional status of a subject of federation…Don’t hasten to put a nice full-stop by your own hand.

"Give that right to the parties concerned. Don’t let yourselves be gone with the role of almighty judges. Do remain impartial negotiators," the letter concluded.

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