Karabakh Experts Criticize Ter Petrosyan

YEREVAN (Molorak Weekly)–In an open letter published Thursday in Armenia–two international law experts–one of whom served as the Karabakh delegation’s legal counsel to the peace talks–severely criticized Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s recent posturing on the Karabakh peace process–calling it a grave blunder on the part of Armenia’s leadership.

International law expert and legal counsel on international affairs to the Karabakh peace talks delegation Yuri Parsekhov and the chairman of the Russian-Armenian Initiatives–himself an international legal expert–Arkady Vartanian co-signed a letter to Ter-Petrosyan–explaining that while the correspondence could have been submitted privately–however–the gravity of the situation forced them to express their concerns publicly.

From the onset the letter criticized the Armenian leadership’s policies–calling them mistakes–and pointed not to mistakes on behalf of individual Armenian representatives to the peace talks–but rather a misguided policy by the Armenian authorities.

"We do not know who is advising you on international rights issues–however we can tell that the advise is non-professional and is dictated by certain policies of states involved in the oil consortium," the letter suggested.

The two experts also criticized Ter-Petrosyan’s insistence of not emphasizing the Armenian Genocide issue–which they found to be essential in the resolution of the conflict.

By conceding to mere commemoration of the Genocide and ignoring to address the looting of territory following the Genocide–has had its effects on Turkish posturing vis–vis Armenia and the Karabakh conflict.

By lifting the burden of guilt from the international community for directly participating in (Germany) and allowing (Great Britain–France–Russia) the Genocide–Armenia’s diplomacy has restricted itself from applying moral and political pressures on neutralizing those states’ participation in the current Turko-Azeri genocidal policies–suggested the experts.

The two international lawyers also stated that the Turkish-Azeri side envisions its relations with Armenia–with no other outlook than eventually swallowing Armenia politically. This–the two explained–was evident in the response given to the co-chairmen’s proposals.

The letter also suggested that the step-by-step approach–to which Ter-Petrosyan has reverted–would be equal to Azerbaijan’s demand of reclaiming Karabakh under its leadership.

The letter also added that Azeri President Gaidar Aliyev’s recent statemen’s rejecting the existence of two Armenian republics–signaled Azeri intentions of granting Karabakh mere district status–without a right to self-government.

In the event that Karabakh is returned to Azerbaijan–those who have left Karabakh due to war–would not return and Armenian settlemen’s would cease to be populated–the letter pointed out. The experts also warned that security guarantees as envisioned by Ter-Petrosyan would not be guaranteed by Azerbaijan–since neither the US–nor Russia nor any other country can guarantee the execution of agreemen’s and promises.

The two cited the status of Western Armenia as a lesson from which the Armenian authorities should learn and not force Karabakh into a similar state.

International guarantees can only work–only when Armenia and Karabakh establish relations under international rights. The two experts also emphasized the importance of Armenia’s recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as an independent state–which would legitimize Karabakh’s position in the international arena.

Parsekhov and Vartanian also stated that the international community–which has invested hard capital in Azeri oil reserves–would not defend Armenia’s "who have lost all political significance."

"Don’t fool yourself and your people," asserted the experts–who found it very naive to entrust the fate of Karabakh and the entire Armenian nation to the international community which is solely interested in gains from the Azeri oil industry–warning that falling prey to promises of an oil pipeline through Armenia would be the gravest historical tragedy for the Armenian people.

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