Azeri Party Says War Inevitable Without Direct Dialogue

BAKU (BBC)–A leading opposition party in Azerbaijan–the Azeri Social Democratic Party–issued a report recently warning that without direct dialogue with Nagorno-Karabakh–war would be inevitable.

The Azeri Yeddi Gun newspaper–excerpted the report–which is published below–courtesy of the BBC.

The report indicated that while the authorities were attempting to start up dialogue with the opposition on the resolution of the Karabakh problem–the outcome has turned out to be unsatisfactory. The opposition also expressed such a desire–but nothing came of it.

The pro-government Democratic Alliance neither "extended a hand" to the Movement for Democracy–nor did the MD to the DA. After a short time the Azeri Social Democratic Party brought the Karabakh problem to the public’s attention and–excluding the ruling New Azerbaijan Party–succeeded in uniting the authorities and the opposition representatives.

"The ASDP officials believe that only the initiation of direct negotiations with the Karabakh Armenia’s can resolve the problem; they also favor: q granting autonomy to Nagorno- Karabakh on the basis of self- administration; q retaining a corridor between Armenia and Karabakh under international {peace} keeping forces and the Azeri customs authorities; q declaring Karabakh a free economic zone–and so on.

"We would like to recall that this concept of the ASDP’s was voiced earlier too. As before–the concept was not received positively. Both sides–representatives of the opposition and the authorities–said that settlement of the conflict under these conditions would mean the loss of Karabakh at the least. Thus–there is no use in talking about the significance of the proposal if it is not supported by the majority."

However–the cochairmen of the ASDP–Zardusht Alizade expressed that the ASDP members have become accustomed to such treatment. Their proposals were first rejected by public opinion and then they were accepted within three to five years after the population encounters disastrous problems.

Alizade was confident that sooner or later their proposals will be accepted and direct talks with the Armenia’s will be started. "Otherwise–war is inevitable."

The cochairmen thinks that unleashing a war will mean defeat–given the current state of the economy–the armed forces and the internal situation."

The ruling party representatives did not attend the meeting.

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