Armen Rustamian Comments On Azeri Calls for War

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Sentimen’s that the war was unfairly lost are strong in Azerbaijan and the unwillingness to put up with the decision on peaceful settlement is obvious. In principle–the public is ready to give preference to the military way of settling the conflict," Shahin Rzayev of the Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan told reporters.

According to Rzayev–the publication of the three settlement schemes proposed by the OSCE Minsk Group in the Azeri press was followed by a new wave of heated debate over the issue–the wish for the problem to be settled in a military way prevailing. According to polls conducted by Azeri television and newspapers–most of the citizens of Azerbaijan pronounced for the military means of settlement. On the other hand–Rzayev said–many in Azerbaijan ask questions about the reason for the new wave of tension in society–regarding the Karabakh problem. The most popular explanation is the aspiration to divert the public’s attention from social problems. According to another supposition–it is a test thrown by Aliyev to see the reaction of the public to the current stage of the Karabakh settlement.

In his March 6 interview to the "Golos Armenii" (Republic of Armenia) newspaper–the Minister of Defense of Armenia Serge Sargsian said–"I can now say again what I have been saying during the last five-six years. If the Azeri army was able to settle the Karabakh problem by force of arms–it would have done it long ago. Of course–military operations are now impossible to forecast–but I will note that today we are much better prepared than in 1992-1993."

In his recent interview–ARF Executive Council and Parliament member Armen Rustamian also expressed his opinion on the issue. "We gained victory at the cost of blood–and we will not give in. And if appeals for war prevail in the public opinion of Azerbaijan–it is regrettable–for it entails more serious consequences to Azerbaijan. Considering such developmen’s in the neighboring state–the Armenian side has been following the principle ‘if you want peace–get ready for war,’" Rustamian said.

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