Armenian Security Chief Dismisses Talk of Imminent war with Azerbaijan

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–A top Armenian security official on Friday dismissed speculation that a new war with Azerbaijan is imminent after Azerbaijani forces last week attacked an outpost in Nagorno-Karabakh, sparking deadly fighting that claimed the lives of four Armenian soldiers.

The clash, which Yerevan says resulted from an Azerbaijani attack on Karabakh Armenian army positions, underlined the shaky state of a ceasefire that has kept the Karabakh conflict essentially frozen for the past 16 years.

“We are now prepared for any scenario, but do not support artificial rumors circulating in our society that war is imminent,” said Artur Baghdasarian, the secretary of President Serzh Sarkisian’s National Security Council. “On the contrary, I condemn such statements.”

“We must realize that we live in a difficult region and have an unresolved crisis which means that as long as this period of relative peace lasts our armed forces must be ready to repel any military aggression,” Baghdasarian told a news conference. He insisted that the armed forces of Armenia and Karabakh are “sufficiently combat-ready” to fight back a possible Azerbaijani offensive.

Echoing a statement by Sarkisian, Baghdasarian said the incident will not influence Armenia’s position in peace negotiations with Azerbaijan. “Armenia is committed to continuing peace negotiations, and we believe that we must not succumb to various provocations or organized sabotage actions,” he said.

Like the Armenian president, Baghdasarian also made clear that Yerevan will not drop its insistence on a peaceful settlement that would preclude Karabakh’s return under Azerbaijani rule and give the disputed enclave a reliable overland link with Armenia proper. The Armenian side will also continue to seek international “security guarantees” for Karabakh, he added.

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6 Comments

  1. F.Munoz CL said:

    He’s right… Armenia-Artsakh should never start any war with AZ, it’s better to wait an azeri invasion, something that would be condemned in all the world. Many countries that aren’t Europe or USA doesn’t know too much respecting NK conflict, but an azeri-muslim invasion of NKR would be seen in the news, and would cause the same condemns and concerns that were made during the Kosovo War. Obviously, that could not happen if some countries (USA and EU) appears in the news supporting ‘Aliyevstan’ (for Oil reasons, oh yeah).

  2. Nairian said:

    Yeah F.Munoz, That’s true. It is far better and appropriate to wait for the azeri invasion first. But I don’t feel good about (USA, EU and Israel), those countries are not only oil oriented but I am afraid they will support (hopefully not) the azeris against Iran.

  3. MihranK said:

    Don’t ever expect US,EU,or Israel supporting Armenia, they will be backing OIL,which means the Azeris.
    These countries have no morality all they are interested is in profit and what better than OIL, classic case is Iraq, just look at the mess they have put Iraq in, they are trying the same tactics to Iran, in order to have Iran in their pockets as they have Iraq.

  4. Berge Jololian said:

    “Azerbaijan is Israel’s top trade partner in the Muslim world with an annual trade volume in 2008 of $3.5 billion. It is the second largest exporter of oil to Israel after Russia.”

  5. Edward Demian said:

    AZ will try to provoke. Perhaps not with an all out invasion but with many sometime separate, sometimes simultaneous small probing attacks all along the contact border. This was a trial run. Many more will follow. The only way for Armenia to prevent that, is to retaliate with overwhelming response. If it was Israel, by now some barrack would go up in smoke with a body count of at least forty. Ten to one. That is the magic ratio that would work for us. Its in the Bible, an eye for an eye; and these people, the Muslim Tatars, are a primitive people, living a primitive life, having primitive dreams, praying to a primitive interpretation of Islam. They are not the first to conquer an area and feel compelled to wipe out the native population. The Azery Tatars are very insecure about their position in the Caucasus, and therefore will not rest until they exterminate and drive out all Cristian natives. And the Turks egg them on with visions of pan-Turkism. Left to their own devices, they would never stop. The language of fear, crudity, force, superstition is what they grow up with,and all they understand. We have to resolve not only to fight but to fight and win decisively. We have to give Azerbaijian such a resounding defeat,that they never recover. We may have to break up Azerbaijian into a federation of small ethnic based entities. This should be our stated objective and solution. A united federated Caucasus, much like EU, with Armenia taking the leading role. A complete demilitarization of the Caucasus is to be our eventual goal, and no more petty dictators, Neither Aliev with his Adolf mustache, n’or any other clown like leaders. The age of dictators is over.
    That’s what I think.

  6. Vahe' said:

    I remember Iran during 80s war with Saddam.
    The creation of ” Artesh 20 Milioni” , mobilization of masses, militia , revolutionaries , fadayis , Jahadies and the list goes on , and we saw who came out victorious.
    Armenia should mobilize all his forces and create similar fighting force of masses and counter attack azarbaijan the same way Israel does with her enemies.
    Does Israel gave a damn about world opinion ? No , Never. Her only gal is to safe keeping of israelis.
    I would say lets entertain the idea of ” Army of 1 Millions” , lets give the tatars the lesson that they will never forget.
    Still Shahumian , Golestan is under occupation of tatars.

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