Karabakh Insists on Having Final Say In Peace Process

Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Foreign Minister Georgi Petrosian

BY LUSINE MUSAYELIAN

STEPANAKERT (RFE/RL)—Possible peace agreements reached by Armenia and Azerbaijan could not be put into practice without being approved by Nagorno-Karabakh’s e leadership, a senior official in Stepanakert warned on Tuesday.
Georgi Petrosian, foreign minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, also declined to comment on chances of a breakthrough at this week’s Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in Kazan, Russia. “We are in a wait-and-see regime,” he said.

International mediators hope that presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev will finalize the basic principles of resolving the Karabakh conflict at that meeting.

Petrosian did not specify the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic leadership’s position on those principles put forward by the U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. Nor would he say how the Karabakh Armenians will react if Aliyev and Sarkisian cut a deal not acceptable to them.

Petrosian said only that Karabakh should have the final say on any peace accord. “One can destroy us, but one can’t make decisions without us,” he told journalists. “In the latter case, one must say, ‘We are ready to destroy you.’ But one must say it openly.”

“International documents concerning Karabakh say that the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is a party to the conflict. If we, being such a party, were able to stop the war and sign a truce [in 1994,] then we also have the right to build our future, a peaceful future,” he added.

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian likewise said last week that the framework accord pushed by the mediators would have to be approved by the Karabakh Armenians. “It will be impossible to switch to the second phase [of the peace process] if Karabakh doesn’t agree to the basic principles,” he said.

The Minsk Group co-chairs normally visit Stepanakert and meet Karabakh officials during their regular tours of the conflict zone. However, Azerbaijan has refused to directly negotiate with Karabakh since the late 1990s, saying that the territory is occupied by Armenia and has no legitimate government.

Unlike official Yerevan, the Stepanakert government is thought to have serious misgivings about the peace formula favored by the mediators. But it has until now avoided voicing them publicly, stressing instead the need for Karabakh’s renewed participation in Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks.

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12 Comments

  1. John A. said:

    Karabagh has no say in the issue. Russia is making a deal with Azerbaijan to sell out Armenians. We Armenians will never learn.

  2. Halo said:

    I agree completely with the NKR position. It was the people of NKR who who were discriminated against and brutalized. They shed their blood and did whatever it took to protect their lands and families, now only their word is final. Azerbaijan, Europe, Russia, US, OSCE, BS, Minsk, Schminsk means nothing to the people of NKR.

  3. Lusik said:

    Georgi Petrosian puts it right.
    Moreover, in 1994 Artsakh made a human, noble, generous gesture by stopping its advancing in liberation of its land and agreeing to set a truce.
    None is talking about that.
    None has appreciated that.
    Contrary, Azerbaijan, as soon as found its breath back, turned into a canning, aggressive evil.
    Even so, Artsakh keeps building his independent state, despite the great appetites of its enemies to see the opposite.

  4. Lusik said:

    The Artsakh problem is an carpet of very broad spectrum of colors. So many nations are involved, that it is a unique case, indeed!
    The reason for giving away Artsakh to Azerbaijan in early 20th by Stalin, was that Armenians were the only (and some Russians) skilled workers in oil production. The same understanding was driving British representatives, when they stopped Dro and Andranik on their marching for liberation of Artsakh. Jews, as usually, took later control over the banks and put Armenians on their list of “unwanted”-s. The spirit is the same today.
    The same message is in words of FM of Artsakh – Mr. Petrosian, saying that Azeris can destroy them, but can’t solve a problem without them.
    Turkey also understand that. Even Erdogan acknowledged that in 1915 they were exterminating the most skilled and progressed part of Turkey citizenry.

    Now, what Russia was doing before, it keeps doing today also. Russians were always deeply indifferent to other nations inspirations. To their credit – they never hided it from “minorities”. Recall “veliko-russki shovinism”. I am simply wandering if Mr. Medvedev has a mania of Stalin?

  5. Papken Hartunian said:

    “One can destroy us, but one can’t make decisions without us,”
    Mr. Petrosian must attract Armenian scientists to build modern arms for his Army. Mr. Petrosian and any other armenian for that matter should stop talking as victims. Artsakhians should have changed armenians mentalities. We must say that we will destroy whoever attempts to trasspass us rather than pasimistic slogons. Mr. Petrosian, no one can destroy us. Speak like vctorious rather than as a victim.

  6. Ararat said:

    What’s really puzzling to me is the fact that the enemy who lost the war gets to make demands of us. I guess if you have massive oil reserves you get to bribe the world powers and make a transformation from being the aggressor to being the victim with a list of demands. It was not too long ago in WWI that Turkey, another aggressor, gained more territory even though it lost the war. I wish the Armenian forces had refused the cease-fire and taken over half that fake Azeri republic. This fake country was created by the Ottomans in 1918 to establish a foothold in the Caucasus in order to materialize the Pan-Turanist vision by eliminating Armenia. I suppose that’s why even today the Turkish Prime Minister calls the fake Azeri republic an extension of Turkey.

    The Armenians of Artsakh are absolutely right. There should NOT be any peace deal without their consent and direct participation in the peace process. It’s rather hypocritical of Azeris and Turks to talk about territorial integrity when the territorial integrity of Armenia extends into Artsakh and Nakhichevan in the east and deep into Anatolia in the west, yet these territories are occupied by our enemies.

    I hope one day Armenia will be strong enough to fully dictate its own future with no foreign intervention. The people responsible for this misery are the Turks, Azeris, Pan-Turkish ideology and the Soviets. We already know too well what the Turks did. The Soviets with their power to redraw borders and with their “divide-and-rule” policies declared Artsakh an Armenian entity while they secured the incorporation of Armenia into the Soviet Union by minimizing the Armenian resistance to the Red Army. Once they accomplished this, they turned around and placed Artsakh under Azeri administrative rule to make Armenians hostage to their policies.

    Regardless, Artsakh is an integral part of the ancient Armenian homeland and these injustices were done within the Soviet Union and furthermore Artsakh has never been a part of the independent fake Azerbaijan.

  7. MK said:

    As I said many times before, Serzh will sell out Karabagh as soon as its politically convenient for him,first he will give back the 7 liberated regions to the Azeris and after that it will be game set and match for the Azeris,Serzh needs LTP on his side at this juncture so that he can ride the storm once the liberated regions are given back,never trust slippery Serzh or LTP,you do so at your peril.

  8. Norin Radd said:

    This is nothing new, those “in the know” know fully well exactly what lands belong to the Armenians and how the 20th century was comprised of Armenians being swindled and robbed of their lands and properties to the tune of 1.5 million Genocidal deaths.

    The world also knows what happened when our “friends” tried to sweep the Genocidal killings of our families under the rug all in the name of “politics”, Armenians armed guerilla political warfare and assassinations ensued between the 1940s – 1980s with those that deserved it justly getting what was coming to them.

    The end of the 20th century saw the culmination of our struggles materialize into our battle for independence which led to a victorious liberation of our lands that had been “gifted” by the bolsheviks to occupying Azeris.

    However, with all this, it seems in the 21st century, the powers that be are up to their old tricks again, making big promises of “peacekeeping forces” and “mediation” while they collect what they need at the expense of our lands, way of life, and independence. Armenians in the Diaspora, Armenia, and Arstakh need to be ready to take up the mantle of armed “reminders” once again more brutally than ever before.

    We do not have capital in the form of Oil money to buy European and US “friends”, but as we have proved throughout the 20th century, we have large stocks of capital of “will” and “determination” to do what it takes either through peaceful political means or if necessary merciless violence to protect our rights and our lands as a people.

    The world needs to simply accept the fact that the fight was taken to us in the form of pogroms in Arstakh and we beat those Azeri mutts back to the holes they crawled out of while reclaiming ancestral lands that were “gifted” away by third parties in power. Winners do not negotiate, losers accept defeat, and that is that. If this simple fact cannot be accepted, then Armenians need to do their own saber rattling and put the possibility of violence, armed propaganda, and guerilla warfare throughout the Diaspora, in Arstakh, and Armenia back on the table. Other nations WILL NOT decide our fate in the 21st century, we will, and Armenians have proven that they are ready and willing to kill for that right.

  9. Norin Radd said:

    If war with Azerbaijan does break out, all Armenian forces must converge on every singles piece of machinery and pipeline that has to do with Azeri oil and natural gas. Every single bit of it must be burned to the ground.

  10. ashot said:

    dont give them an inch of land back…there goal is to whipe us out.

  11. Stepan said:

    I just returned from my first visit to Karabagh and all you have to do is to look in the eyes of the people to understand their resolve. They have been more than patient a process that excludes them after they defended themselves successfully against the barbarism of the Azeris. I agree with Ararat on the irony and hypocracy of the victors on the defensive. Given the reminders of their sacrifices everywhere and investment in infrastructure( builders not destroyers), they will never agree to any rule under Azerbaijan. It is our sacred responsibility to support these people.
    I will never forget the face and strength of a young man I met who was selling beautiful wood carvings to support his family… his father died during the war. Look at Stepanakert from Shushi and ask whether they will ever agree to anything less than freedom. The difference between our people in Artsakh and the Azeris is that our peolpel have their heart and soul in this land. The political hypocracy not withstanding, their presence is a major advantage. They are the stautus quo. God Bless them.

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