Baku Rejects Sniper Withdrawal

Azeri foreign minister Elmar Mammadyarov (right) with OSCE chairman Eamon Gilmore in Baku

BAKU (RFE/RL)—Azerbaijan effectively rejected on Thursday renewed international calls for the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to unconditionally withdraw snipers from “the line of contact” and agree to joint investigations of growing truce violations there.

Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore, the chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, voiced such calls when visited Yerevan and Baku this week. He reportedly insisted on the need for a concrete mechanism for such investigations after talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov on Thursday.

News reports quoted Mammadyarov as saying that Baku agrees with the idea, advanced by international mediators, in principle. “But that mechanism could work only when Armenian troops start withdrawing from Azerbaijan’s occupied territories,” he said, according to the APA news agency. “Only in that case can the mechanism be put into action.”

“If we start applying that mechanism now, that will only mean reinforcing the status quo, which is unacceptable,” Mammadyarov told a joint news conference with Gilmore.

“If Armenia does not want its soldiers to die, then it must liberate Azerbaijan’s lands. If this happens, there will be no need for snipers,” added the Azerbaijani foreign minister.

The Armenian side has voiced support for both sniper withdrawal and joint investigations. Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian reaffirmed this stance after his meeting with Gilmore on Tuesday.


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  1. ohannes said:

    i have a feeling we have to go have one more time big war with Azerbaijan and kick they bud take
    buck liberate all he Armenian land plus Nakhidjevan this the only way we can stop Alive Dog
    his a blood thirsty Dog hi like to spill more Armenian and Azerbaijan blood
    help the Azerbaijani people take him out off power put him in jail for war crime and no more
    Alive Dog

  2. danoog said:

    If this doesn’t spell things out for Clinton and the OSCE clowns, nothing will

  3. fact said:

    Azerbaijani FM Mammadyarov indeed confirms that Baku is the main source and guilty of provocations – Beside this even the statements of Azerbaijan MOD in the second or third paragraph do announce that they will continue the provocations by bringing justifications and saluting Azerbaijani I dictator at the end. One has to read their statements carefully ….
    Never the less officially Azerbaijani FM finally admits and conforms that snipers and border provocations being planned and carried out by Azerbaijan in order to blackmail Armenia and in some case even the international community. For this officials in Baku do not hesitate to murder a child and blame Armenians for it – simply to mislead the world community and have a justification for committing future criminal action, This include kidnaping of civilian and so on as we saw with Manvel….

  4. Stepan said:

    Incredible.Essentially, Azerbaijan says its ok to shoot Armenian soldiers. No respect for even for the most fundamental of international protocols. They DID SIGN a ceasefire. I know the OSCE has to put up a neutral front, but they must be frustrated with this type of response. I hope it is earning NKR and Armenia some negotiating capital.

  5. Edward Demian said:

    The US Army was experimenting with an anti-sniper gun. A computerized aparatus that triangulated the location by sound and within seconds released a burst of rounds at the shooter, before the smoke cleared.
    A few of those machines, and I guarantee that you could not force anyone to shoot anymore.

  6. Heghapokhagan said:

    This is a Joke right???
    Nope…. it’s not…
    Then I like to see someday “SOON” on the map, Artsakh with it’s Counties extending into Baku, Inside borders of Armenia, I like to see on the map Lezgistan, Talyshistan etc….

    • Heghapokhagan said:

      Since azerbaijan was fabricated into existence by Lenin, Stalin…. then Historically true owners are the rightful owners.

  7. Christo said:

    Someone,needs to educate those khar’s in azerbaijan that in most civilized societies, a painting on a wall is usually centered. That way it becomes visually appealing.
    What’s with the box of tissue box close to mammadyarov? Didn’t know FM Eamon Gilmore smoked! But the Irish FM’s body language says it all.

  8. Krikor said:

    What do you expect from international killers ???
    Armenian should give them a good lesson

  9. Masis said:

    We wish to express our gratitude to Mammadyarov for continuing to offer us the opportunity to kill and derive pleasure from killing Azeri soldiers on the front line. In fact, he and Aliyev ought to further their zeal and join the snipers on the front line. The problem with the Azeris is that, over the last 20 years, they have lost their fear of us. They need to be reminded of what happened then and that history will repeat itself. We have maintained a diplomatic stance but need to remind him that we are also prepared to have a military option as well.

    One thing that Azerbaijan is vulnerable from is Aliyev’s dictatorship. Once we topple him, the entire country will be in disarray with small factions going at each other’s throat. Once you trap the king in chess, the game is over. That’s what happened to Saddam and Kaddafi. Let’s remind Aliyev of his and his country’s vulnerability and also our plan to personally go after him should a war break out. For a guy who has gone up the ladder because of his father, such a threat should make his gonads shiver.

    • Narine said:

      Very well put, Masis. I don’t think I could have said it better myself! -except for the gonads shivering part…for one must have gonads for them to be able to shiver, and in those I assure you Aliyev is lacking.

  10. shahe said:

    Baku has yet to answer the restitution of vast plains as an integral part of Karapagh. Nagorno is not the whole of Karapagh claim, lands that were offered freely to Soviet Azerbaijan then. The file is wide open.

  11. Dvo said:

    it seems we are after all this years not rid of those turks it is we who should threat them with war it is we who should be angry they toke all our lands which is now in turkey and in azerbaijan

    after all this we should have been more agresive and stronger who the hell are they to disscuse the futere of our lands we Armenians should have stand up a long time ago

    mer hogere mer dzerkits vetrsin mer joguvordin benachenjetsin mer patmutsyune poxetsin etqan banerits heto menq himi petkeynk aveli bind u agresiv lineynk derank oven vor mer hogere masin zitjen

    zitjel bar cheka menq chenq zitjum mer aryune petqa vaxuts yerats liner

  12. Dvo said:

    asa tekats ov te inch ke metatsi chanachek artsakh vor pes ankahg petutsyun!!!

  13. Dvo said:

    Turks will never be satisfied intil all Armenians are wiped out in the face of the earth and our history shows this fact this are the same turks only under a difrend name!

    Mer patmutsyunits heto menq petkeyn shat hezor lineynk miasin

    Hayastane petqa tekats unenar bolori vra yev es Turkerin tjust tal vor menq hayeres vrejov letsvatsenq antsyalits

    hazar tari yerkir chenq unetsel himi verja pes nor hayastana tsnvel yev eli problemneri arachenq kaynats
    serants petqa tjust tanq vor nor imanan!

  14. Angela AchikgiozIan said:

    I suggest OSCE places international peacekeeping troops in the contact zone and see how disrespectful towards the law and international agreements azeries continue to kill the peacekeepers. Then, maybe, something can move forward, when the nations whose soldiers get shoot will start talking and the issue starts to be discussed on global level. It is quiet unfortunate that during the war the Russians did not let us to annexiate the Azerbaijan which was quiet possible given the fact that the nationalities living within the borders were ready to become independent entities…

  15. Escalatian said:

    Do as the Israelis do. If they kill 1, you kill 8-10. Won’t solve the problem but it will increase the cost of Azeri sniper action.

  16. John said:

    That is the Borat mentality of the Azeri barbarian. The Armenian leadership must stop depending on the OSCE to solve it’s problems. It must build a wall or build pillboxes and bunkers to protect soldiers from snipers. The government is not doing what it should be doing. Maybe Dodi Gago can donate some of his millions to build some of the bunkers and other defense systems if he wants to show that he is a real patriotic Armenian.

  17. George said:

    Aliyev knows that the West only is interested in OIL, and that the West all will to do is to entertain the Armenians so the OIL keeps flowing, the corrupt Aliyev and his family are destroying the innocent Azeri people, the lives of its soldiers and dangering Azeri land.

  18. Vasken said:

    Some of us are so ready to kick Azeri ass from the comfort of our homes in the US. It’s so amazing.

    Unless those of us who are calling for war are ready to go out there and fight, we should shut up and let Armenia’s leaders decide what to do. During the last 20 years Azeris have been modernizing their military with oil money. It’s not going to be as easy this time, as if it was easy last time.

    And in case war breaks out, I’m confident we will prevail, but at what cost? More Armenian blood. Are you ready to spill yours too?

  19. Sark said:

    I wonder if anyone talking with such bravado in these comments would give up his BMW and go off to fight in the cold mist if the shit comes down. I have a friend who served as a lieutenant on the contact line and who saw action. It is hard for a decent being to know his bullet caused the blood spoor in the bush. Yes, Armenia has dedicated soldiers, but a military confrontation with this enemy and its seasoned mercenaries with oil-bought-weapons will not be a piece of cake. Rhetoric is cheaper than having your parents’ child’s blood spilled or spilling someone else’s. If it has to happen, it will, but continued diplomacy is almost always best.

  20. BERGE MINASIAN said:

    It’s sad indeed that the Azeri regime is so backwards regarding win/win negotiation procedures. Just like children, they want to cry and stomp their feet and make noise. But eventually cooler heads will prevail; and the civilized world will place enough economic pressure and then things will change. But in the meantime the cries by our readers to punish the Azeri militarily is counter productive. If we act like aggressors agitating for military resolution to the stalemate we create a lose/lose scenerio. Let’s remember the art of war is to win without fighting.

  21. Kevo said:

    Time to ramp up the sniper activity in occupied Shahumian and Nakhijevan….
    We know they fear war…. and they do… This sniper game and cross border incursions is all they have….
    However the armed drone will be next for us to deal with…..
    We have lost to many of our young men to these snipers, yet this is the price we pay for liberation….

  22. John-Emmanuel Shirajian said:

    It is a well known fact that the best defense against a sniper is another sniper. A well meaning official from OSCE will not do. The Armenian military during Soviet times had the best snipers in the eastern block. Most of them hailed from Artsahk region This legacy is well and alive. The Armenian Armed Forces have the talent, skill and the determination to use them. The political leadership of Armenia must reciprocate the Azri move by deploying the highly trained sniper hunter units.