BRUSSELS—In a statement to the OSCE, the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy expressed its profound concern about the danger to the Caucasus security, and in particular to Armenia and its population, resulting from Azerbaijan’s increased arms build-up and militant policies.
The call refers to Azerbaijan’s excessive new investment in military hardware and technology and the policy statements of the Azeri President with respect to peace negotiations concerning the Karabakh conflict, under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. Given the present realities in Azerbaijan and the threatening posture of the Aliyev regime, the Federation concluded that Azerbaijan has violated the fundamental principles of international negotiations by seriously committing itself to the military option while giving lip service to the OSCE process. The Federation strongly urges the Co-Chairs to refocus their efforts, first and foremost, on the grave security threats resulting from Azerbaijan’s current national priorities. Azerbaijan cannot be allowed to negotiate from a position of open belligerence while the Armenian side negotiates in good faith.
Indeed, Azerbaijan has multiplied its budget for armaments from $175 million in 2004 to $2.5 billion in 2009. President Aliyev’s intensified warmongering declarations are thus substantiated, pointing towards a real possibility of an Azeri resumption of hostilities.
The Federation denounces recent statements made by President Aliyev in London, which highlight his refusal of any concession on the Karabakh issue, and his persistence to speak about mere “autonomy” for Karabakh under Azeri sovereignty, a position which, in effect, puts an end to the OSCE negotiations process as it has existed so far.
The European Armenian Federation calls on the Co-Chairs to take Azerbaijan’s military ambitions in the region seriously and, therefore, demand solid non-aggression guaranties from the Azeri state prior to any further discussions relating to the Minsk Group agenda. In the present circumstances, a non-aggression pact obligating Azerbaijan to peace is the only meaningful objective for OSCE before any further moves could be considered.
“Armenia and the Nagorno Karabakh Republic have a right to secure themselves against the continuing threats from Azerbaijan. Furthermore, the future negotiating process must not exclude the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, as a full-fledged party to the negotiations. The Azerbaijani security threats are first directed at the people of Nagorno Karabakh, which must have its independent say in the process,” stated Hilda Tchoboian, President of the European Armenian Federation.