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YEREVAN. - Hayots Ashkharh daily conducted an interview with ruling coalition’s Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) MP and press secretary Eduard Sharmazanov:

Is it not worrisome [Azerbaijani President Ilham] Aliyev’s “precaution” that Azerbaijan has the right to restore its territorial integrity in any way, and that no one can predict the consequences of various scenarios at the border line?

In this way Aliyev is of course continuing to refuse from its commitments. Despite joint declarations by the presidents of [OSCE] Minsk Group Co-Chairing countries and the three Co-Chairs, even [despite] those documents which Azerbaijani President has signed under and which record that the [Karabakh] conflict can be settled solely by peaceful means, the President of Azerbaijan is continuing to preach war. I believe this perilous policy should not only cause concern for the international community, but it should also receive a prompt response. Aliyev must finally understand that self-determination of the people of Artsakh [Karabakh] has no connection with Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. The Artsakh conflict can be quickly resolved by exclusively two alternatives. First, when Azerbaijan possesses so much good sense that it starts talks with NKR [Nagorno-Karabakh Republic] authorities and recognizes NKR’s legal status. This alternative is unavoidable, even if it is not carried out quickly. And if Aliyev rules out good sense, launches a political adventure, and unleashes war, there would really be a quick solution, since that adventurousness would quickly end with capitulation of the Azerbaijani army. After that, Aliyev would finally reconcile with the thought that now only the Armenian tricolor can wave in [NKR capital] Stepanakert.     

But Aliyev demands the return of Azerbaijani refugees and the withdrawal of Armenian troops from “occupied” territories.    

If Aliyev’s demand is objective, he should immediately order the Azerbaijani troops to withdraw from really occupied truly Armenian territories: Getashen, Martunashen, and northern Martakert. If Aliyev is speaking about refugees, he first and foremost must underscore that state-orchestrated pogroms took place in Azerbaijan SSR cities. More than half million Armenians were forcibly deported from Gandzak, Baku, and Sumgait. Aliyev must also be able to perceive that right to self-determination of nations—and in this case, of the Artsakh people—is a universal objective, whereas territorial integrity, just a principle which must contribute to execution of the undisputed right. If the world were to be guided by Aliyev’s logic, new states would not have emerged in the world. In the meantime, the triumphal march of the right of national self-determination is continuing now, and the people of Artsakh are building their future by their will and actions.

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