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Azerbaijan – Armenia Consider Tourism Options

By Dr Shahid Qureshi:   : —

For Azerbaijan after the occupation of its sovereign areas Armenia has proven to be a neighbour from hell who is causing harm to the millions of people in the occupied territories and those who are displaced as a result. Armenians are backed by the former soviet big brother who seems to be join in and supporting this illegal occupation. This issue has obviously invited international players in the region. If Russia was a ‘wise elder brother’ it would have helped resolved this issue long time ago. This issue is ongoing for over 20 years and had Russian resolved this issue there might not be a Ukraine on its doorsteps. I know it is not as simple as that but it is also not that complicated in the one has to do things hard way like it or not.

Obviously UN has become a useless tool for the majority countries and this UN’s VETO – Viagra power of some members must be rationalised in 21st century. This lolly pop of non-permanent joining in the security council for limited period is not more than a scam. This whole thing is non democratic and irrational. UN is good at putting the issues in a freezer and not more than a talk shop. May be it should be moved to somewhere in Europe or Asia where more people live. It has put the issue of Nagorno Karabakh into the freezer as it suits the Armenia and its backer Russia.

Now one has to find a realistic solution of this injustice and stop the sufferings of the refugees and internally displaced people in the region. These are hotspots and must be handled carefully and wisely. There is no way which all parties be happy so we need to identify ‘victims and perpetrators’ of this issue. I think on this UN has done some work and passed four resolutions.  In 1993 April and November the UN Security Council have passed four resolution numbers: 822, 853, 874 and 884 demanding immediate withdrawal of all occupying Armenian forces from Azerbaijan. Due to the full support of the Russian Federation all UNSC resolutions were ignored by Armenia.

While talking to Mr Hikmat Hajiyev the spokesman of the Government of Azerbaijan at the foreign ministry in Baku during press briefing I gave him an example that: “If you don’t put sugar in your tea and no matter how many times you stir or shake it will never be sweet and that is your position with the issue of Nagorno Karabakh which is occupied by the Armenian. You need to do something different and more solution focused with all options open.

I told him that: “UN has become a useless body for Muslim countries especially and has completely failed to protect the member states and rights of the people. Having said that: UN is too quick to resolve East Timor and South Sudan just because they are Christian dominated areas and it suits the security council where not a single Muslim country permanent member with Veto Powers who could represent over 1.5 billion Muslims of over 55 countries. The issue of Kashmir and Palestine is the long standing with UN resolutions since 1948”.

We spoke to some people from the occupied territories who seems frustrated and angry said: “they can take their areas back swiftly from Armenia”. They were forcibly displaced by the Armenians and have become refugees within Azerbaijan. If this issue not addressed there might be a movement for the liberation of Nagorno Karabakh. According to the UN charter “people occupied by foreign forces have right to ‘resist and start armed liberation’ until the occupying forces leave their area”. That is true for Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. Imagine if international players jump into support the liberation rights of the occupied people with ‘Berezniki Doctrine’ in place it will become impossible for big brother Russia to contain and its influence in the region will shrunk.

“As per following ‘Brzezinski Doctrine’, Turkey is new Pakistan in the region as US is in habit putting too much pressures on it friend until they collapse, damaged and destroyed. We have no reason not to believe US President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski who reportedly said that US lured the Soviets into Afghanistan trap and give USSR its Vietnam.

At the same time Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Interview with Le Nouvel Observateur’s Published 15-21st January 1998, and Translated by Jean Martineau makes clear: “The Muslim Terrorist Apparatus was Created by US Intelligence as a Geopolitical Weapon”.

Well let’s start with Afghan Mujahidins, later know as Taliban further rebranded Al-AQeeda and now also known as (aka) Daesh or ISIL. The US & European States are still using Brzezinski’s Muslim terrorist strategy.  Below is interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski.  It is important for three reasons….”

“Turkey and Russia victims of ‘Brzezinski Doctrine’, The London Published on November 29, 2015, By Dr Shahid Qureshi.

Read more – https://thelondonpost.net/turkey-and-russia-victims-of-brzezinski-doctrine/

“The collapse of the USSR in 1991 and political instability in Azerbaijan and in Armenia encouraged the Armenians to attack Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh, in the city of Khojaly in 1992.  Known as the Khojaly genocide, thousands of Azerbaijani residents were killed or captured and Khojaly City itself was destroyed.  In his book Black Garden, (2003) British journalist Thomas de Waal published an interview with the President of Armenia and an Armenian field commander commenting on the destruction of Kholjaly.  The former field commander said: “Before Khojaly, Azerbaijanis thought they could play tricks with us.  They thought Armenians would never touch civilians.  We were able to break that myth. In 1993, the Armenian armed forces occupied six districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, resulting in the occupation of almost one-fifth of Azerbaijan’s territory.

The London Post published an article on 20th August 2015: Nagorno-Karabakh: Can we resolve the conflict?

Read more: https://thelondonpost.net/nagorno-karabakh-can-we-resolve-the-conflict/

I mentioned at press briefing at the Foreign Ministry that: ‘if nothing is working for now they can however take this matter to the international Criminal Court (ICC), International Court of Justice, and the European Court, and if rules needs changing with regards to jurisdiction of the ICC they must. We cannot obviously expect the perpetrators of crimes in this case Armenia to accept the responsibility of their actions. Hence rule must be changed to make ICC a viable and effective body.

The Prime Minister and military and civil officials of Armenia must be put on trial for war crimes and atrocities committed in International court of Justice. If that is not possible than:

(a) Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court must take “Suo motto” and order open trial of those responsible for genocide in Nakgorno Karabakh.

(b) The Supreme Court has a jurisdiction as crimes have been commented on Azerbaijan soil.

(C) The Supreme Court Order Government of Azerbaijan to issue Red Warrants to the Interpol for the arrests of the Armenian leaders involved in the war crimes and genocide of the people of Azerbaijan.

This issue has become a ‘ping pong’ game and talk shop for the international players who could resolve it in one day. Arms dealers from various countries have been able to sell arms and equipment to Azerbaijan. On the other hand, officials told me that Russian forces are supporting the Armenian army and there are daily exchange of fires causing injuries and deaths hence it is a ‘Live Conflict’.

I said in a live TV program “The Debate” on 27 October 2015 on Press TV that: If Russians really want to have goodwill in Muslim countries they must help resolve Nagorno Karabakh and Kashmir issues. See link of the program.

Watch to click line:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxlhYQgcIRM

According to the latest reports from the region ‘tensions are on the rise’ and probably patience of Azerbaijan is running out and Al-Jazeera reported on 22/12/14 that “Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of all-out ‘war’.

Armenia says a ceasefire with neighbouring Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh no longer exists, describing frequent skirmishes at the front line as “war”. Artsrun Hovhannisyan, a spokesman of Armenia’s defence ministry, said that Azerbaijan was using “all existing armaments: tanks, howitzers, and anti-aircraft artillery” against Armenian soldiers in the disputed region. “What we have today is a war,” said Hovhannisyan. “We must use the word ‘war’ as there is no ceasefire anymore.”

Azerbaijan responded with counter-accusations, blaming Armenia for the recent escalation. “Ceasefire violations are taking place because of the illegal presence of Armenian forces in the occupied lands of Azerbaijan,” Hikmat Hajiyevm, Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry spokesman, told the AFP news agency.

“Armenia has to withdraw from the seized lands … only afterwards the sustainable peace can be guaranteed in the region.” Energy-rich Azerbaijan, whose military spending exceeds Armenia’s entire state budget, has repeatedly threatened to take back the breakaway region by force if negotiations fail to yield results. Moscow-backed Armenia says it could crush any offensive.

Earlier in December 2015, Azerbaijani tanks shelled positions in the Nagorno-Karabakh region for the first time in more than 20 years, the rebel defence ministry said. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) mediators recently warned “the status quo has become unsustainable”.

I spoke to few defence analysts of the region who were very positive about improving relations with Armenia if it let go its ‘nostalgic claims’ what they call is ‘Armenian illness’. One of them was of the view in case peace prevailed Armenian economy will go sky high by just tourism activity. He said: ‘if tourists from Azerbaijan and region just buy one bottle of water on way it will make enormous difference to the economy. Armenians will be able to access local sea and land routes of neighbouring countries including Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and off course Russia.

PS: Article was published in Open Central Asia Magazine February 2016

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He is a PhD in Political Psychology and also studied Law at a British University)

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