Armenia – Azerbaijan Foreign Policy Games

Another wave of discussions on Armenia – Azerbaijan foreign policy games swept through the Armenian blogosphere this week, which almost always means there’s nothing else interesting going on in the country. Considering how boring this Parliamentary election campaign is going, I might just as well be right on this one 🙂
The week started on Armenian bewilderment (Hyelog) on US State Department’s second amendment of the human rights report on Armenia, which was re-phrased once again as: ““Armenia continues to occupy the Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding Azerbaijani territories”. The Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Karapetian had said on April 26 that “we thought the mistake was corrected and are bewildered by such an unserious approach.”
Bloggers freedomfight777 and Kornelij Glas seemed to enjoy NKR Chief of Army, General Seyran Ohanyan’s answer to the US State Dep. more than any wise wording forged out by the Armenian FM. The general had said “These are our historic lands, in which a security zone has been created as a result of military action. We consider them as liberated territories and they have only one function – serve for our security”.
The Kharabakh conflict remained in focus with Azeri FM Elmar Mammedyarov and Ilham Aliev both making statements about Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks.

The Azeri Foreign Minister also stated that the best Nagorno-Karabakh could hope for is a high-level of autonomy within the framework of Azerbaijan proper.
It must be remembered that the Azeri Foreign Minister has been known to make such optimistic observations of the negotiations process in the past, which have been proven to be unfounded. (SASSNA DZRER)

The statements by Ilham Aliyev seemed more outrageous, and the Armenian FM and Prime Minister reacted pretty fast as Kornelij Glas notes. The topic is best covered by Hyelog:

In his speech, Aliev also said that Karabakh’s status should be determined after the liberation of the Armenian-occpuied districts “within the framework of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.” “Those [Karabakh Armenians] that want independence should move to Armenia,” he said.
[]
“I don’t known what goals the president of Azerbaijan is pursuing, but it is known to everyone that we have principles and those principles haven’t changed,” Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian told RFE/RL. “So take Aliev’s statements easy.”

As you can see, life goes on as usual, with paranoia and lies following from both sides. To conclude let me point to the post at Blogrel about Azeri MP Azay Guliyev’s plans to develop a law in Azerbaijan which bans local NGOs to contact Armenian NGOs – paranoia in action!

5 thoughts on “Armenia – Azerbaijan Foreign Policy Games

  1. Reply
    chello - 06.05.2007

    Why do you mention blogs like HYELOG ??
    They only reprint news articles from Primary Sources. There is no personal commentary or analysis. I’d rather go to the source itself to read the news and not a “blog” which offers nothing extra of interest!!

  2. Reply
    Observer - 06.05.2007

    Actually – i’ve been thinking about this for quite a while, and have decided to use blogs like Hyelog. My justification is this – when, from all the wealth of information Vahe Balabanyan picks this or that piece of information, he brings his attitude into the process of sharing/digesting information, and in my opinion, that’s what blogging is all about: bringing a subjective/human perspective to blogging.
    More then that – the way he cuts the articles, leaving only pieces of interest, and sometimes comments in bold, is already serious blogging, so why not? However, I’m ready to discuss this point more – as I’m thinking of the issue myself. For now, when he reports on something that nobody else has done, or brings a better source then anybody else, I find no problem in reporting on that. What do you think?

  3. Reply
    chello - 08.05.2007

    I’d agree with you if Hyelog and similar blogs focused on a particular field of interest or speciality, for example Artsakh, diaspora news or exclusively ROA. But they’re all over the place and cannot possibly serve as a abridged guide to the interested reader.
    Honestly, rarely have I read any type of commentary in Hyelog. And I can’t see how his selection of articles somehow reflects on his personal tastes and tendencies – there seems to be no rationale to the selection process. It appears quite random to me.
    I have no problem with blogs that reprint news and info that won’t be found in the mainstream media outlets. This is a convenience all would welcome.

  4. Reply
    kronstadt - 08.05.2007

    in one of ANCA’s regular newsleters (April 23) this topic seems to be comered somewhat differently:
    Armenian National Committee of America
    1711 N Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
    Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 * [email protected]
    PRESS RELEASE
    For Immediate Release ~ 2007-04-19
    Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian ~ Tel: (202) 775-1918
    STATE DEPARTMENT REVISES MISSTATEMENT REGARDING NAGORNO KARABAGH
    WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of State has revised the mistaken assertion, within the Armenia section of its recently released annual human rights report, that, “Armenia continues to occupy the Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabagh and seven surrounding Azerbaijani territories,” reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
    The amended language, released this week, has been posted on the Department’s website. It reads as follows: “Armenian forces occupy large portions of Azerbaijan territory adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian officials maintain that they do not ‘occupy’ Nagorno-Karabakh itself.” The Azerbaijan section, which included nearly identical language, has yet to be revised.
    “We take note of the fact that the State Department has responded to our concern that the report’s mischaracterization of Nagorno Karabagh’s status would be detrimental to the U.S. government’s role as an impartial mediator of the Minsk Group negotiations,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We remain concerned that the amended text continues to fall short of accurately describing the situation, as well as by the fact that the Azerbaijan section of the report continues to make incorrect assertions, thus making its text inconsistent with the State Department’s own revision of the Armenia section.”
    ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian, in an April 3, 2007 letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, expressed the Armenian American community’s profound concern that, “such statements fundamentally misrepresent the well-documented reality in the region, contradict the Department’s previous human rights reports, and undermine the credibility of the United States as an impartial arbiter destined to a leadership role in the OSCE Minsk Group peace process.” He added that, “These unprecedented assertions are both factually inaccurate and counter-productive to our government’s aim of reaching a durable resolution to the Nagorno Karabagh conflict. To say that Nagorno Karabagh is an Azerbaijani territory and that Armenia occupies Nagorno Karabagh and other territories is to ignore the very fundamentals of this conflict. These statements only serve to send the wrong message to the Azerbaijani side and further complicate the peace negotiations.”
    The Armenia report can be viewed online at:
    http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78799.htm
    The Azerbaijan report can be viewed online at:
    http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78801.htm
    The full text of the ANCA letter is provided below.
    #####
    Text of ANCA letter to Secretary Rice
    April 3, 2007
    The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
    Secretary of State
    U.S. Department of State
    Washington, DC 20520
    Dear Secretary Rice:
    I am writing to share with you our profound concern that serious misstatements, portraying Armenia as an occupier of Azerbaijani territory, have made their way into the Armenia and Azerbaijan sections of the 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, recently released by the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Such statements fundamentally misrepresent the well-documented reality in the region, contradict the Department’s previous human rights reports, and undermine the credibility of the United States as an impartial arbiter destined to a leadership role in the OSCE Minsk Group peace process.
    I refer specifically to the following sentence in the Armenia section (Respect for Human Rights; Section 1: Respect for the Integrity of the Person; Section A: Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life): “Armenia continues to occupy the Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabagh and seven surrounding Azerbaijani territories.” I also refer to the equivalent sentence in the Azerbaijan section (Respect for Human Rights; Section 1: Respect for the Integrity of the Person; Section A: Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life): “Armenia continued to occupy the Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding Azerbaijani territories.”
    These unprecedented assertions are both factually inaccurate and counter-productive to our government’s aim of reaching a durable resolution to the Nagorno Karabagh conflict. To say that Nagorno Karabagh is an Azerbaijani territory and that Armenia occupies Nagorno Karabagh and other territories is to ignore the very fundamentals of this conflict. These statements only serve to send the wrong message to the Azerbaijani side and further complicate the peace negotiations.
    To the Department’s credit, it does appear that, in the weeks since the initial release of the 2006 Report, there has been an effort, albeit an awkward and insufficient one, to recognize this fact by adding an asterisk modifying the word “Armenia” with the phrase “Armenian forces.” Unfortunately, rather than clarifying the situation, this modification has only added to the confusion surrounding this issue.
    In the interest of truth and for the sake of an effective peacemaking role by the United States, it is imperative that these sentences be struck in their entirety from both the Armenia and Azerbaijan sections, thus reaffirming U.S. policy on the side of fairness and lasting peace.
    I look forward to learning of your prompt action on this matter and would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss this issue in greater detail.
    Sincerely yours,
    [signed]
    Kenneth V. Hachikian
    Chairman
    cc: Paula Dobriansky, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs
    Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs
    Barry Lowenkron, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
    Matthew Bryza, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs

  5. Reply
    kronstadt - 08.05.2007

    I am not sure if this is true, but here it is… again from ANCA.
    State Department Revises Misstatement Regarding Nagorno Karabagh
    WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of State has revised the mistaken assertion, within the Armenia section of its recently released annual human rights report, that, “Armenia continues to occupy the Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabagh and seven surrounding Azerbaijani territories,” reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
    The amended language, released this week, has been posted on the Department’s website. It reads as follows: “Armenian forces occupy large portions of Azerbaijan territory adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian officials maintain that they do not ‘occupy’ Nagorno-Karabakh itself.” The Azerbaijan section, which included nearly identical language, has yet to be revised.

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