Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 6
By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:
The world's media has recently published a variety of articles on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in connection with the Armenian side's escalation of tensions on the frontline of Armenia and Azerbaijan, which led to huge casualties.
Media coverage of any military conflict is considered to be the most difficult and responsible task of journalism as this topic is rather sensitive to all sides of the conflict.
It is surprising how respected international media in their articles carelessly refer to the legal boundaries of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, which led to the occupation of Azerbaijani territories. Moreover, as a result of this conflict, more than one million refugees and internally displaced persons live today in very difficult conditions. They are waiting for a return to their home, their historical lands, and resting place of their ancestors.
In particular, the authors of the articles in some international media write about Nagorno-Karabakh, by using the term "enclave". The latest articles by such influential news agencies as Reuters and BBC can serve as an example.
Meanwhile, according to the international law, an enclave is any part of the country that is completely surrounded by the territory of another country.
The issue is not just a matter of the misuse of a word but sensibilities.
Perhaps, the above-mentioned media outlets are just not paying much attention to such technical definitions. But in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, it is unacceptable, as this issue is the most sensitive in the region today. Such errors make an unpleasant impression.
If the international media outlets focus on objectivity and impartiality in their activity, they must rely on the resolutions of the authoritative international organizations, the most authoritative of which is the United Nations. Four UN resolutions clearly and unambiguously recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as the territory of Azerbaijan and call for liberating these lands, which do not belong to Armenia.
"It is fundamentally wrong to call Nagorno-Karabakh "enclave"," Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev said. "These actions are provocative. Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan has always been an integral part of Azerbaijan."
"It is possible to analyze this issue in three dimensions, namely, historical, geographical and political," he added.
"Historically, the Azerbaijanis were the majority of the population of the Nagorno-Karabakh region," he said. "Political decisions regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh were made during the period of imperial Russia and the Soviet Union. A great number of Armenians were resettled in this region to create an imbalance. Geographically, it has always been a part of Azerbaijan. As for the political part of the issue, the international community recognized Azerbaijan together with Nagorno-Karabakh region. Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan."
The term 'enclave' is used with respect to Nagorno-Karabakh by the forces that are opposed to Azerbaijan and generally the international law, he said, adding that it is absurd to call Nagorno-Karabakh an 'enclave'.
Abdullayev stressed that those who call this region 'enclave', have no understanding of the international law and try to manipulate the terms.
Azerbaijani MP, Vice-Chair of the OSCE PA General Committee on Political Affairs and Security, Azay Guliyev said that enclave is any portion of a state that is entirely surrounded by the territory of other states.
"Nagorno-Karabakh has no state border with any state, let alone Armenia," he stressed.
"Nagorno-Karabakh is a region surrounded by Azerbaijan's territories and it doesn't match the status of enclave. BBC and Reuters intentionally call this region an 'enclave' trying to mislead the international community. I believe that the spread of this information in such a difficult time at best, aims to mislead the public, and at worst - is a provocation," Guliyev said.
The MP believes that such well-known international media resources as BBC and Reuters can't but have full information about Nagorno-Karabakh.
Guliyev underscored that Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is continuing more than 25 years and throughout this time even the most uninitiated media outlets were informed about the legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh, the current situation and Armenia's territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
"So, BBC and Reuters introduce Nagorno-Karabakh as an 'enclave' not because of the lack of information; they intentionally try to mislead the international community," the MP stressed.
Guliyev went on to add that undoubtedly, Armenian forces are implicated in disseminating such information.
"Today, there are many representatives of the Armenian lobby in the international structures. And in such a difficult time, when Armenia attacks Azerbaijan again, commits sabotages, violates ceasefire, BBC and Reuters support the information war launched by Armenia by spreading such materials".
"All this is the integral part of the information war against Azerbaijan and I believe that it is necessary to give an adequate response. We should give an adequate, precise and sharp information response in the same way as we respond to the provocations on the frontline," Guliyev added.
Seymur Aliyev is Trend Russian News Service Head