Impossible for Former Armenian President to Come to Power again: Azerbaijani Officials
Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend I.Alizade / The Parliament of Azerbaijan considers it impossible that the former President of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, will come to power again. The Head of the Foreign Relations Department of Azerbaijan President's Executive Apparat, Novruz Mammadov, reported to Trend on 22 September that the processes in Armenia do not correspond to the principles of democracy. According to him, yet there is little belief that the political force supporting prompt settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will come to power. "The western countries also keep closed eyes on the undemocratic processes in Armenia and do not express an objective position on it," Mammadov said.
The conflict between the two countries of South Caucasus began in 1988 due to territorial claims by Armenia against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani land including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding Districts. Since 1992, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France and USA) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.
To settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict Armenia's First President, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, intended to sign an agreement on 'stage-by-stage peace' in 1997.
In accordance with the 'stage-by-stage peace', first Armenian Armed Forces had to leave the occupied regions located nearby Nagorno-Karabakh. Then, communication lines between the countries were planned to be restored. Afterwards, negotiations on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh were to begin. However, at the end of 1998 Armenian separatist forces made Levon Ter-Petrosyan to resign. So, 'stage-by-stage peace' was not implemented. Ter-Petrosyan was in the office of president since 1991.
On 21 September, Ter-Petrosyan reported in Yerevan that today's Armenia is ruled by mafia bribable regime. "Our purpose is to destroy this system and to get free of it," the ex-president said.
In his opinion, Armenia's future is contingent on the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It will be impossible to achieve economic development of Armenia, if the borders with Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Iran are not opened, the ex-president said. He noted he would participate in the presidential elections of 2008.
Mammadov considers Ter-Petrosyan's political activities to be a logical and natural process, for today Armenians are the hostages and victims of the country's separatist rulers.
"It cannot last for a long time and pragmatic leader must prevent it. The time will come and Armenians will understand it. However, they do not understand the reasons, which can be explained by fear and other factors. I cannot say who will take out Armenians from this situation," he said.
Mammadov did not make commentary on how returning back of Ter-Petrosan, the former President, to the President post may affect on resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Who will come to the President post is the Armenians own business. The official Baku hopes people destiny to be defined, he said.
The former Azerbaijani President's Adviser on Foreign Policy and political scientist, Vafa Guluzadeh, said Ter-Petrosan cannot return to the post again. Petrosan's 'Phased peace' became unpardonable mistake before Russia. Therefore, Russia removed him from his post. Moscow governs political situation in Armenia. Suspense of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is one of the geopolitical interests of Moscow," Guluzadeh said.
Russia will govern in Armenia independently from who will be elected the president. The results of presidential elections in Armenia will not affect on the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the political scientist added.