Baku, Azerbaijan, July 5
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
It is a mistake for mediators of any international conflict to claim reflexively that there is no military solution to a military-political dispute, Matthew Bryza, former US ambassador to Azerbaijan and former co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, told Trend July 5.
Bryza was commenting on the recent aggravation of the situation on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region occupied by Armenia.
“Military factors play a key role in shaping the political factors that must ultimately be agreed to resolve such a conflict and should always be taken into account by mediators,” he said. “In diplomacy, military force and political dialogue are often inextricably linked. As the great Prussian strategist von Clausewitz taught the world, war is the continuation of politics by other means.”
“As is usually the case in exchanges of fire along the line of contact, it is difficult to determine who exactly provoked this latest shooting and who shot first,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the statement by the OSCE Minsk Group’s Co-Chairs sheds no light on the situation and sounds like the typical, anodyne condemnation of violence that could apply to any conflict anywhere in the world under international mediation,” Bryza said.
On July 4 at about 20:40 (GMT+4 hours), the Armenian armed forces again violated ceasefire and, using 82-mm and 120-mm mortars and grenade launchers, shelled Azerbaijani positions and territories where the civilian population lives, namely the Alkhanli village of the country’s Fuzuli district, thereby grossly violating the requirements of international law, the Azerbaijani defense ministry said earlier.
As a result of this provocation, the residents of the village Sakhiba Guliyeva, 50, and Zakhra Guliyeva, 2, were killed. Servinaz Guliyeva, 52, who got wounded, was taken to the hospital and was operated on.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.