Azerbaijani Politicians Comment on Changes to Provisions regarding Nagorno-Karabakh in US Department of State’s Report

Azerbaijan, Baku / corr. Trend S.Ilhamgizi / New changes have been made to the provisions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the initial 2006 State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. After the protest of Azerbaijan, the sentence 'Armenian Armed Forces occupies large part of Azerbaijani territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh' was replaced with a sentence 'Armenia continues to occupy the Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding Azerbaijani territories'. The politicians of Azerbaijan comment on this issue.

Former State Consultant, Politician Vafa Guluzade considers that irrespective of the expressions in the report, the position of the United States regarding Nagorno-Karabakh is clear and unanimous. "The USA wants Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to be resolved in favor of Armenia. However, the USA recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan because all gentlemen countries support and respect the territorial integrity of other countries. At the same time, the USA and other European countries try that Azerbaijan itself denies Nagorno-Karabakh. In this case, they will be innocent before Azerbaijan in this issue," Guluzade said.

According to him, it needs to consider as faults the repeat changes to the report of the Department of State.

The Chairman of Democratic Reforms Party, Parliamentarian Asim Mollazade, approaches the issue from the point of view of US-Azerbaijan strategic partnership. He thinks that the Department of State's objective changes to its report result from the issue that the USA supports the international legal norms and recognizes the importance of Azerbaijan in the region. "Therefore, I assess this event as a demonstration of the development prospects of the US-Azerbaijan partnership and friendship relations. It is already the second document. Before the US Department of State, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has adopted documents on the base of the international law. If all international organizations demonstrate such fair position, Armenia may be forced to change its policy and peace may be achieved," Mollazade underlined.

Other politician Rasim Musabeyov assesses the objective changes in the report as an indicator of Azerbaijan's strategic importance for the USA. Musabeyov considers that the issue that American senior officials and Assistant Secretary of State, Matthew Byrza, refute the fact that the initial variant of the report has been changed under the influence of the Armenian lobby testifies his insincerity. "After this, the Armenians may become more active, but in any cases, the Department of State will not make changes by getting itself into a funny situation. On the other hand, unlike Armenia, Azerbaijan has not financial dependence on the USA," he said.

Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani lands including Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven Districts of the country surrounding it. Since 1992 to the present time, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a cease-fire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended.

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