Russia, France Did their Best to Prevent Resolution on Nagorno-Karabakh from Passing in UN – Ambassador
Azerbaijan, Baku, 18 March / Trend corr S. Agayeva/ Azerbaijan's Ambassador to UN Agshin Mehdiyev's interview at Trend :
Question: Several days ago, UN General Assembly passed a Resolution on the Situation in the Occupied Territory of Azerbaijan. Would you comment on the document, as well as on its passing?
Answer: First of all, so far no international organization has ever passed such a comprehensive and at the same time such a concrete document on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. The main regulations of the Resolution are the following: approval of the leadership of the principle on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan; no parallels or clauses connected with some other principles and norms of the international law are made; requirement for all Armenian armed forces to immediately and unconditionally withdraw from the occupied Azerbaijani territories... Previously, Armenians used to say that other international documents mention the occupying forces but very vaguely, and the armed forces of Armenia are not implied. This Resolution concerns all the occupying forces without any exception or omissions. The document again confirms the right of all refugees and IDPs to return to their own native lands, shows impossibility of accepting the status-quo- the regime which emerged from occupation of Azerbaijan's territory by Armenia as normal and legal by the international community, reflects support to the efforts of the international intermediaries, mainly the OSCE Minsk Group, and finally, the document suggests to the UN Secretary General to develop a special report and to deliver it at the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly. Moreover, the General Assembly recommends putting this issue on the agenda of the 63rd session.
As to passing of the Resolution, the UN General Assembly is the main and the largest intergovernmental and inter-state forum in the world. General Assembly's decisions reflect the position of the international community on some issue. In this case, the General Assembly has outlined the further settlement- the way the international community sees it. To put this other way, we have ourprinciples of settling the conflict and new ones should not be invented.
Question: Armenians say that the decision of UN General Assembly is just recommendation, but not mandatory which means that it is possible not to follow them.
Answer: You are absolutely right. They could not have acted otherwise. You did not expect Armenians to congratulate you on the next diplomatic victory, did you? I think we must attach importance not to the Armenian reaction, but to that of the world community, because precisely it has created political and juridical basis for the settlement. And the latter is clearly indicated in Resolution of UN General Assembly. Remember that the co-chairmen of OSCE Minsk Group, U.S., Russia and France worked against our interests and voted against the resolution. Furthermore, even if Americans had not tried to hinder us, the French and Russian would have done their best to create obstacles for the adoption of the Resolution. As we have been informed, under Russian and French pressure, some countries had to revise their positions at the last moment and to refrain from voting for the Resolution. The same occurred among the EU members who expressed their support for us, including the members of notorious Russia and Collective Security Treaty Organization, and political satellites of Russia. I would like especially to point out the position of Uzbekistan- who voted in favour of us. Doubtless, the fact that majority of the member states of Organization of Islamic Conference and GUAM voted for Resolution is noteworthy. I can cite dozens of such examples. I would not condemn those who voted against the resolution. You know, not all the countries are able to pursue an independent foreign policy as Azerbaijan and withstand the pressure. Simply, taking into consideration the condition under which the Resolution fought its way through and the way the countries took part in the voting, we will have to make certain correctionsto our relations with some countries. By the way, you may be informed later on that after the voting representatives of several countries phoned us and said that they could not take part in the voting due to some technical reasons. And Iran sent a written notification to the Secretariat of the General Assembly saying that the country planed to support the Resolution. The relevant information about these facts will be indicated in the official documents of the General Assembly. In general, we could foresee the development of the situation, and therefore, decided to put the document for voting. It is noteworthy that three weeks have already passed since the draft resolution was officially introduced and approved in the General Assembly. It is unprecedented case! It is some kind of 'Blitzkrieg Diplomacy'. We would achieve our goal.
Question: And what about the Minsk group co-chairmen? They state that the Resolution indicates not all of their proposals and the Resolution is 'unbalanced'.
Answer: I can not assess the work of Minsk group co-chairmen, but I think that they had made a serious mistake voting against the resolution. They were not able to change the situation; no one supported them except India, Angola and Vanuatu. I think now everyone asks the same question: Is it possible to work with them after all this?! As to their statements which say that the Resolution does not indicate all of their proposals and it is unbalanced are groundless. The Resolution is a document of the UN General Assembly and only 7 of 146 countries, taking part in the voting, voted against it. And it cannot be balanced, since there can not be a balance between aggressor and the victim of aggression. If they did not like the Resolution, they could have made relevant statements by disclosing their positions and could have refrained from voting or not to vote at all, but not by taking an obvious pro-Armenian position! It is obvious that their advisers did their best. Just for the sake of justice, it should be mentioned that we were informed that Americans did not want to vote against it until the last minute and tried to avoid such a decision, but obviously, the French and Russians made them to do it.
Question: What can you say about Kosovo? Is there any connection between Kosovo and Karabakh? Can any parallels be drawn? Is it appropriate to speak about any effect of the Kosovo-related events on Azerbaijan's actions in the UN?
Answer: Kosovo in no way can be a precedent for Karabakh. The key difference is that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is two countries' conflict- in which one country- Armenia, relying upon the assistance and direct help of the third country, mercenaries and international terrorism groups occupied the territory of another sovereign country- Azerbaijan, and tries to annex the occupied territories under different pretexts. The occupants develop minerals in the Azerbaijani territory and misappropriate the revenues; they plundered the belongings of the Azerbaijani IDPs; they take measures to change the demographic situation in the occupied territory, and finally, destroying the cultural and historical heritage- with that they are trying to remove all traces conforming the belongingness of the land to Azerbaijanis. That is a territorial inter-state conflict with occupation and attempt of annexation. Any self-determination is completely irrelevant here.
If somebody wants to draw some parallels, I would compare the actions by Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh with the actions of Nazis during the World War II. The Danzig corridor resembles the Lachin corridor; the Sudet Germans resemble Karabakh's Armenians; the racial superiority of Aryans resembles exclusiveness of Armenians; Anschluss and Miatsum, anti-Azerbaijani and anti-Turkish statements by the representatives of Armenia's political elite and Goebbels' propaganda. Are these not alike? I think it is. But one should remember how the Aryans ended.
Question: So now, what are the further plans?
Answer: There are some plans and outlines, but everything has its due time. And now, we have to complete our work over the GUAM resolution, develop the Secretary General's report which is mentioned in the Resolution.