Washington Times: Armenian side - aggressor in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Washington Times: Armenian side - aggressor in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 5

By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:

Although mutual accusations are only natural in any interethnic conflict, particularly one such as this marked by extreme violence and disproportionate use of force, what remains is the incontrovertible fact that it was the Armenian side which was the aggressor in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Alexander Murinson said in his article published in the Washington Times.

Alexander Murinson is a senior researcher of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies of the Israeli Bar-Ilan University, he is also the author of the book "Turkey's Entente with Israel and Azerbaijan: State Identity and Security in the Middle East and Caucasus".

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 two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

Armenia, today, continues its illegal occupation of the territory recognized by international law as the sovereign territory of Republic of Azerbaijan, Murinson said.

The knee-jerk reaction by the multitude of Armenian sympathizers on the Capitol Hill may be inclined to crying "foul," but quotations from pertinent United Nations resolutions shed truth and light on the issue and separate the facts from the propaganda, the author said.

UN Resolution 822 of April 30, 1993, "calls for the cessation of hostilities and withdrawal of local occupying forces troops (in this case, the "local occupying forces" refers to the Armenian forces-) from Kelbajar district following its occupation on April 3, 1993," he said.

UN Resolution 853 of July 29, 1993, "demands the immediate cessation of all hostilities, calls on withdrawal of local Armenian troops from Agdam district of Azerbaijan occupied on June 23, 1993 and reaffirms UN Resolution 822," said the article.

The recent judgment in the case "Chiragov and others v. Armenia" on June 16, 2015 in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) may also be included in the evidence list, according to the author.

"The European Court's ruling, the most definitive statement based on international law to date, made Armenia culpable as the aggressor and the "occupier" of Azerbaijani lands," Murinson said in his article. "A ruling by such an institution as the European Court of Human Rights, which cannot be suspected of favoring Azerbaijan, finally confirmed and took away any question that Armenia, in fact, is the culprit in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh occupation."

Armenia's response in their official statements was to disparage and attempt to humiliate the European Court, said the article. "Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said that "the negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement are not conducted within the framework, under the umbrella, or through the mediation of the European Court of Human Rights" and that "the Co-Chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group is the only internationally mandated format dealing with the resolution of the issue"," the author said.

"It is, indeed, a conundrum when one nation, in this case Azerbaijan, plays by all the rules, seeks remedies to their grievances in a court of law, even repeatedly offers equitable peace and the other, Armenia, continues to act as a rogue nation, lawless, turning their proverbial noses up at international institutions, international courts and the rule of law," said the article.

"What accounts for Armenia's hubris and blatant disregard for the rule of law?" asks himself Murinson in his article. "Could it be that Armenia feels emboldened by the ever-present backing of the mullahs in Iran? Could it also be that Armenia lost its sovereignty years ago and now exists as a vassal state of the Russian Federation and that to adhere to any ruling of the European court would open Russia to lawsuits related to its aggression in Ukraine and Eastern Europe?"

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