Baku, Azerbaijan, June 4
Twenty-fifth anniversary of the agreement on ceasefire in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was marked on May 12, 2019, writes Head of the Azerbaijani President's Administration Ramiz Mehdiyev in his article entitled “Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: sources of problems and prospects for settlement,” Trend reports on June 4.
“While concluding this extremely important agreement at that time, Azerbaijan expected that the cessation of military operations on the line of contact would create favorable conditions for more active negotiation process and help to achieve a political solution to the conflict in the near future,” the article says.
“However, the subversive activity of the Armenian ruling circles, supported by radical nationalist layers of society and the diaspora, became the main obstacle on this way,” Mehdiyev noted.
“Being a source of threat to the peace and security in the region during all these years, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict today hinders the full-fledged cooperation of the South Caucasus countries,” he stressed.
In his words, all these years the Armenian society has been encouraging itself, hoping to back up "the victory" on the battlefield with a diplomatic victory.
"However, the Armenian leadership did not understand one thing,” he emphasized. “By committing the aggression against a neighboring country, occupying its territory, conducting ethnic cleansing and destroying cities and villages, Armenia lost rather than won. Having missed so many opportunities, it lost the peace.”
“To understand this, it is enough to compare Azerbaijan with Armenia today and estimate the difference between their socio-economic development. This difference will grow from year to year,” Mehdiyev wrote.
“For example, as of 2018, the Azerbaijani economy exceeded the Armenian economy by four times, Azerbaijan’s strategic currency reserves are 20 times more than those of Armenia and the population is 3.3 times more in Azerbaijan than in Armenia,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the Armenian society has not managed to rationalize its attitude to the conflict and see the real economic benefit of the just settlement of the conflict,” Mehdiyev added.
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 Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.