Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9
By Fikret Dolukhanov – Trend:
The Congress of Vienna of 1814—1815 not only marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and establishment of the leading role of such countries as Russia, Germany and Great Britain for years ahead, but also formed the neutral status of Switzerland.
However, some in Swiss Confederation are beginning to forget about this key political character of the country, especially when it comes to issues related to Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Considering the latest speech of President of the National Council of Switzerland Dominique de Buman made in Yerevan, it seems like some Swiss officials fall into amnesia from time to time.
De Buman, began his discourse with quite harmless notes about the need in documenting of all ceasefire violation cases in Nagorno-Karabakh, and finished it in a rather friendly tone towards Armenia. The latter isn't surprising, considering his unsanctioned visit to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan six years before.
It is said in international relations, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interests. So, it is interesting: whose interests de Buman is serving with his apolitical ideas?
Let’s take a closer look at what he actually said and try to find out.
“Armenia supports peace talks under the OSCE auspices. Every case of ceasefire violation must be recorded, documented and presented in such a form, so the international legal organization can influence those processes when needed,” he said in Yerevan.
A fair proposal indeed. But, nevertheless, a question arises: who and how is going to record ceasefire violation cases? Peacemakers? Both sides to the conflict are against involvement of third parties. The conflicting countries themselves? That's currently the case. The defense ministries of Armenia and Azerbaijan report about shootouts daily.
So, what kind of recording and documenting de Buman is talking about? Maybe he would like to visit Nagorno-Karabakh illegally, just like back in 2012, and personally monitor the situation?
Obviously, although de Buman’s proposal looks elegant and good enough, it actually lacks precise meaning. That turns his words into a cliche statement.
But his histrionic neutrality, however, was lost during his speech at the Armenian National Assembly, when the official began playing up to local audience, forgetting, about his position and obligations.
“People of Nagorno-Karabakh, “black garden”, can choose their own destiny, just like others, people of Switzerland for example, for the sake of long-term relations and peace in the country and the region,” de Buman said, enrapturing the audience.
Speaking about the “people of Nagorno-Karabakh”, for some reason, he failed to mention Azerbaijanis, who have been displaced from their homes by force. Supporting Armenia’s stance with fancy phrases about the “people of Nagorno-Karabakh” and “choice of destiny”, de Buman de facto rules hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis willing to have their own choice regarding their motherland.
Moreover, his words clearly look like verbal juggling, because apart from Nagorno-Karabakh, seven more regions of Azerbaijan are still under occupation. But, the Swiss official prefers not to mention them.
Not satisfied solely with the topic of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he switches to Turkey for a stronger effect, beginning usual demagogy about the so-called Armenian genocide.
According to him, Switzerland feels sorry that Armenian-Turkish protocols signed in Zurich in 2009 haven’t been implemented yet, because normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations would lead to peace in the region and corresponds to the interests of all sides.
“In 2003 Switzerland recognized the “genocide” hoping that such crimes won’t occur anymore,” he added, making a side note, that the process of reconciliation with Turkey has never been connected to the recognition of the “genocide”.
Then, why he mentioned the so-called “Armenian genocide” together with the Zurich protocols? That is another piece of hypocrisy from de Buman, because both the EU and Switzerland have long used the “genocide” card as means of pressure on Turkey. Former French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier used a similar rhetoric back in 2004, and quite soon the so-called genocide has become a basis of anti-Turkish campaign in Europe. It’s enough to recall the events caused by Dogu Perincek’s public denial of the so-called genocide in 2013.
All the abovementioned proves that European countries have long used the “Armenian issue” to interfere foreign and, recently, internal affairs of Turkey.
Azerbaijan, after gaining independence in 1991 and emerging as new regional power, has turned into a new subject for attacks. De Buman’s speech perfectly fits the anti-Turkish rhetoric in this regard.
But how can one speak about neutrality and unbiased position under such circumstances? How can one believe to words of those, who speak about fairness, international law and support to Azerbaijan’s righteous position, while voicing Armenian-inclined, even anti-Azerbaijani ideas from the tribunes of Yerevan?
Maybe it is a high time to revise some processes developing around the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and discard those who are unable to really contribute to solution of the problem?
The Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan reacted to the issue already, stressing that the president of the Swiss National Council undermines the negotiations on settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“Abusing his official status as President of the National Council of Switzerland, de Buman during his visit to Yerevan, contradicting the policy of neutrality of Switzerland, made prejudiced statements, and he harms the negotiations for the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” said Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s Spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev.
Shortly after, the Swiss side officially clarified its stance on topic, reiterating support to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and putting de Buman in an awkward position.
“The Swiss Confederation has neither recognized the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh nor has it ever questioned the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan," the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of the Swiss Confederation told Trend.
So, whose tune does Mr. de Buman dances to?