Azerbaijan tried and is trying to compensate for the lack of any legal argument for its claims to Nagorno-Karabakh with aggression. Masis Mayilian

In an exclusive interview with "Artsakhpress", the ambassador on special assignment of the President of the Republic of Artsakh, Masis Mayilian spoke about the problems of the methodology of the negotiation process for the settlement of the Artsakh conflict, Azerbaijan's terrorist actions against Artsakh, the steps to neutralize these manifestations by the international community and other issues on the agenda related to the Artsakh issue.

Azerbaijan tried and is trying to compensate for the lack of any legal argument for its claims to Nagorno-Karabakh with aggression. Masis Mayilian

Azerbaijan tried and is trying to compensate for the lack of any legal argument for its claims to Nagorno-Karabakh with aggression. Masis Mayilian
STEPANAKERT,  MAY 24, ARTSAKHPRESS:  We present the interview below:
-Mr. Mayilian, over the years you have repeatedly spoken about the need to change the methodology of the negotiation process, pointing out that the current methodology will sooner or later lead to attempts to resolve the conflict by force. What did you mean and what, in your opinion, should have been changed?
- What I meant is that the basis of the settlement should be addressing the root cause of the conflict, namely the status of Artsakh, rather than its consequences, in particular the issue of territories. For some reason, many people forget the fact that at the time when the Karabakh Movement started, which later developed into the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict, because Azerbaijan initially tried to drown the will of the Artsakh people in blood, there was no issue of territories, as well as problem of refugees or internally displaced persons. These issues appeared later, as a result of the war unleashed by Azerbaijan. So, my point is that there is a need to correctly formulate the cause-and-effect relationships of the Artsakh problem.
The issue of determining the party, who provoked the violence, is also fundamental. It is well known that Azerbaijan received international recognition on the condition of accepting the disputed status of Nagorno-Karabakh and the commitment to resolve this dispute peacefully. But immediately after joining the CSCE/OSCE, Azerbaijan violated this commitment and unleashed a war against Nagorno-Karabakh. The defeat in the war created a new status quo and an internationally recognized line of contact between the parties to the conflict.
Unfortunately, Azerbaijan's aggression never received the proper international condemnation. Nevertheless, during the negotiations the authorities of both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh have repeatedly expressed their readiness to reconsider the line of contact. Such readiness was conditioned by the provision of inviolable international guarantees of non-resumption of hostilities until the full settlement of the conflict through the determination of the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azerbaijan justifies all of its aggressive actions by alleging that it is acting on the internationally recognized sovereign territory of Azerbaijan: it has no other arguments to justify its illegal and inhuman actions. Therefore, it is necessary for the countries that have recognized the sovereignty of Azerbaijan to realize that Azerbaijan justifies its inhuman actions by the fact of their recognition. Therefore, the international decisions hastily adopted after the collapse of the Soviet Union encouraged the continuation with impunity of illegal actions against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. No one should forget that, having received such recognition, Azerbaijan assumed the responsibility and international commitment to resolve disputes peacefully. It has long been known what Azerbaijan's promises are worth, but no one seems to be rushing to call it to account.
- In your posts on Facebook, you have qualified the blockade of Artsakh as a manifestation of terrorism. Do Azerbaijan's actions fall under the classic definition of terrorism?
- The actions of the Azerbaijani leadership, which is holding 120,000 residents of Artsakh hostage, as well as the political and mercantile demands put forward by official Baku for their release, according to international law, are a form of warfare and a manifestation of international terrorism. This means that the international response must also be adequate and follow the logic of confronting and punishing aggression and international terrorism.
- What do you think the international community should do to counter such a manifestation of terrorism?
- To counter the threat of terrorism, international law and international practice provide for joint actions by law enforcement agencies of States aimed at combating international terrorism. Since the illegal blockade of the Republic of Artsakh has been going on for quite a long time, and the people of Artsakh are facing a real threat of ethnic cleansing, the community of States should consider all possible options, including the use of force as part of international anti-terrorist cooperation, in the name of saving 120 thousand civilians. The community of States may be inclined towards this option, and there is a solid legal basis for this, namely the decisions of the ECtHR and the International Court of Justice, as well as the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020 signed, but flagrantly violated by Azerbaijan.
 - Mr. Mayilian, let's turn to a new and very dangerous PR adventure of Azerbaijan. President Aliyev is now promoting the following narrative: "despite the 30-year occupation, Azerbaijan is ready to sign a peace treaty with Armenia". It doesn't take a whiz to see his deep-seated goals, which is to initially put Armenia under the burden of mortal sin, positioning the peace treaty as a manifestation of the goodwill of Azerbaijan. How can you get around this trap?
- This and similar propaganda tricks pursue one main goal - to humiliation and subjugate the Armenian people so that they recognize the post-war realities and accept all the demands of Baku. Azerbaijan is trying to achieve the signing of a peace treaty with Armenia on its own terms and thereby legitimize the results of the criminal war of 2020. Peace on such terms is considered by Azerbaijan as a prerequisite for the annexation of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and the displacement of the Armenian population from this territory, as well as a chance to wrest maximum concessions from Armenia.
However, the reality is different. By acknowledging in 1992 the existence of the problem of determining the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, in fact, admitted to the international community the fact that the Republic of Azerbaijan had no jurisdiction over Nagorno-Karabakh. The only right that Azerbaijan received from the international community at the time of recognition of its sovereignty was the right to participate in negotiations to determine the status of Nagorno-Karabakh within the framework of an international conference under the auspices of the CSCE. By the way, the same right was recognized for Armenia. To obtain this right, Azerbaijan assumed an international commitment to resolve the conflict peacefully.
Azerbaijan violated its international obligations and committed aggression against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to establish control over its territory. As a result of counter-offensive actions of the NKR Defense Army, aimed at suppressing the Azerbaijani aggression, Azerbaijan not only failed to establish control over the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, but also lost part of its territories. Thus, the population of the former Azerbaijan SSR segregated along ethnic lines, the population moved to territories controlled by the troops of their own states. In other words, there was an ethno-territorial delimitation. In fact, two independent entities were formed on the territory of the former Azerbaijan SSR: the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and the Republic of Azerbaijan. On May 12, 1994, a ceasefire agreement was signed between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic with the participation of the Republic of Armenia. As a result of post-war negotiations in 1994, the parties reached an agreement to establish military-political control in the conflict zone by their own armed forces, without the involvement of peacekeeping troops of third countries. The issue of territorial demarcation between the parties was included in the agenda of international negotiations on the determination of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh under the auspices of the CSCE.
There were no assessments of the control regime for the territories controlled by the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic during the entire period of negotiations. There were only proposals to transfer some territories surrounding the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) to Azerbaijan, provided that Azerbaijan would undertake to deploy international peacekeeping forces in these territories and recognize an interim status for the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic until its final political status was determined.
Azerbaijan agreed to conduct negotiations on the basis of these principles. However, in 2020, official Baku once again violated its obligations and committed a new aggression against Artsakh. As a result of the war, Azerbaijan is trying to replace the concept of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem with the thesis of “30 years of occupation of the territory of Azerbaijan by Armenia” (by the way, none of the resolutions of the UN Security Council mentioned repeatedly by Azerbaijan refers to occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan by Armenia). Moreover, Azerbaijan itself violated these resolutions by refusing to cease hostilities, as a result of which it lost some additional territories.
Now the people of Artsakh, whom Azerbaijan isolated from the outside world through a blockade and presented them with an ultimatum to “reintegrate into Azerbaijani society”, hypocritically calling them “citizens of Azerbaijan”, are being forced to accept Azerbaijani citizenship. In fact, Azerbaijan still has no authority over the people and the territory of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, as it was throughout its independence. Azerbaijan is well aware that the people of Nagorno-Karabakh did not take part in the formation of modern Azerbaijan and its constitution. Due to this circumstance, Azerbaijani citizenship cannot be extended to the people of Artsakh.
In reality, Azerbaijan seeks to achieve Armenia's refusal to support the independence of Artsakh and to commit ethnic cleansing in order to annex the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan also put forward the concept of the "30-year occupation of the territory of Azerbaijan" so that the international community does not interfere with the implementation of these plans.
It is no coincidence that at the international level Azerbaijan has been trying to introduce the thesis of "ensuring justice for serious war crimes and crimes against humanity." Once again, the concept of the rights is being replaced – 150 thousand Armenians of Artsakh are deprived of their rights that require observance and are assigned to the mythical 4,000 missing Azerbaijanis. It should be taken into account that this concept, under the guise of Azerbaijan's intentions to integrate Armenians into Azerbaijani society, was recently made public at the level of the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister at the Council of Europe summit in Reykjavik. This means that Azerbaijan intends to continue to openly ignore any requirements on itself and impose its whims on the whole world.
- So, can we state that Azerbaijan has no legitimate arguments justifying its claims on Artsakh?
- No, and never had. It’s just falsifications seasoned with blackmail, the use and the threat of force.






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