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What drives Armenia?

16 July 2014 [09:30] - TODAY.AZ
By Claude Salhani - Trend:

In war as in love nothing is obvious. And the more you dig into something the more complicated it appears. Much the same can be said about the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Here too, the situation is confusing. As it is a story of both love and war. The war is what seems obvious and what is out in the open for all to see. The love is what the people of the region feel for their homeland currently under foreign occupation.

Allow me to explain a little more about the Armenian "presence" in Nagorno-Karabakh. There are certain rules in the world that if they were to be broken the natural order of things would cease to function and chaos would set in over the land. To those of you who may be quick to believe that anarchy has its advantages let me dispel these false prophesies with the concrete knowledge of someone who has lived in chaotic societies covering conflict and as such can attest that there is hardly any more frightening a situation.

Indeed, even in war there are certain rules. I don't mean rules such as the Geneva Conventions that have been broken more times than the speed limit.

Rather, I mean the natural order of things, as when one side in a conflict holds the upper hand, such as occupying 20 percent of another country's territory. Typically that country would want to maintain the status quo and refrains from trying to create a precarious situation along the front lines that would attract attention.

Yet, this is precisely what Armenia is doing. Armenian armed forces are breaching the ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan by firing at Azeri forces multiple times a day, every day of the week, and every week of the year.

The Armenians occupy Nagorno-Karabakh and other bits of adjoining lands that belong to Azerbaijan and that amounts to roughly some 20 percent of Azerbaijani national territory. As can be expected, Baku wants its lands back.

So the burning question or questions are these: Why is Armenia doing what it is doing? Why are they trying day after day, after day, to provoke the Azerbaijani soldiers into a fight? Or for example kidnap civilians and say they are military? What drives Armenia?

There can be two reasons as far as this analyst is concerned:

1. There is some serious internal dissent within the Armenian leadership, either within the armed forces who might be facing disagreement among some high ranking staff, or possible disagreement within the government and one side is either trying to embarrass the other or possible to force their hand to reach a certain point.

Or
2. Armenia is facing serious internal problems, some of them political, but very likely economic and social problems, such as unemployment and is therefore trying to divert attention from the country's real issues and real problems by diverting attention and trying to place the blame for their ills on neighboring Azerbaijan, and to construct false situations intended to arouse international support for their cause and their case.

The only viable answer is for both countries to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at the negotiating table and not on the front lines, where if the current atmosphere and breeches of the ceasefire continue, it will only contribute to making the problem all that more complicated.

Claude Salhani is a political analyst and senior editor with Trend Agency. You can follow him on Twitter @claudesalhani
URL: http://www.today.az/news/analytics/135394.html

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