TODAY.AZ / Voice of Diaspora

Participation of both Nagorno-Karabakh communities in talks crucial to achieve peace: U.S. Azeris Network

25 July 2009 [11:30] - TODAY.AZ
U.S. Azeris Network (USAN) has sent a letter to President Barack Obama concerning the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
USAN Managing Director Adil Baguirov said they aimed to put an end to the speculations of ultranationalist and radical Armenian forces in the U.S. over the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations.

“As Azerbaijani-Americans, we greatly appreciate your joint declaration with Presidents of France and Russia, your phone calls about NK conflict with President Aliyev and President Gul, the reinvigorated work of the OSCE Minsk Group of which U.S. is a co-chair, the more equitable and fair foreign assistance FY2010 requests in line with previous years requests. We urge you, Vice President Biden, Secretary Clinton and your Administration to step up such positive efforts in the future, as well as visiting the U.S. strategic ally Azerbaijan to witness the challenges and effects of the occupation of 16% of Azerbaijan and displacement of some 12% of its population by Armenia”, USAN said in its letter.

“Our key aspiration is the liberation of all occupied Azerbaijani lands through the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. We believe that one of our most important objectives as a community of people tracing their heritage to the land of Azerbaijan is to educate our government and lawmakers to assist in enhancement of the bilateral ties between Azerbaijan and the United States. Azerbaijani-Americans support the long-term strategic allied relations between the United States and Azerbaijan, and we fully encourage the development of bilateral cooperation between America and all Turkic nations”, the letter said.

Hence, we welcome your positive steps in resolving the NK conflict, and offer you our full support in light of relentless criticism from ultranationalist and maximalist Armenian special interest groups that have built their entire raison d’etre on creating and perpetuating only negativism, hate mongering and intimidation.

USAN reminded that it is Armenia that is occupying Azerbaijan for almost two decades now, not the other way around, and it is Armenia that caused almost a million Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs, and according to U.S. Government, committed “crimes against humanity” in Azerbaijan, such as the largest war crime in the region, the Khojaly Massacre in 1992. “Armenia’s creation of a straw-man in the form of the so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR)”, an entity recognized by no one, including its own creator, is especially unhelpful to the peace process and causes nothing but irritation and tensions in the region. With multiple U.S. Government statements clearly calling a spade a spade, and with the U.N. Security Council adopting four resolutions calling for the immediate withdrawal of Armenian military forces from Azerbaijan, to restore the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan”.

“It should be further stressed once again, that we all fully and unequivocally support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. No question about it, NK has to remain part of Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, we also recognize the other Helsinki Final Act principles of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, which are envisioned within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan”.

“Per equal rights and the participation of interested parties to the conflict, indeed, the engagement of Karabakh’s ethnic communities in negotiations is an absolute must for reestablishing peace in that region. In fact, the conditions for an equal engagement of all parties in the conflict were already enshrined in the "Baker Rules" proposed in 1992 by the first peacemaking mission of the CSCE Minsk Group, led by then U.S. Secretary of State, James Baker III. These rules, agreed to by all sides, recognized the two ethnic communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan as the "interested parties", and Armenia and Azerbaijan – as the "principal parties".

“However, the radical Armenian lobby organizations stop short of mentioning the ethnic Azerbaijani community, which prior to the conflict in 1988 comprised a third of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population and 99% of the population of the seven other, surrounding and currently occupied, regions of Azerbaijan. It shall be understood that while the present conditions of Armenia’s military occupation preclude the participation of Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian community in the peace process, a lasting peace in Nagorno-Karabakh can only be achieved after the return and peaceful co-existence of the region’s both ethnic communities, cessation of all occupation, and moving away from constant and continuous attempts to stonewall the peace process, intimidate elected officials, and attempt to preserve the status quo of continuous military occupation”, said USAN.

On Friday, the American-Azerbaijani Council also issued a statement on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. The statements were made after that the leader of the Armenian National Committee of America Kenneth Khachikian sent a letter to President Obama noting the necessity of involving the so-called “Nagorno Karabakh Republic” in the negotiations over the conflict solution.


/APA/
URL: http://www.today.az/news/vdiaspora/54125.html

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