The protracted armed conflict in Azerbaijani territories, occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh by Armenia must end immediately, Peter M. Tase, expert in Transatlantic Relations and Azerbaijani Studies, a senior advisor to the Global Engineering Deans Council and to various European and Latin American governments, told Azernews, Trend reports.
He noted that Azerbaijan has been very careful, pragmatic and consistent when it comes to solving the armed conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Tase stressed that Baku is a trusted partner of the West and has established an admirable reputation when it comes to embracing a negotiations practice that is envied by some of the most sophisticated democracies in Europe.
"On the other hand, issues arising from the internal disputes in Armenia are matters that must be resolved among Armenian political leaders and civil society," he mentioned.
The expert pointed out that Nagorno-Karabakh is a sovereign territory of Azerbaijan, historical sources and archaeological sites show ample evidence of this region considered to be the heart of Azerbaijani nation and economy. He added that this conflict that has serious security implications throughout Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East.
As to additional steps needed to be taken to advance the negotiation process on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he considers that first, the Armenian Armed Forces should withdraw from the occupied territories and second, the Azerbaijani communities, that were forced violently to leave their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh, should be allowed to return in their hometowns.
"These are the two pillars that ensure a peaceful solution to the 30-year long armed conflict that has shed so much blood of innocent Azerbaijani civilians," he stressed.
As for the involvement of the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Nagorno-Karabakh to conflict settlement process, Tase considers that the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities directly connected to Nagorno-Karabakh may garner a greater role and involvement in solving peacefully such a protracted conflict, adding that this was the topic of the meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian FMs held in Paris on January 16.
He recalled that the Commonwealth of Independent States’ summit in Dushanbe held in September 28, 2018, hosted on its sidelines a bilateral meeting between leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia.
He expressed confidence that the Dushanbe agreement has been seriously violated precisely due to the repeated armed provocations conducted by Armenian Armed Forces over the last eight months against civilians and Azerbaijani soldiers nearby the line of contact.
"European Community of nations and Washington must actively condemn belligerent acts led by Armenia and its armed forces that are operating, with full impunity, from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan; unprecedented silence is as evil as Armenian bullets being shot at Azerbaijani civilians and military posts," the expert stated.
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.