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Nagorno-Karabakh enters international arena

Genocide?

Muslim peace is better than good war

While in America, Russian president Boris Yeltsin called "international forces of the UN" to Nagorno-Karabakh. While in Istanbul, Russian foreign minister Andrey Kozyrev arranged a meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers on Karabakh problems in Moscow. France and Turkey offered mediation to Azerbaijan and Armenia. On February 7, the opposition gave the Azerbaijani president three weeks to organize the defense of the remaining Azerbaijani villages.

After returning from the World Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland, see on page 21), Azerbaijani president Mutallibov got to the republican "Karabakh" consultation. It was convened on the initiative of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party and was dedicated to the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh in connection with the defeat of the Azerbaijani national army.

On January 28, Armenian fighters downed an Azerbaijani helicopter carrying 47 people. On January 29, the Azerbaijani army launched an attack against Armenian regions, but had to retreat near the village of Dashalty because of big losses.

The Azerbaijanis suffered the next defeat on February 1 "during the defense of Aghdam," where they had retreated to rearrange their forces.

According to the Armenian version, on that day, about 40 Azerbaijanis died not while defending Aghdam, but after plundering the Armenian village of Khramort (Askeran region), from where they were knocked out by the Armenians who attacked suddenly. Some Armenian sources claim, however, that after Khramort was taken back by the Armenians, the winners could not restrain themselves and slightly fired upon Aghdam, spreading panic. A total of 50 Azerbaijani fighters died in fightings, some 150 were contused, wounded and frightened.

The opposition scolded Mutallibov for three days during the consultation and on February 7, gave him three weeks to repeatedly organize the defense of Azerbaijani villages in Nagorno-Karabakh. Upon the expiration of the term, the opposition will meet again to decide the Azerbaijani president's fate. However, Mutallibov was not scared and again spoke out for the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem during the negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, declaring that he is categorically opposed to the intervention of the UN international forces in the conflict, but he is not against the international mediation in case the mediators include representatives of the Muslim world, first of all Turkey. According to experts, Turkey may attend the forthcoming meeting in Moscow as an observer.

Probably moving the Nagorno-Karabakh problem to the international level could help Armenia, Azerbaijan and the mediator countries gain some political capital, but whether or not that will help resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is still unclear.

Roman Glebov

Vlast magazine № 106(106), 10.02.1992


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