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BAKU: THROUGHOUT ITS EXISTENCE, KARABAKH ENJOYED THE WIDEST RIGHTS OF AUTONOMY

The Azeri Times

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On July 7, 1923, the Azerbaijan Soviet Central Executive Committee (AzCEC) adopted the decree “On the Formation of the Autonomous Region of Nagorno-Karabakh” with the center in the town of Khankandi.

That decision was a logical consequence of the decision of the Caucasian Bureau of the Central Committee of the RCP (b.) of July 5, 1921, which stated: “To leave Nagorno-Karabakh within the Azerbaijani SSR, granting it a broad autonomy with the administrative center in the city of Shusha, which is part of the autonomous region.” Thus, the claims of the then-Armenia to give Nagorno-Karabakh to it were rejected, spokesman for Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry Hikmat Hajiyev said regarding the 95th anniversary of establishment of the Nagorno Karabakh autonomous republic within Azerbaijan.

“Throughout its existence, NKAO, called as such since 1936, enjoyed the widest rights of autonomy within the Soviet system of state and political order. The speculation about any harassment or discrimination of the Armenian population in NKAO actively undertaken since the late 1980s, does not stand up to the verification of facts,” he said.

According to the spokesman, at the very beginning of the establishment, the position on the location of the regional administrative center was changed, from the city of Shusha predominantly populated by Azerbaijanis which was proposed as a center from 1921, to the town of Khankandi, which was selected in 1923 and renamed in the same year in honor of Dashno-Bolshevik Stepan Shaumyan and gradually transformed into the largest city of the autonomy with the predominance of Armenians. The borders of the region were drawn up with the aim to ensure the Armenian majority within it. In the USSR atlas of 1928 its territory was indicated as 4,161 sq.km, but it gradually grew to 4,400 sq.km. The top officials of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region were Armenians, they also headed the authorities in all districts, except for Shusha. Everywhere, except for the Shusha district, the Armenian language was used in the office work, educational process, and the media. In the 1988/89 academic year, 136 secondary schools where studies were conducted in Armenian and only 13 only inter-national schools operated in the NKAO.

“Indicators of socio-economic development of the NKAO also exceeded the averages for Azerbaijan. For example, for 15 years from 1970 to 1985, capital investments in the amount of 483 million rubles were invested in the development of the region, which is 2.8 times higher than in the previous 15 years. The number of hospital beds per 10,000 people exceeded  the republican indicators by 15%, the number of places in pre-school institutions – 1.4 times, in schools – 1.6 times. The number of cinemas and clubs per capita was 3 times higher than the general indicators for Azerbaijan, and libraries – 2 times.

“All these facts clearly indicate not only the absence of any purposeful line for oppressing the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, but, on the contrary, about the exceptional conditions created for the existence of this autonomy within Azerbaijan. While in the territory of the Armenian SSR, throughout its existence, a consistent policy was pursued to expel the indigenous Azerbaijani population therefrom. A striking documented confirmation of this policy is the Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers dated December 23, 1947, “On the resettlement of collective farmers and other Azerbaijani population from the Armenian SSR to the Kura-Araks lowland of the Azerbaijani SSR”, which led to the deportation of 100,000 Azerbaijanis in 1948-1953. The process of the complete expulsion of Azerbaijanis from Armenia that affected more than 200,000 people was completed in the late 1980s,” the spokesman said.

He went on to say that, however, the campaign of mass ethnic cleansing, unleashed by Armenia, was not limited to its borders, it spread to the territory of Azerbaijan – Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent areas. The seizure of Azerbaijani settlements was accompanied by mass extermination and expulsion of their inhabitants. The Khojaly genocide and other war crimes against the civilian population committed by the Armenian armed forces in the Azerbaijani lands were the gravest international delicts demanding the restoration of justice.

“The expulsion from the former NKAO of the entire Azerbaijani population which by 1989 was about 48,000 people (a quarter in percentage terms), can not continue for a long time. Representatives of the Azerbaijani community of this region of Azerbaijan, now numbering more than 70,000 people, have an inalienable right to return to their native places liberated from occupation. Only on this basis is it possible to resolve the conflict and create conditions for the peaceful and safe coexistence of the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan,” the spokesman concluded.

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Armenia

Zoya Tadevosyan: We call them liberated, but in fact these are occupied territories

The Azeri Times

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The territories liberated during the Karabakh war are not the territories of Karabakh. We call them liberated, but in fact – these are the territories that were occupied, member of the Armenian National Congress Zoya Tadevosyan said at a press conference in Yerevan.

Such a statement caused great resonance both within Armenia and beyond its borders. Political analysts are sure that such a bold statement by a member of the national congress was made in connection with the arrests of the most prominent representatives of the “war party” – General Manvel Grigoryan, ex-president Robert Kocharian and dozens of criminal authorities – certain politicians and intellectuals begin to comprehend the reasons of sticky situation in Armenia.

We, in fact, witness a sensation. Armenia experiences a kind of revolution in public consciousness that could eventually lead to a search for a more real effective compromise between Armenia and Azerbaijan, member of Public Chamber of Russia Sergei Markov said.

Political analysts are sure that Zoya Tadevosyan’s bold statement is the first spark in the formation of a new public opinion in Armenia. This statement gives new hope for a peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The fact that some politicians are ready to talk about Armenia’s fault in this conflict publicly can lead to a serious change in public consciousness. The most important thing is that people would have the freedom to express such positions. In this case, a very serious transformation of the public consciousness of Armenia is possible. However, perhaps part of the Armenian population is tired of this artificial dispersal of ultra-patriotism and would be ready to adopt a more self-critical stance that would create more realistic opportunities for seeking a peaceful compromise around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, member of Public Chamber of Russia Sergei Markov said.

This is certainly a message, an intellectual message that gives hope that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would be settled peacefully. Now, there is a real chance to check whether the parties to the conflict are ready for real peace talks and for real steps in order not to kill each other, but somehow through mutual compromise to agree and try to live in peace, rather than in war, political analyst Oleg Kuznetsov said.

Tadevosyan’s statement caused a violent reaction in Karabakh. Assistant to the separatist leader David Babayan called this statement “a political betrayal of national interests and a manifestation of moral degradation.” Former deputy commander of the Karabakh forces Arthur Aghabekyan and former head of the Security Service of the separatists Arshavir Garamyan made similar statements. The latter urged the population of Karabakh to take to the streets and protest against the idea of returning the territories to Azerbaijan.

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Armenia

PASHINYAN TO ALJAZEERA: WE ARE READY TO TALK KARABAKH PEACE – VIDEO

The Azeri Times

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Armenia

IF IT WEREN’T FOR RUSSIAN BASE IN ARMENIA, THERE WOULDN’T BE ANY ARMENIANS IN KARABAKH’

The Azeri Times

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LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky in the program ’60 Minutes’ aired on Wednesday evening on Russia 1 TV channel said that without Russian bases in Gyumri and Yerevan, Armenians in Karabakh would no longer exist. He said that while commenting on Armenia’s desire to move away from Russia.

‘Only because our army is in Armenia, the Armenians of Karabakh live calmly, in a peaceful atmosphere,’ Zhirinovsky added.

Responding during the talk show on the question of Russia’s participation in inter-ethnic conflicts in the post-Soviet space, the leader of the Liberal Democrats said that Russia ‘protects and saves the population of the entire former USSR.’

‘In Transnistria, people were cut out, a Russian militiaman was quartered, girls were raped in 1992,’ Zhirinovsky said. ‘There was a genocide, a civil war. The Russian army stopped everything, you have to kneel before the Russian army.

If in the Donbas they did not press the Russians and kill them, there would not be such a thing today…

We saved Ossetians and Abkhazians… We will protect and save the population of the entire former USSR. We will not get into Canada and Africa, but we will defend everyone who was in the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire, regardless of nationality.’

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