An ethnic Armenian originally from Baku, public figure Rima Sarkisova could not hold back tears. And literally gasping for breath said: ‘My dear! Thousands of Baku Armenians have never been able to find a warm shelter in a foreign land. As a result of the provocative and hostile policy of nationalist circles in Armenia, an artificial Karabakh conflict was unleashed. After all, we lived side by side for hundreds of years. Loved, empathised, experienced joy and bitterness together, in our united Azerbaijani family.
I came from Ukraine. But my heart is full of love for our Baku and today’s Azerbaijan. In the first days of my stay in the Azerbaijani capital, at home, I can say with confidence – there is no better place for a happy and safe life.
I appeal to all representatives of the Armenian nation. It is time to stop the fascist power of Sargsyan, and to achieve the accession of peace in our land. And today’s tolerant, developed and civilised Azerbaijan is a vivid embodiment of the model of successful adaptation of multiculturalism and internationalism in one country.’
According to the British expert, taking into account the implementation of such a policy, the model of coexistence of Armenians and Azerbaijanis can be considered as one of the best ways to resolve the Karabakh conflict.
‘Territorial integrity or self-determination of peoples? Do these two categories come into conflict?’ the researcher asks questions. And then answers: ‘On the example of recent events in Catalonia, one can say that European security for the first time felt the imminent danger of the disintegration and chaotic break-up of a historically developed state.
Considering the experience of applying the model of multiculturalism in Azerbaijan, the coexistence of two peoples can be considered in the format of the integrity of the state.’
‘Multiculturalism in Azerbaijan has been a natural way of life since ancient times, allowing different peoples and cultures to integrate and share their heritage.
What distinguishes us Karabakh Armenians from Azerbaijani or other peoples living in Azerbaijan? Religion and language, although I will make a reservation, in our language spoken by Karabakh Armenians, there are a lot of Turkic words,’ says Artur Agajanov. And what unites the Karabakh Armenians and Azerbaijanis? Outward similarity, character, culture. We had many mixed marriages. The Baku and Karabakh Armenians had the most pleasant impressions about Azerbaijanis and their peacefulness.
We always felt part of the tolerant, united Azerbaijani nation. Our joint living with Azerbaijanis enriched our culture.
In my opinion, the Karabakh Armenians and Karabakh Azeris have the same roots, customs, traditions and outlook. We, the Karabakh Armenians, are very fond of the Azerbaijani mugham.
I do not see any problems for the joint living of the two peoples in the future.’
American analyst and journalist Peter Tas believes that in the modern world it is impossible to sacrifice the interests of the territorial integrity of states to the vague and indefinite principle of self-determination of peoples.
‘How can one people self-determine on the territory of different states? Where will this chaotic process lead? And how can the modern system of international security manage to stop this confusion, which destroys the present borders of the states that have developed? Moreover, in the Caucasus, the attempt at self-determination causes the incitement of ethnic strife, unleashes bloody wars, opens up opportunities for the formation of ideological fascism in one taken country, Armenia,’ the American analyst said in his speech.
According to him, if the world community does not show a single and consolidated position with regard to resolutely ensuring the integrity of Azerbaijan, it will be impossible to talk about stabilisation and a guaranteed future in the Western community.
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‘Karabakh Armenians should return to the political space of Azerbaijan. For hundreds of years, Armenians and Azerbaijanis have co-existed together. We have one tradition, one historical heritage, single mentality. But why have we been deprived of the right to choose? Believe me, many Karabakh Armenians supported the return of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan,’ Armenian historian Artur Agajanov said in his speech.
In addition, Agajanov condemned the belligerent policy of the current government of Armenia, urging it to abandon military rhetoric.
Along with this Artur Agajanov emphasised the role of Heydar Aliyev in the localisation of the Karabakh conflict. The Armenian public figure called on the Karabakh Armenians ‘to escape from the influence of the Armenian occupation regime and reintegrate with their historical homeland – Azerbaijan.’
Then the floor was given to the representative of the Presidential Administration, Etibar Najafov. According to him, despite the collapse of multiculturalism in some leading countries of the West, as European leaders and politicians openly declare, Azerbaijan has chosen multiculturalism as the cornerstone of its state policy.
E.Najafov expresses confidence that the model of multiculturalism has fully justified itself in multi-ethnic Azerbaijan, being harmonised with the internal and foreign policy of the government. Azerbaijan wants a peaceful policy and builds on the principles of the ‘Baku process’ (multi-ethnicity, multi-confessionality and ethnic tolerance), proclaimed by President Ilham Aliyev in 2008.
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The secretary of the State Commission, head of the working group Ismayil Akhundov spoke at the conference with an introductory speech. Thanking the foreign and domestic experts, as well as Armenian researchers for participating in the conference, the speaker spoke about the policy of multiculturalism and coexistence of peoples, conducted by President Ilham Aliyev.
Armenian representatives are preparing for the conference. In a few minutes the conference will begin its work.
A scientific and practical conference began in Baku, in which Armenian researchers and public figures – Artur Agajanov and Rima Sarkisova – take part. A.Agajanov and R.Sarkisova are active participants of the Armenian-Azerbaijani peaceful platform. The conference was organised by the State Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan on prisoners of war, hostages and missing persons.
In order to discuss the Azerbaijani model of multiculturalism, well-known representatives of the think tanks of the West and Israel arrived in Baku.
Representatives of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, Centre for Strategic Studies under the President, Heydar Aliyev Centre, employees of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan and deputies of the Milli Majlis are also participating in the conference.
Along with the successful Azerbaijani model of multiculturalism, the conference will discuss the consequences of Armenia’s expansionist policy in the Caucasus.