Tuesday, November 17, 2009

POLITICS: Restoring trust between Armenians and Azerbaijanis will take decades (news.az)

News.Az interviews Azerbaijani political scientist Zardusht Alizade.

An article by MP Aydin Mirzazade looking at what both Armenia and Azerbaijan have lost as a result of the Karabakh conflict has been widely published in Azerbaijan. The article revived debate about the cost of occupation for Armenia. What can you say about it?

First of all, I think this article is remarkable. For the first time a member of the ruling team has written an article in the spirit of world culture. He does not advocate hatred for Armenians or curse them, he merely attempts to analyse what would have happened had it not been for the war. Much has been said about this. I have repeatedly told Armenians about it and suggested that they weigh up the advantages they could have had, had it not been for the current claims. Now they think that they won the war and gained Karabakh. What does Karabakh give them? And what did they lose? They have driven all the Azerbaijanis out of Armenia, Karabakh and adjacent regions. But at the same time, they have lost the land where Armenians lived in other parts of Azerbaijan; they lost a strong Armenian influence in Baku, they lost Armenian-settled villages in very favourable zones of Azerbaijan including Shamakhi, Agsu, Agdash and Ganja. In other words, they lost the chance to live in Azerbaijan and influence the development of Azerbaijani-Armenian relations.

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