Interview with Milli Majlis deputy, political scientist Rasim Musabayov.
Berlin has hosted discussion of issues, related to the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. What do you, as a participant of this event, think were the results of this event?
Armenian community members, who did not attend the forum ‘Dialogue-Nagorno Karabakh’ in Berlin have in fact harmed themselves. Everyone could see that Karabakh consists of not only Armenians. It again showed that the statement of non-acceptance by Azerbaijanis of co-existence with Armenians in a myth. In other words, Armenian side avoided communication at that time when Azerbaijani side could voice its position. During the forum, we proved again that Azerbaijanis are ready for co-existence in Karabakh, while Armenians are not. I have to say that this factor is treated seriously in Europe. This could be noticed among German organizers of the event, who regretted that the Armenian community did not attend.
The matter is that Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh benefit from monopolizing the right to speak on behalf of this region. For this reason, Armenian side avoided the meeting with the Azerbaijani community of Karabakh. However, the meeting was attended by representatives of the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Germany, but representatives of the Armenian community of Karabakh have so far avoided the meeting, though, as I have already noted, Europeans are negative on such evasions.
Can such meetings change position of the hostile parties in the negotiation process?
Over the past years, the world community has developed an opinion that only the Armenian community has the right to live in Nagorno Karabakh. In fact, the role of the Azerbaijani community of Karabakh was not perceived on the due level in the world. However, if we look into the root of the problem, it will be clear that Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh make just 1.5% of the whole population of Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, the share of Azerbaijanis of Nagorno Karabakh topped 25% even by official Soviet statistics. In this case, why shouldn’t their opinion be taken into account. This issue must be viewed in context of security and definition of the status of Nagorno Karabakh. In this case, the mechanical dictation of the minority’s will to the majority is out of the question. If such dictating is perceived as a basis, then the question is why not take into account the will of the whole Azerbaijan. In the end, the matter comes not only to security or granting the highest or lowest status to Nagorno Karabakh but also to the fact that Azerbaijanis of Karabakh are deprived of the basic right of living in the native lands.
Do you consider that if the two communities of Karabakh develop trustful relations, there will be no need to deploy international peacekeepers in the conflict area?
It is now early to speak about this. Now we can speak only about restoration of a dialogue so that to push the peace process forward. Unless the official status of Nagorno Karabakh is defined, Azerbaijanis of the region must get an opportunity to return home in safe conditions. In addition, I believe that the community will attain a common denominator on the status of Nagorno Karabakh in conditions off the dialogue between communities. Anyway, it is time to launch such a dialogue between Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno Karabakh.
Which proposals of the Azerbaijani authorities can be attractive for the Armenian community of Nagorno Karabakh so that they could renounce their separatist sentiments?
Certainly, these issues can be discussed after the territories around Nagorno Karabakh are liberated, since cost of oil products, electric power, natural gas for population is much lower than in Armenia. These preferences can be available for Azerbaijanis and Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh.
It should be taken into account that the budget of Nagorno Karabakh, even with respect to subsidies from Armenia, does not top $185m. Meanwhile, the figure in reality can be even lower than the declared amount. Meanwhile, the budget of Nakhchivan reaches $450m. In other words, the budget of Nakhchivan exceeds the budget of Nagorno Karabakh by 2.5 times. Thus, this budget of Nakhchivan is attained through subsidies made by the budget of Azerbaijan. I want to say that the population of Nagorno Karabakh could enjoy the same preferences. In the future, the government of Azerbaijan will provide a greater part of the population of Nagorno Karabakh from both the Azerbaijani and Armenian community of the region, with an opportunity to use the same preferences as the whole population of the country. Self-government and security can also be attributed to these preferences.