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JOURNAL NUMBERS

Today's Armenia and Motives Behind the Genocide Accusations: More Than a Matter of

Retired Ambassador Ali Hikmet ALP*
Armenian Studies, Issue 2, June-July-August 2001

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Considering that historians alone can throw light on such controversial issues heavily tainted with bias, distortions and even propaganda, Ambassador ?ükrü Elekda?, Justine McCarthy and several others recommend the formation of a ‘Commission of Historians’ with Turkish, Armenian and foreign participation.

The author of this article is not a historian, as the perspective of the article is not historical. But as a layman who read considerably on the subject, he too could not fail to observe that Armenian history seem to be written basically by Armenian historians for Armenians, and then used as a main source for most of the works by non-Armenian writers. In their reference notes, the same familiar names such as Hovannisian, Dadrian, Dekmejian, Suny, Balakian and the likes are ever present, in contrast to the absence of those who dissented with their version. Documents are used selectively to prove the guilt of a country which happened to be long before the First World War[2] “on the other side of the fence”, a careful “image building” is usually there. They hardly care, for example, to assess the causes and circumstances of the events which led to deportations, a measure of last resort recommended with much hesitation by Talat Pasha, and generally accepted today as a grave mistake. Very few (and in particular politicians) make a difference between these unacceptable actions and a deliberate act of genocide, which is not documented, even when the Allied powers had all the means in their command during the occupation. An effort is often made to fill the gaps by assumptions. The ‘genocide’ is explained as a logical consequence of the pan-Turkist (!) ideology of the Ittihad, although logic requires that even such assertions are taken seriously, they cannot, by themselves constitute a proof, in view of abundant documented evidence for the contrary.

References to documents, witnesses and other sources which contradict the pro-Armenian views are sometimes included, but curiously enough, skipping the really important elements, without noticeable effect on standard conclusions, or qualifying them with words such as ‘argued, pretended, claimed’, etc. Morgehthau’s memoirs are profusely used, dwarfing what Admiral Bristol had to say on the essence of the claims. The plight of the Muslim population, itself in a struggle for survival, is very rarely mentioned, as if they are in a different category of human beings, disposable in the process of Armenian rebellions and collaboration with foreign powers (‘legitimate independence movement’). Although history writings have to be careful to avoid the trap of fanning the same sentiments they denounce as the causes of ethnic hatred, conflicts, massacres and ethnic cleansing, a majority of the publications, by their partiality, do exactly this. The problem probably is the impossibility of writing Armenian history without knowing well the Ottoman history, or to overlook the ‘principles of history’, as Prof. McCarthy observes.[3]

A critical examination by such a Commission (if Armenian historians display the temerity to participate) may serve to show to public opinions that there is also another side of the coin and hopefully help a new outlook. In any case, there is no reason in our opinion why a Turkish Institution should not take such an initiative, with or without Armenian participation.

Ambassador Gündüz Aktan examines the issue from a legal perspective. Pointing out to the present conceptual anarchy and misuses, he says, among others, that the Republic of Armenia, using the possibility offered by Article 9 of the Convention on Genocide, can bring its dispute with Turkey on its applicability to the International Court, at least it can ask for legal opinion. One reason why the word ‘genocide’[4] is so freely used might be that most of the accusers, in particular politicians, did not take the trouble of reading the Convention.

Common sense would favour the acceptance of both suggestions, which may also soften the present tensions in Turkish - Armenian relations. However, that probability looks rather remote. It has already met with a categorical refusal from the ‘ elite’ of the Armenian diaspora who seem to be unshakably bound by their own ‘truth’, which they consider as an inseparable element of their national identity[5] , by their own words. On the official side, Armenian President, Mr. Robert Kocharian, who came to power on a nationalist ticket and with the mission of mending relations with the much needed diaspora, as well as his Minister of Foreign Affairs (a hard-line representative of the American Diaspora) immediately refused the establishment of a ‘Commission of Historians’.[6] These responses, strange as they may be, should not be surprising in view of the well known refusal of the radicals and of the diaspora elite to enter into any discussion which does not admit from the start the  ‘truth’.

It is indeed difficult to imagine that Armenian regimes of the present line would accept such proposals, having conveniently used the genocide theory for internal and international consumption and as an excuse for a failed State. Armenian historians are probably afraid of triggering a process of transparent, critical examination, leading eventually to the demolition of their ‘truth’, even the very moral basis of the ‘myth’, as Prof. Türkkaya Ataöv calls it. Almost everything is done in order to suppress dissent with their ‘truth’ and even American academic institutions are not exempt from such primitive attempts, by bias, sympathy or intimidation[7]. We have to conclude that, besides this deep rooted conviction, the benefits expected from being recognised as a second nation subjected to genocide even before the Jews is attractive to both categories of the Armenian elite, also as a basis for some sort of material compensation[8] .

The ‘Genocide’ Issue and Turkish - Armenian Relations.

To what extent genocide accusations, coupled with an hostility, even a hate propaganda have poisoned the Turkish-Armenian relations is well known. Recently in the Turkish ‘intellectual circles’ too the Turkish policies towards Armenia have been (in our opinion rather gratuitously) criticised. A brief review will be useful:

First: Turkey had to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia immediately after gaining its independence.

Second: Turkey should make more effort to improve its relations with Armenia and should not in particular let its Armenian policy be made hostage to Azerbaijan.

Third: Because of political tension, the tremendous potential of Turkish-Armenian economic relations is being lost in the process. We may add to this list an accusation frequently made by Armenian circles that Turkey has been too pro-Azerbaijan, even to the extent of overlooking its own interests.

The answer to the first criticism is rather simple: Turkey recognized without delay the Armenian independence and entered into consultations for the establishment of diplomatic relations. They could not however be conclusive, since Armenia did not accept even a vague promise stop its official activities for the recognition of the ‘genocide’ and refused a confirmation of the present borders, even by a reference to valid agreements and treaties[9].

The second criticism should be examined together with accusations of ‘a threat from Turkey’ as the same Armenian circles often state. Both Countries are members of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and are parties to the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE). Armenia has never brought to OSCE a question of ‘Turkish threat’, knowing well that it could not be substantiated, but on the contrary would expose aggressive Armenian policies. The intrusive ‘on-site’ inspection system of the CFE Treaty has never detected any Turkish military move or force concentration in contravention of the Treaty, even at the height of Armenia’s war against Azerbaijan. Armenian forces in Upper Karabagh and other occupied territories are de facto left out of the CFE inspections, its non-compliance with the Treaty is tolerated. Regarding border issues, Turkey strictly observed a policy of status quo, in contrast to Armenian rejection of the reaffirmation of mutual borders. ‘The Turkish threat’ is no more than a pretext for the Armenian military effort, Russian-Armenian military cooperation, presence of Russian military bases and for asking from the Armenian people further sacrifices at the cost of lower living standards. We saw the effects and consequences of such ultra-nationalistic behaviour in the Balkans too.

Whether Turkey makes its policy a hostage of the Azeri policies should be examined under the light of mainly the two elements: To what extent Turkish policies are in reality different from the declared policies of the West on the question of Upper Karabagh and occupied territories, and which party to the conflict is the guilty one. The difference of the Turkish position resides in the fact that while most of the other powers may accept any ‘face saving’ solution, Turkey can only support a solution which would not substantially deviate from the standards of the international law or would not be grossly unfair to Azerbaijan. The reasons why Turkey feels closer to Azerbaijan should not be difficult to understand, as it is not difficult to understand the sympathies of some other countries towards Armenia, by tradition, internal lobbies or by strategic calculations as in the case of Iran. This closeness cannot however mean ‘a priori’ an obstacle for correct political relations with Armenia, as the similar examples in the diplomatic history of Turkey are not rare. With regard to its position on this issue, Turkey is quite comfortable, its support to Azerbaijan being fully consistent with international law, Security Council resolutions and its international obligations.

Armenian circles frequently question the legitimacy of Turkey’s membership in the ‘Minsk Group’ of the OSCE, tasked with helping the resolution to the Upper Karabagh question. An invariable practice of the diplomacy is that parties to the conflict try to ensure that membership of such international mechanisms include to the extent possible countries sympathetic to their cause, at least they would like to see a balanced representation. The Author of this article, as the Turkish representative in the Group for about five years, believes to be entitled to state that the Turkish Representatives’ positions have never been substantially different at least from the representatives of ‘neutral’ countries such as Sweden and Finland[10] . As in the case of the ad hoc bodies dealing with Balkan conflicts, Turkey strives for a better balance of interests. Its own interest will be best served by a prosperous, democratic stability in the Caucasus, but not by a stability any cost. A solution cannot be viable if it is not reasonably honest. In the present case, nobody can expect that Azeri people forgets about unfair arrangements imposed upon them by their neighbour at this critical period of their history. Conscious also of eventual misgivings of third parties because of its cultural, religious and national affinities with Azerbaijan or with any other involved country; Turkey has never acted as a proxy or in defence of the narrow national or ethnic interests. Since four years the Minsk Group is led by three co-chairman (France, Russian Federation and the United States) with only a nominal link with OSCE and even with the nine-member Minsk Group itself[11] . It is difficult to say that the credentials for impartiality of these three powerful countries are much reliable than that of Turkey. It is also a known fact that, as in the case of historians who strive to be objective, their diplomats too are often subject to interference and intimidation from politicians and pressure groups.

The third criticism, although looks as an economic one, is in reality charged with complex political issues. First of all any Turkish Government, in deciding about its relations with these two countries in conflict has to take into consideration that Azerbaijan will weigh heavier in the balance, not only because of their special relationship or its brighter economic prospects, but also because of the fact that Azerbaijan is the party whose territory is under illegal occupation. As if that is not enough, Armenia willingly associates itself with anti-Turkish initiatives and whenever possible, does not itself refrain from taking such initiatives. Their present leaders openly state that better relations with Turkey cannot have any impact on their foreign policy, in particular on their uncompromising positions regarding their conflict with Azerbaijan. If it is so, in other words, if concessionary policies will not help to produce change on key issues, then there should be expectation of substantial benefits, worth taking the risk of loosing Azeri market. Statistical information shows that such expectations cannot be realistic. Armenia is a country with a population less than three million, with a per capita income around $1200 and a foreign trade volume less than $4 billion. Its natural resources are scarce, 40% of its population is under the poverty line, and the share of its industry fell blow 23%. Its economy, including its energy sector, is almost completely dependent on Russia and on external assistance. What would therefore be the volume of trade, which the two countries can realistically develop, and what that volume would represent in the overall Turkish foreign trade? Would it be important enough to accept the risk of its negative impact on Turkish-Azerbaijani political and economic relations? Besides the oil and gas issues, Turkish Government has to take into account the interests of the Turkish companies doing business in or with Azerbaijan, despite existing difficulties.

One could argue that at least negative measures, such as the ‘embargo’ be lifted. There is no Turkish embargo on trade with Armenia. Exports and imports, as well as investments are free.[12] Development of the transport routes can be meaningful only if there is a potential for access to markets beyond Armenia, in particular to Azerbaijan. The reason behind the embargo complaints is not its actual existence and hardship created for Armenia, but the fact that trade is made by transit trough Georgia and partially over Iran. Although that may not be economically convenient, it has a positive side effect, by providing a source of revenue for the friendly Georgia, which is under tremendous Russian political and economic pressure. On the other hand, even if there is an economic embargo on the part of Turkey, statistics show that it has no serious impact on the Armenian foreign trade. As a comparison of foreign trade figures show, Armenia does at present relatively better than its neighbours:

Azerbaijan: Population 8 million, Armenia (officially) 3.7 million, Georgia 5.5 million.

Average volume of trade between 1994-1998 : Azerbaijan $ 5.994 bil., Armenia 3.801 bil. Georgia 3.300 bil.

US assistance for economic reforms: Azerbaijan $91.6 mil., Armenia $240 mil., Georgia $260 mil.(energy assistance of the USA and Russia excluded).

US humanitarian assistance : Azerbaijan $425, Armenia $1.200 mil. (Armenia is in the third rank on the receivership of the US foreign assistance with $43 per person, after Egypt and Israel)[13] .

The Upper Karabagh question and in particular the insistence to keep a fifth of Azerbaijan’s territory under its occupation, despite the offers of international security guarantees as part of the final settlement, constitute the key to Armenian foreign and security policy,  making it a negative element in regional development and a tool of the Russian ‘divide and rule’ policies in the Caucasus. This reality, coupled with the failure in economic development both in Armenia and Upper Karabagh are the main reasons pushing Armenia to seek external enemies, and ‘genocidal’ Turkey, an ally of Azerbaijan,  is an easy target.

 It will be fair to recognise however that, during the presidency of Mr.Ter Petrossian, a re-appraisal of the harmful consequences of turning such an ideology into political  programs had started, albeit timidly, even among the ordinary citizens, more concerned with meeting the ends  than with such agitations.  With the departure of Ter Petrossian following the 1999 elections, which looked more like a coup d’etat than a democratic process, that trend has been reversed. What we observe now in the Armenian political scene is a preponderance of the radicals, who made the genocide issue a part of the political program of their new government.

Azerbaijan and the Upper Karabagh[14]:  The new victims of the ‘genocide’

It is increasingly becoming evident that the Genocide issue is nowadays being used by Armenia to rally Western sympathy and support for its aggressive agenda towards Azerbaijan. The basic principle of the Western policies in the post Cold War regarding the border questions and secessionist movements are clear, albeit difficult to implement: In Europe, internal borders of the federal states are recognised as borders between the newly independent states. Otherwise they would have no reason to refuse, for example, independence for Kosova. One has also to take into account the different strategic environment, in particular the wavering, even contradictory Russsian policies and actions, not always conceived in Moscow, but rather in Russian military headquarters and by Russian Military in the Caucasus[15]. Even if Yeltsin’s Government had a different policy, it is doubtful that it would seriously try to impose it, since the military version is in essence in harmony with the policy of ‘near abroad’.

 Their problem is therefore to find ( if possible) viable solutions which would conform with the principle, at least in appearance. In view of their own Armenian sympathies and the Russian factor, strong pressure or coercive measures, as it is done elsewhere, are not an alternative. Logically, the International Community would insist on the withdrawal of Armenia from these territories as a matter of priority, and then to impose a new status on Upper Karabagh. If another country instead of Armenia had been in question, implementation would not be too difficult.  Azerbaijan having already accepted the principle of a ‘large autonomy’ as far back as 1994, the relief which the liberation of other territories would encourage the Azerbaijani Government to ask from its people further flexibility on the status question. It is expected that security guarantees to be provided by the International Community for the parties will hopefully eliminate other pretexts on the way for a solution[16].

Inconsistent approaches of the Western World towards the existing conflicts have been viewed by the Armenian radicals as encouraging for their own agressivity. It is indeed difficult to say that Western public opinions, European organisations (in which both countries have member status) , various  ‘human rights watches’ and NGO’s have been sensitive enough to the consequences of the conflict and to the stark reality that a fifth of the Azeri territory is under Armenian occupation (imagine Kosova Albanians occupying a fifth of the Serbian territory! ), over one million Azeris are still in the category of ‘displaced persons’ and most of the cities under occupation are wantonly destroyed.[17] While the influence of the Armenian lobbies, geographical and strategic environment is evident, an association of the words ‘Turk, Muslim and Azeri’ in the collective mind of the Western World too is a major factor behind the present double standard.

The so-called ‘Minsk Group’ had been entrusted with the resolution of the conflict in 1992, at a time when the conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms of the OSCE were not sufficiently developed[18]. In many respects it is an ad hoc arrangement on the sidelines of the OSCE. Second and third Chairmen of the Group, Sweden and Finland invested tremendous expertise and energy, unsuccessfully though, because of a lack of serious support by major powers. In a parallel group, the ‘Third Party Peacekeeping’ ( the ‘third party’ being Russia), its Italian chairman sought agreement on peacekeeping practices specifically tailored for some parts of the OSCE area, in clear contradiction with the general principles of the international law, and therefore unacceptable not only for Azerbaijan and Turkey, but almost for all newly independent states and ex-members of the Warsaw Pact. The Minsk Group is now chaired (by an unusual practice in the OSCE) by   three self-appointed co-chairmen, France, Russia and the U.S., the latter having developed an interest with the question in late 1990’s, after the ‘Russia first’ policy lost its lustre during the second term of the President Clinton. While France practically represents the powerful E.U., which has no clear Caucasian policy and Russia is becoming more cooperative after the Chechen independence movement, they still are unable to convince Armenia to accept withdrawal from occupied territories before the finalisation of the modalities of the autonomous status of Upper Karabagh. Armenian intransigence caused a gradual shift towards compromise proposals unacceptable for Azerbaijan, which rightly insists that withdrawal from these territories should have priority, by legal-political considerations, but even more, in order to prevent Armenian delaying tactics, by prolonging the status negotiations ‘ad infinitum’. Another point of contention is that, although Azerbaijan has accepted the principle of a large autonomy, the concept of  ‘common state’ of the co-chairmen goes well beyond that, even beyond what one may call as a ‘face saving formula’ [19] How one can indeed consider as fair that Azerbaijan finances an entity on whose territory it will not have even a modicum of sovereignty and accept the interference of this ‘Republic’ (with a population much less than 200.000) in its foreign policy?[20] It is becoming increasingly obvious that Armenia is unable to reconcile itself with the idea of giving up at least a part of the occupied territories which he keeps hostage as a ‘bargaining chip’ in exchange of the independence of ‘Nagorno Karabagh Republic’. It is not difficult to guess that, besides nationalistic factors and international tolerance, its strategy is designed to gain time, with expectations from a ‘post-Aliyev’ Azerbaijan.

Armenian press suggests (with critical comments) that, under American pressure in particular, there are signs of a shift in Kocharyan’s positions towards the ‘step by step’ approach, conditionally accepted in the past by Ter Petrossian. However, the ‘sine die’ postponement of the next round of talks (17th) planned for mid-July between Presidents Aliyev and Kocharyan does not give much hope for the near future and bellicose statements from both sides are proliferating.

Mr. Kocharyan is known as a member of the hard-line Karabakshi clique, with scarce administrative experience. Expectations for a change in his positions once in power proved to be vain. It is difficult to imagine an Armenian leader with the mission of mending relations with Diaspora and economically in dire straits will ever be able to follow a moderate line. On the internal front, economic recovery and eradication of corruption, among his main promises, are not yet on the horizon. Diaspora is more influential than ever and migration from Armenia continues.

Conclusions

Armenian side will continue to ask from Turkey and from Turks to recognize the extreme, namely of a meditated, intentional destruction of their people on ethnic or racial grounds, without convincing proofs. Descendants of the victims of the deportations listened only to personal or family experiences and read only the national ‘historians’, without a wider perspective to place the events in the overall picture of the history. Turkish minds too are not exempt from similar experiences, but they fortunately are not blind to the point of forgetting altogether the positive aspects of a long period of the togetherness, probably due to the fact that they are not intentionally raised with a hate psychology.

There is no answer from the Armenian side to a simple question: After so many centuries of living together and respecting each other’s cultures and identities (at least to a greater degree than in the West at those times), why the same Turks suddenly came up with the idea of exterminating Armenians? Very dubious ‘nationalist’ credentials of the ‘?ttihad’ leaders, an assumption at best, is not a convincing at all, at least not convincing enough to explain their ability to turn the Turks into killers in such a short span of time, as most Armenian sources try to describe us. In different ways the Turkish identity is more complex than Armenian identity willingly reduced to a single element. Rarely there is a mention of pervasive interferences, ethnic cleansing, occupation and even destruction often committed or tolerated for the sake of ‘humanitarian considerations’, by those with a rich record of imperialism, even slavery.

Without reasonable impartiality and objectivity, and unless the complex circumstances of the events and the state of the Ottoman society during those years are taken into consideration, there cannot be any reasonably common ground. That such accusations find once again favourable echo in the West is not surprising, especially at a time of the Turkish candidacy for European Union membership. Our traditional shortcoming continues to be poor public relations and participation in the increasingly complex information processes. We have to change it.

The Genocide issue is skilfully used by Armenian politicians and intellectuals, not only as an element of their national identity and as a unifying force for dispersed diasporas as they say, but also as an instrument for political and territorial ambitions, and as a justification for the failure of a first national Armenian state within internationally defined borders. In a sense, historic errors are being repeated in different way, ignoring the long term interests of the Armenian Nation, and a militarily and politically weaker Azerbaijan is taken as a target.

But how long and at what cost?



[1] It should be noted that of the 527 members only 50 were present and 29 of them voted for the adoption of the law. Among the few dissenters to Kocharyan’s campaign was the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Arzumanian.
[2] Mim Kemal Öke, The Armenian Question 1914-1923 contains detailed background information and analysis
[3] Ankara. Justin McCarthy, ‘Let the Historians Decide’, Armenian Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, March-April-May 2001, pp. 48-65.
[4] One new addition to the literature is Fires of Hatred, Ethnic Cleansing in the XX Century, by Norman M.Naimark. The two chapters reserved to Anatolian Armenians and Greeks contain no new research, but usual inferences and a dramatization of the events to prove the Author’s point to show the ‘value’ of the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ as a new category: ‘Only because so much death was finally required by the Young Turks to carry out their plans do we label the Armenian case genocide.’ p.84. The inclusion of the Crimean Tatars and Chechens is on the credit side, while there is no mention of ethnic cleansing in Karabagh.
[5] Martine Hovanessian, ‘La Diaspora Armenienne et l’Idee Nationale’, in CEMOTI, No.30, 2000.
[6] In his interview with Claude Lorieux, ‘Génocide n’est pas l’affaire des historiens’ with these words R. Kocharian rejects a joint historical research, asserting at the same time that, Western archives support the Armenian thesis. According to him, documents provided by Germany for example have been very useful.
[7] Prof. Justin McCarthy is not the sole example of intimidation frequently resorted to by Armenian lobbies. Thomas Goltz, the author of Azerbaijan Diary, responds in following terms to harsh criticisms of the Diaspora representatives: ‘My crime, for your information, was to report on Armenian atrocities against civilian Azerbaijani Turks and Kurds in and around the disputed territory of Mountainous (Nagorno) Karabagh, and to dare to suggest that the long-suffering Armenians might be involved in a war crime or two themselves.  And more. Any Armenian scholar or writer who has the temerity to question or disagree with    the official Armenian line of ‘innocence all the time’ was and likewise branded a stooge, quisling and national traitor…’.
[8] ‘Armenia Marks Genocide Day’, Armenia Report RFE/RL, Armenian Service, 24 April 2001. Some Armenian politicians and scholars say that it is now time for Armenia to prepare a ‘list of reparations’.
[9] R. Kocharyan in his interview has stated that Armenia cannot ask for reparations since it is not the successor to the Armenian State of that time. This may also mean that Armenia is not bound by the agreements concluded by that State.
[10] In international conflict resolution the element of prestige or ‘resolution by whom’ is nowadays as important as the resolution of the conflict itself, creating further complications.
[11] It seems that a ‘Nagorno Karabagh’ fatigue set much earlier than a ‘Bosnian fatigue’.
[12] According to information provided in the CIA’s web page.
[13] Zerkalo, Baku, 6 Jan.2001.Regarding the backstage of US assistance to Armenia: Armenia Pulls the Strings for Larger Share of US aid, Michael Dobbs, Washington Post Service,25 January 2001.The Article contains interesting information on the lobbying of some US Congressmen, in exchange of electoral support.
[14] For a detailed description of the international initiatives see:J.Maresca: J.Maresca, ‘Resolving the Conflict Over Nagorno Karabagh: Lost Opportunities for International Conflict Resolution’ in Managing Global Chaos,USIP., USIP.
[15] Although Armenia has been militarily supported by Russia throughout the conflict, the original source of the Karabagh’s forces is the arms and equipment left behind by the withdrawing 101 Russian Brigade. Russian Military describe their bases in Armenia as some kind of storage depots. Since a great majority of the military personnel of the bases is recruited among local Armenians, experts conclude that the bases are at the same time the reserves of the Armenian army.
[16] One can easily foresee the difficulties in developing such guarantees, in view of the Russian ambitions and Armenian support for the insertion of the Russian military forces in Azerbaijan (Georgian example).
[17] The Author has seen only one serious program, broadcast by an Italian TV channel, which reflects the plight of the Azeri victims. Several authors mention the violent pressures by the Armenian Diaspora to silence those who show the temerity of describing the consequences of the Armenian occupation.
[18] Most of these mechanisms were introduced by the 1992 Helsinki Ministerial Document. .In a separate decision, Ministers also accepted the convening of a conference in Minsk, optimistically soon, and 9 countries, including Turkey, were elected to form a group tasked with the preparation of the Conference.  While extensive preparatory work has been done by a parallel ‘High Level Planning Group’ for an international peacekeeping force,  it could never materialise because a lack of political agreement between the parties and of the Russian attempts to introduce its own forces in Azerbaijan, as ‘interposition forces’. Azerbaijan wanted a truly international force with a balanced composition, 30% being provided by Turkey.
[19] For a description of the proposals see Ömer E. Lütem, ‘Facts and Comments’ (in Turkish), Armenian Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, May 2001.
[20] The first paragraph of a ‘document’ published in the Armenian newspaper Aravot as the proposal of the co-chairmen reads as follows: Nagornyy Karabagh is a state and territorial entity with the status of a republic and forms a common state with Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders. In order to promote relations and coordinate joint activity, representations of Nagornyy Karabagh and Azerbaijan will be opened in Baku and Stepanakert [Xankandi]. Nagornyy Karabagh will participate in the implementation of Azerbaijan's foreign policy on issues of interest to it. Decisions with regards to such issues may be adopted without the agreement of both sides.(BBC Monitoring Service, 21 Februqary 2001).
According to the same ‘document’ the ‘Republic’ will have all the exclusive organs and instruments of a sovereign state, such as its own administration, security forces, justice,etc,and will also have representatives in the foreign missions of Azerbaijan. These are the elements of discord which made the Bosnian constitution unworkable, despite a heavy investment and the presence of 35.000 peacekeepers.

 

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* Former Permanent Representative of Turkey to OSCE and the Minsk Group -
- Armenian Studies, Issue 2, June-July-August 2001
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