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Ömer Engin LÜTEM, Retired Ambassador
17 March 2008 - ERAREN
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="justify">The United Nations General Assembly affirmed the territorial integrity of Karabagh in its 14th March resolution and asked for the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories, recognized on the other hand, the right of return for the people who left those territories due to the war conditions.

The resolution is in accordance with Azerbaijan (and Turkey) views but in contradiction with Armenia’s attitude. One should say that, this resolution should be considered as a great success for Azerbaijan diplomacy.

39 countries accepted the resolution while 7 countries opposed to it and 150 countries abstained. 47 countries did not participate to the voting.

The 7 countries which rejected the resolution, apart from Armenia, are Angola, Vanuatu, India, France, the Russian Federation and the USA. The last three countries are the Minsk Group’s vice-presidents which are responsible for finding a solution to the Karabagh issue. These three countries, just from the beginning were against to the intervention of the United Nations to the Karabagh issue by claiming that such an intervention will make it more difficult to find a solution. By voting against the resolution, they tried to diminish the effects of Armenia’s defeat.

The reason behind the rejection of India is the close contacts of Azerbaijan with Pakistan. The motive of African Angola and Vanuatu which is at Pacific is not known. But it is very common for the small countries to take side at the voting of the General Assembly, for the issues which are not related to them.

What draws the most attention at the voting was the abstention of 150 countries. This is most probably due to the advices of Russia and the USA. In this case also, the effort for diminishing the effect of the Armenian defeat is obvious.

Islamic Conference Organization is a full supporter of Azerbaijan for Karabagh issue and it was expected that all its members will vote in favor of Azerbaijan. However, the members of this organization were divided to three due to the pressure of Russia and USA. Some of them supported the resolution some rejected, while others abstained and some of them were not participated to the voting. 

After the voting, the Foreign Ministry of Armenia claimed that most of the members of the United Nations were not supporting Azerbaijan for the Karabagh issue. However, the number of the members who opposed to the resolution is only seven. It is impossible to say that those who abstained opposed to the resolution.

As a result we can say that the United Nations General Assembly has accepted a resolution which reflects Azerbaijan point of view. Although the resolution is not binding, from now on it will be difficult for Armenia to defend its thesis especially on the public opinion sphere.


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