Azerbaijan rejects efforts to achieve a final peace on Nagorno Karabakh
Vardan Barseghian

Mr. Cromwell,

Thank God, you did not need to ask for Azerbaijan`s permission to meet with me and to publish an article based on my interview. Anybody can guess the outcome if you were to do so. Fortunately for Karabakh, we also don`t need to ask for Azerbaijan`s permission to do anything anymore: Karabakh has been free for 15 years!

Historic facts are important to understanding a region with a very complex history, such as Nagorno Karabakh`s. Many people would also agree that debates can help air differences and, hopefully, also find points of agreement. Thus, I think debates on Nagorno Karabakh, including the one on, could be useful. However, Azerbaijan and its representatives (both official and non-official), while continuing to have plenty of opportunities to speak directly, debate and negotiate with representatives of Nagorno Karabakh, regrettably, prefer doing so through third parties, international organizations and media, branding Karabakh in a very negative light along the way, which resembles propaganda rather than a genuine effort to advance a peaceful resolution of this conflict.

Time and again, Nagorno Karabakh has offered to implement confidence-building measures to establish an atmosphere of trust, conductive to reaching a final peace. We also remain open for a constructive dialogue with Azerbaijan on every level, official and non-official. Azerbaijan continues to reject any such efforts and contacts. Since the cease-fire agreement of 1994, the ball [to advance lasting peace] has been in Azerbaijan`s court. I hope Azerbaijan would finally choose to use it.

In Karabakh, we like shortcuts, and it is time for Azerbaijan to take a `shortcut` and speak with Nagorno Karabakh directly, if Azerbaijan is sincere about its desire to achieve a negotiated peace. Unfortunately, we don`t have a single reason to believe that the latter assumption about Azerbaijan is valid…

In Karabakh, we are also very serious about our independence and our determination to defend it.

Vardan Barseghian
Representative of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic
Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in the United States