Baku. Rufat Ahmadzada – APA. “I have never supported such initiatives. Dialogue between civil societies and public diplomacy initiatives are favorable for Armenia in the current situation”, Sahib Mammadov, Chairman of the Citizens' Labor Rights Protection League told APA while commenting on a joint statement signed by chairman of the Public Forum For Azerbaijan, Eldar Namazov, and head of Armenia’s Center for Political and Legal Studies “Concord”, David Shahnazaryan, in Helsinki, Finland.
“If the peace process doesn’t yield any results at the presidential level, then there is no meaning in our dialogues. Of course, we can not remain enemies forever. But 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories are under occupation. If Armenia takes a step toward, a peace agreement with Azerbaijan, starting with the liberation of the adjacent regions to Nagorno-Karabakh, representatives of civil societies can work for good neighborhood in peaceful conditions,” he said.
Mammadov is also surprised at the call “not to sell arms to both sides” that was envisaged in the statement: “I do not understand them. Increasing the power of self-defense is the right of Azerbaijan, whose territories are under occupation. Why should our country fall weak in comparison with Armenia? On the other hand, we need to be careful while using the expression “right of peoples to self-determination”.
Armenians already have a state and it is illogical to establish a second, third or fourth Armenian state everywhere Armenians densely populated in. I think that the territorial integrity should come before anything else. This important point shouldn’t be forgotten in the resolution of this conflict as well. If Armenia takes a step towards peace accepting Azerbaijan’s proposal to grant the highest status, the conflict can be resolved completely within a few years", he added.
Chairman of Karabakh Liberation Organization Akif Naghi told APA that he felt sorry about the names in the list that joined this statement from the Azerbaijani side. “They take this wrong step either because of naivety or intentionally. Non-use of force, self-determination and give up defending… Can’t these persons understand that the Azerbaijani territories are under occupation? Such statements are useful not for us, but for Armenians”, he said.
Naghi stressed that the issue of liberating the seven regions is pending. “No step is taken toward the peace agreement. What else shall we do to satisfy the co-chairs and the invaders? It is ridiculous that a handful of Armenians in Karabakh demand independence. As if we speak about the people under colonial rule. Everyone should understand that we cannot wait for them returning our lands willingly. The Azerbaijani people do not need such defeatist dialogue", Akif Naghi added.
Note that, President of the Public Forum for Azerbaijan Eldar Namazov and Director of Armenia’s Center for Legal and Political Studies “Concord”, David Shahnazaryan, have signed a joint statement in Helsinki, Finland.
In the statement, the sides also mentioned a document they had signed as part of the Independent Civil Minsk Process (ICMP) on the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict on 8 December 2010 and noted they call on the sides to put an end to military rhetoric and politically informative campaigns aimed at fueling the conflict and begin working on a “road map” to resolve the conflict.
The sides signing the document said they regret these calls were overlooked over the past period.
The statement addresses the leaders of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and those countries, calls to stop selling offensive weapons to the region, and calls on the sides’ civil society representatives to be active in the process of peace.
On the Azerbaijani side, Zardusht Alizadeh, Arzu Abdullayeva, Ali Abbasov and Leyla Aliyeva joined the statement, and Agasi Enokyan, Aykak Arshamyan, Karen Ohajanyan and Natalia Martirosyan on the Armenian side.