Books on Azerbaijan
Update No: 352 -
The big issue confronting Azerbaijan since
1988 has always been the same - Nagorno
Karabakh, or North Karabakh in English
parlance. Who should it belong to – or
should it go independent?
There is no doubt that the Armenians are
holding down 20% of former Azeri
territory, including the Armenian enclave
and the Lachin corridor to it. In 1992 and
1993, Armenia occupied Azerbaijani
territories in Nagorno-Karabakh. The two
countries signed a ceasefire in 1994.
It is might not right that decides matters
in geopolitical disputes, in most cases.
It is not surprising that Baku is
pondering desperate measures.
Azerbaijan might consider a military
intervention to address its
Nagorno-Karabakh dispute with Armenia if
peaceful means fail, a top Azerbaijani
official said on April 16. But Ramiz
Mehdiyev, the head of the Azerbaijani
President’s Executive Office, said
Azerbaijan would prefer to solve the issue
peacefully. “However, we may bring other
means, and a military intervention, to the
table in the future if necessary, and if
these peaceful means fail,” Mehdiyev told
newspaper editors in chief and television
journalists in Istanbul.
Azerbaijan is losing its patience,
Mehdiyev said, calling on Russia, an
Armenian ally, to be more sincere in
solving the problem. “The United States
was also supporting Armenia,” he added.
“If there had been no one behind Armenia,
it would have withdrawn from Upper
The Turks want this dispute over soon.
They have everything to lose and nothing
to gain by its continuance.
There has been ferocious diplomacy between
Ankara and Yerevan of late. An official
said the signing of protocols between
Turkey and Armenia would not harm
Turkish-Azerbaijani relations because the
two are sister countries. He said
Azerbaijan and Turkey would discuss
lifting visa requirements and come to an
The co-chairs of the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk
Group – Russia, France and the United
States – are currently holding peace
negotiations between Armenia and
Planned joint military exercises by
Azerbaijan and the United States were
cancelled in mid-April against a backdrop
of strained ties between Washington and
the oil-producing former Soviet republic.
The announcement by Azerbaijan followed
its sharp criticism of Washington's role
in its festering conflict with Armenia
over the breakaway mountain region of
Diplomats say the criticism reflects Azeri
anger over U.S. support for a deal between
Armenia and Azerbaijan's close Muslim ally
Turkey to mend ties and reopen their
Azerbaijan, a supplier oil and gas to the
West, fears the deal will weaken its hand
in talks over the rebel territory.
Azerbaijan did not specify who cancelled
the exercises planned for May, or why, but
the U.S. embassy said it suggested "that
the question be posed to the government of
Tehran to the rescue?
Iranian FM Manouchehr Mottaki’s has
proposals to hold a trilateral meeting of
Armenian, Azerbaijani and Iranian Foreign
Azerbaijan welcomes Tehran’s initiative,
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Spokesperson
Elkhan Polukhov said. "Iran is neighbours
with both Armenia and Azerbaijan with a
certain weight and influence in the
region. It also has levers through which
it can contribute to resolving the
conflict in a fair way based on relevant
international legal norms,” Polukhov
"It should be noted that Iran has always
been present in the initial phases of the
conflict in the negotiation process, and
Iran's position has always been support
for the territorial integrity of
Azerbaijan,” Polukhov noted.