Dear Ambassador Tahir Taghizadeh
I am writing to express my gravest concern at the wholly unacceptable messages left by your President on Twitter on August 7th 2014. To any independent observer these can only be seen as a “threat of war” on Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
We live in a world where we have too many wars. There is no pressing need for you to start another one. The status quo, whilst not wholly satisfactory, is fundamentally peaceful. That does not need to change.
What is to be gained by Azerbaijan initiating a war; as it will be your President that starts it. Many soldiers will be killed, most of whom will not even have been born at the time of the ceasefire in 1994. It is highly unlikely that any Azerbaijani civilians will be killed. It is an absolute certainty that many innocent Armenian civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh will be killed. In the event of your success, then, of those that remain, many Armenians will become refugees, as there is little likelihood that they will risk living under Azerbaijani control. So by starting a war, there will be wholesale massacres and possible ethnic cleansing. I think that would probably represent a war crime under the Geneva Conventions, – do you want that on your conscience?
I understand your viewpoint after losing control of Nagorno-Karabakh, and that there are many Azerbaijanis who have a desire to return to their original properties. No one can recreate the past. The starting point has to be today. If your concern is for the Azerbaijani people then the only way forwards is to work with the Government of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and agree the practical steps which achieves a humanitarian solution. If it is simply to return the territory to Azerbaijani control, regardless of the loss of life on both sides, then it is imperative that the world sees your President for the warmonger that he is.
I am a UK citizen, with no Armenian lineage. I have visited Nagorno-Karabakh on 10 occasions and have published many articles and photographs. I am totally self-funded. I have not had the opportunity to visit Azerbaijan as your Government has declared me persona non grata. I accept that my view could be considered to be biased, but as a humanitarian I am not taking a political or nationalistic perspective on the situation. I am only concerned about what is in the best interests of all of the people affected.
It is evident from the actions of your President that he is more concerned about how he is remembered in the history books rather than the welfare of the thousands of people who will be killed to achieve the needs of his vanity.
I only hope that you have the power to influence your President and ensure that we all concentrate on working together on peaceful solutions.