I read with interest your letter in The Economist (20th September “The West’s disengagement”).
Your letter is notable for having no reference to the fact that the people in Nagorno-Karabakh are Armenians, or the fact that they were the majority resident population in that particular region when you attacked them. You simply apply the pejorative term “separatists” despite the fact that their ancestors have lived there for centuries. In 1988 when the Armenians declared their wish to be part of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic , Azerbaijan was not an independent state and so had no territorial integrity rights. As a result of that vote your Government attacked and killed Armenians in Azerbaijan, and applied armed forces against the innocent people of Nagorno-Karabakh.
It is a true consequence of the war that hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis were displaced; hundreds of thousands of Armenians were similarly forced to leave their homes from throughout Azerbaijan. Your response to a peaceful vote caused that.
In your letter you say “….a respect for territorial integrity can bring about lasting peace and prosperity to our region”. When this is counter to the wishes of a significant number of people then this never results in peace. If you are committed to peace in the region, please consider the actions of a modern state which respects the wishes of the people. When the UK Government agreed to a referendum on Scottish Independence, that was solely about respecting the voice of the people as a means of determining the future. Any thoughts about territorial integrity were nullified.
Your focus on reinstating a debatable territorial claim over Nagorno-Karabakh is the reason why this conflict remains frozen and why it continues to be a point of instability in the region. If your priority is for peace in a way that assures that no further deaths occur then listen to the people who live there today, withdraw your territorial claim, and stop threatening to bomb them.
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