Sunday, January 13, 2008

NKR Comparison to Kosovo: “. . . much in common” MFA says, Armenia - Jan 10, 2008
By Aris Ghazinyan
ArmeniaNow reporter

“Despite the fact that every conflict is individual, Nagorno-Karabakh and Kosovo have much in common,” Armenia’s Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian stressed at a press conference on January 9.

Thus, Oskanian voiced the position of official Yerevan regarding U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns’ statement at the Madrid summit of OSCE Foreign Ministers last November. The American diplomat said then that “any agreements that would be reached on Kosovo could not be applied to other conflicts.”

“The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict acquired a military component after the start of ethnic cleansings and Armenian pogroms in the Azerbaijani town of Sumgait,” the minister said. “It is these tragic events that are a major argument for the impossibility of Nagorno-Karabakh’s being part of Azerbaijan. From this point of view, the conflicts are similar and the only difference here is that ethnic cleansings in Kosovo were stopped by NATO, and in the case with Nagorno-Karabakh we did it ourselves.”

According to Oskanian, if it is assumed that Kosovo cannot return under Serbia’s control because of the ethnic cleansings, “the same can be said about the Nagorno-Karabakh issue as well.”

Pogroms of Armenians were staged in the Azerbaijani capital’s suburban town of Sumgait on February 26-29, 1988. Whole families, including elderly people, women and children were murdered. The criminal case launched by the USSR Prosecutor General’s Office was dismissed later in view of the Soviet Union’s collapse.

Oskanian said that “the genuine cause-and-effect relation of the origin of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict” will be presented to the international community this year as Armenians in Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic will be holding various events to mark the 20th anniversary of the Sumgait massacre.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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