CHAPTER 25 THE KARABAKH-AZERBAIJAN CONFRONTATION AND THE PROPAGANDA OF UNIFICATION OF THE “TWO AZERBEIJANS”

The Armenian units, entering Kelbajar made an ultimatum to the Azerbaijani army to leave through the Omar gorge within 48 hours. The Azerbaijani population of the close lying territories began to leave in panic, carrying all their belongings and animals with them. The Armenians didn’t mean the migration of the peaceful population but could do nothing to prevent movement. Some of the Kurdish inhabitants of those areas, elderly people, women and children went to Stepanakert, where the authorities did everything possible to create normal living conditions for them. Those, who needed urgent medical aid were taken to the makeshift hospital. Two of the women were taken to the makeshift maternity ward, which was installed in the basement of the parliament building, as the hospital complex was totally destroyed, including the seperate maternity building as a result of the shelling of Azerbaijani cannon fire and “Alazani” missiles. If the Supreme Council and the Defence Committee of Karabakhconsidered that without seizing Kelbajar they couldn’t guarantee the security of the inhabitants of Karabagh, then the viewpoint of the American government was the following;

USA State Department, April 4, 1993

“The government of the US condemns this offensive and expresses its indignation to the highest instances of Armenian authorities and to the representatives of Mountainous Karabagh.”

This statesment of the American politicians pointed to American wish of dragging the Republic of Armenia into the confrontation.

The Turkish-Azerbaijani propaganda again tried to win the favour of the public opinion. As Kelbajar bordered Armenia, the attack was qualified as an aggression of Armenia and this view was accepted by the international community. In this aspect Turkey and Azerbaijan gained advantages over Armenia. Turkey applied to the UNO’s Security Council to stop the aggression. In its turn the UNO turned to the parties to settle the conflict through negotiations.

Since the escalation of the conflict in the zone, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) had sent a number of fact-finding missions to the region to examine possibilities for peace-keeping roles. A series of CSCE meetings had encountered many obstacles involving the presence and status of representatives from Karabakhand legal status of the “self-declared Republic of Karabagh”. Azerbaijan had categorically rejected the demand of Armenians of Karabakhto be an equal footing with other parties to the talks, threatening to quit the talks. Because of ending in a deadlock on the issue, concrete plans were not being materialized. At the July 1992 CSCE summit Azerbaijani President A. Elchibei proposed a thirty day cease-fire, which had no effect on continued Azerbaijani attacks in Karabagh. Armenia, Azerbaijan and the authorities in Karabakhrepeatedly called for United Nations mediation and intervention in the conflict, but on the whole no steps were taken toward United Nations mediation, despite the deadlock in the talks and the continuing escalation of the conflict.

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