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APPEAL TO ISRAEL COCERNING THE “OCCUPATION” ISSUE
[ARM]     [RUS]     [ENG]

APPEAL TO ISRAEL COCERNING THE “OCCUPATION” ISSUE

Ruzan ISHKHANYAN

 At the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem was prepared in its own way: first of all, an attempt of subversive penetration on the contact line of the Artsakh-Azerbaijani conflict troops, and then the use of this international platform to accuse the Armenian side of "occupation of territories". The impression is that representatives of Turkey and Azerbaijan have memorized the same text in order to communicate with the international community; and the meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan and the peaceful settlement of the conflict are of paramount importance for the fraternal states. Creating an atmosphere of trust to promote a peaceful process requires respect for previously agreed arrangements. The leaders of Armenia and Artsakh regularly remind of this, giving priority to continued efforts to reduce tensions on the line of contact, which should be implemented through the introduction and strengthening of appropriate mechanisms. At the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with the participation of the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andjey Kaspshik on September 23 in New York Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, presenting the principled approaches of the Armenian side, highlighted the importance of ensuring proportionality of the commitments undertaken by the parties in the settlement process. 

Let us note that on the eve of the Mnatsakanyan-Mammadyarov meeting the Azerbaijani side attempted another subversive penetration. And once again they were thrown back to their starting positions. It happened on September 22 in the direction of one of the fighting positions located in the south-eastern part of the line of contact of the Artsakh-Azerbaijani conflict troops. We were informed by the Defense Army message that the enemy left one corpse in the neutral zone as a result of the competent actions of the deploying personnel, and the Artsakh Defense Army had no losses. To prevent attempts by the Azerbaijani propaganda machine to mislead the international community, Artsakh also reported that some episodes of subversive penetration attempts were recorded by the Artsakh Defense Army’s video cameras. This is not the first time Azerbaijan has exhibited such behavior. as a rule, it takes this type of actions on the line of contact during all meetings co-chaired by the mediators. This behavior of official Baku is a disregard for the process of peaceful settlement of the conflict, a reaffirmation of a destructive policy.
The logical continuation of the Azerbaijani sabotage was Elmar Mammadyarov's statement on Karabakh at a meeting of the Contact Group within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in New York. According to Mammadyarov, Armenia has no desire to settle the conflict. He spoke about four UN Security Council resolutions, saying that Armenian troops should be withdrawn from "occupied territories".
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also left for New York to attend the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. The Turkish and Azeri media had informed about his meetings with representatives of Jewish organizations in the United States and the Jewish community in New York. Addressing the General Assembly, the Turkish President stated that "it is unacceptable that Nagorno-Karabakh, which is considered to be the territory of Azerbaijan, and its surrounding areas are still occupied." Erdogan has said a new word from the UN tribune that it is necessary to remove the South Caucasus from the list of problematic regions of the world.
In our opinion, the South Caucasus can be removed from the list in one case: The international community agrees that the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem is the greatest threat to the peace and stability of the region, which can be combated through joint efforts.
No one doubts that Turkey and Azerbaijan are allies of Israel. And why Erdogan demonstratively met with representatives of Jewish organizations in the United States and the Jewish community in New York can be understood. The Government of Armenia recently announced that it intends to discuss the issue of opening an embassy in Israel. The new impetus to the Armenian-Israeli bilateral relations is aimed at more effective protection of Armenia's interests in the region, in addition to its state-of-the-art involvement in preserving the centuries-old Armenian presence and rich historical-cultural heritage. According to the RA MFA, Israel is an important player in the Middle East and its policy directly affects the stability of the region. Israeli foreign ministry approves Armenian initiative
This news does not please Azerbaijan, which has a high level of military-technical cooperation with Israel and is not interested in the development of Armenian-Israeli relations at all. A media outlet serving the interests of the Azerbaijani elite had an open interview with Israeli political scientist Yuri Bocharov. The latter did not justify the Aliyev propaganda hopes, saying that while Israel is a state in the Middle East, it is politically and economically isolated from many countries in the world. And in this sense, strengthening its position in the outside world is important to its reputation. Bocharov told an Azeri journalist investigating himself that there is no need to worry so much, because Israel does not require Baku to close the Iranian embassy, the state hose intention is to destroy Israel.
Let's go back to New York's statements about "occupied territories". Considering the fact that Israel is considered an ally of Turkey and Azerbaijan, let us consider "occupation" in the context of US President Donald Trump's famous statement on the Golan Heights. The president said the area was of great importance to Israel's security and the US recognized it. Washington has realized that if the state is subjected to aggression and at the same time able to take control of areas that are important for its security, then changing the borders is legitimate. Official Stepanakert welcomed the announcement, considering that the Golan Heights precedent is very important to us in advancing our principled position in the peaceful settlement of the Azerbaijani-Artsakh conflict. Recalling the example of the Jews, however, we should note the main difference: The Golan Heights, which today are under Israeli control, have historically belonged to Syria, and the territories enshrined in the Constitution of Artsakh are only a part of our historical homeland.