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CAUCASUS > Azerbaijan waits for a reason for war: Armenian president

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Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan reviews the guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi June 8, 2012.  REUTERS Photo

Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan reviews the guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi June 8, 2012. REUTERS Photo

The Armenian president has accused Azerbaijan of being eager for armed conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, vowing a “disproportionate” response to Baku if a fight is started, speaking to The Wall Street Journal.

“Unfortunately, I believe Azerbaijan is waiting for an occasion to start a conflict,” Serzh Sargsyan said on Nov. 8. “I am confident such a mistake would harm the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia but that the most harm would come to the people of Azerbaijan. … We won’t stand aside when the population of Nagorno-Karabakh is going to be destroyed.”

Sargsyan said the Armenian government would continue to push for a negotiated settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, The Wall Street Journal reported on Nov. 9 on its website. But he also tapped the rising tensions in one of the world’s key energy corridors.

Sargsyan said Armenia would strike Azerbaijan only if Nagorno-Karabakh or Armenia were attacked but vowed that Yerevan’s response would be “disproportionately” strong.

He also warned that the prospect of a military strike against Iran, with which Armenia shares a border, was an issue of “extreme concern” which could set off a sequence of events that could also trigger a conflict between Yerevan and Baku.

He said deeper international engagement in the region was vital to help reduce tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia. “If we had been living in an isolated region where there was no international impact, war would have already begun,” he said. He also blamed Azerbaijan for increasing the hatred against Armenians living in Azerbaijan.

“What is the reason for establishing such a xenophobic atmosphere and hatred against Armenians in Azerbaijan?” Sargsyan said. “It is easier to create such an atmosphere, to encourage hate speech, rather than deal with the consequences of that atmosphere and turn the tide back.”

Armenia-backed separatists seized Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan in a war in the 1990s that left some 30,000 dead, and no final peace deal has been signed since the cease-fire.

November/09/2012

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Zung O

11/10/2012 9:19:53 PM

They have consistently said that 80% of the occupied lands will be returned when the 100,000 + ethnic Armenians who live in the NK region are guaranteed full security and independence from the Armenophob Dictatorship of Azerbaijan. When you have soldiers being killed in their sleep who knows what the NK Armenians will go through under Azeri rule. And this attitude has existed in their society before the war. Stop looking at Azerbaijan and your "brothers" they are not! They are just oil providers

Raymond Zak

11/10/2012 8:50:41 AM

Dutchtrk, don't you think Azeris should think twice? In order not to lose again more lands ? This time they will lose lands that are really Azeri lands! No one should ever play with fire . Think about positive solutions, Armenians today are not the same as they were in the 1900's. So, leave the shark alone (sharkyan ?) otherwise they will bite you. ps: For your information, wether Armenians have money or not, they will defend themselves.

V Tiger

11/10/2012 8:49:16 AM

A hereditary dictatorship cannot last.He & his mafia know very well that in an event of war they'll follow the other ME dictators.War mongering & their Armenophobia is their weapon to drug the innocent Azeris.War will further divide aliyevistan with other minorities gaining their independence.No more slavery similar to Kosovo & Turkish Cyrus.

DutchTurk JANICAR

11/9/2012 9:02:02 PM

Who wouldn't. Armenia doesnt only occupy Nagoro Karabakh, but also some surrounding provinces that are all together as large as Nagoro Karabakh. Yes indeed Azerbaijan is eager to get their lands back, since the Azerbaijani Defense budget is 30% of the total Armenian GDP, so of course Sharkyan is worried, but nothing you can do about that as long as you occupy Azerbaijani land and cause more than 1 million Azerbaijani refugees inside Azerbaijan. What's gonna happen is gonna happen Viva Azerbaijan

V Tiger

11/9/2012 7:46:04 PM

That large portion is Armenian historic land returned back to its original inhabitants.

mike alexander

11/9/2012 6:25:25 PM

Let us be realistic. In case of a war, it is Russia which will decide who will be the winner !

Murat

11/9/2012 6:12:23 PM

They are not waiting, and they do not need an excuse Mr. President, they already have ample reason: large portion of their country is under foreign occupation. Such a silly comment!
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