Armenian Parties Warn Azerbaijan Against Another War
Armenia's leading political forces on Tuesday blamed Azerbaijan for
the latest ceasefire violations in Nagorno-Karabakh and warned it
against attempting to resolve the conflict by force.
President Serzh Sarkisian's Republican Party (HHK) and the main
opposition forces accused Baku of deliberately provoking the June
18-19 clash in Karabakh's northeast that left four Armenian soldiers
Like the Armenian government, HHK spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov linked
the incident with the latest meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani
presidents that was held in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg late
on June 17.
He claimed that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev came away
`extremely dissatisfied' from the talks. `This may have annoyed
Azerbaijan's little sultan and he resorted to that step,' Sharmazanov
told RFE/RL's Armenian service.
`If Azerbaijan hopes that with such provocative acts it can spread
panic in Karabakh or Armenia, then I must disappoint them and say our
military is in very high spirits,' Sharmazanov said, adding that
Azerbaijan would lose more swathes of land in case of another war.
`We all must make it clear to Azerbaijan that if it opts for war we
will end up as the winners just as we did in 1988-1994,' agreed Hrant
Markarian, a leader of the opposition Armenian Revolutionary
Speaking to RFE/RL's Armenian service, Markarian likewise said Aliyev
ordered an attack on a Karabakh Armenian outpost because of the
outcome of the Saint Petersburg talks. He speculated that the talks
marked the collapse of a modified version of a framework peace accord
on Karabakh proposed by international mediators last year.
`The variant of the updated Madrid principles seems to have failed,'
said Markarian. `It's a variant that envisaged a totally
pro-Azerbaijani solution. And that failure has naturally left
Azerbaijan in a nervous state.'
Another, more radical opposition force, the Armenia National Congress
(HAK), also condemned `the violation of the ceasefire regime by
Azerbaijan.' In a written statement, the alliance led by former
President Levon Ter-Petrosian said it would be `at the forefront of
the fight for Nagorno-Karabakh's security in the event of a war
`I am convinced that in the event of a real danger, the Armenian
society will put aside differences and stand by the Nagorno-Karabakh
Republic,' HAK spokesman Arman Musinian told RFE/RL separately.
`There is a danger of the war's resumption,' he said. `That danger has
somewhat increased. But in order to reduce it, we need a correct and
coordinated foreign policy on the part of Armenia.'
The HAK statement charged that the Sarkisian administration has added
to the increased the likelihood of renewed fighting with its
`criminal' Karabakh policy.
Markarian, whose nationalist party favors a hard line on the dispute,
criticized that policy in milder terms, calling it `dithering and
NAMES OF THE KILLED SERVICEMEN MADE PUBLIC
The NKR Defense Army has announced the names of the servicemen
killed as a result of the fight at the contact line between the
armed forces of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan. Among the victims
were junior sergeant Mnatsakan Gasparyan, soldiers Araik Barseghyan,
Edward Manukyan and Paruyr Melkonyan.
Junior sergeant Garik Matevosyan, soldiers Galust Badasyan, Andranik
Arzumanyan and Harutyun Mesropyan were wounded.
On June 18, at 23.30, an armed reconnaissance group entered the
territory of Nagorno Karabakh from Azerbaijan.
The Azeris managed to penetrate into the northeast part of the contact
line between the Armed Forces of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan.
The advancement of the rival was prevented as a result of the measures
taken by the Armenian side. The enemy receded, leaving one dead. Four
were killed and another four were inured on the Armenian side.
CONGRESSMAN PALLONE CALLS ON US GOVERNMENT TO
RESTRICT MILITARY ASSISTANCE TO AZERBAIJAN
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), co-chair of the Congressional
Caucus on Armenian Issues, Monday released a statement condemning
attacks by the armed forces of Azerbaijan on soldiers of the
"I condemn these attacks in the strongest terms. The attempt to
penetrate the line of contact with Nagorno-Karabakh defenses was
an unacceptable provocation and an attempt to precipitate further
conflict," the Congressman said, expressing his deepest condolences
to the families of the four soldiers who lost their lives due to
"The fact that these attacks were unprovoked and came just hours after
a meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan with Russian
President Medvedev as part of ongoing efforts to bring the conflict to
a final peace settlement, makes the attacks that much more egregious. I
continue to call on the U.S. government to reinstate Section 907 of
the FREEDOM Support Act and restrict all further military assistance
to Azerbaijan. We can not stand complacent as Azerbaijan makes good
on their aggressive statements and engages in violent attacks,"
Pallone said, according to Asbarez.
AZERBAIJAN HAS GIVEN A STRONG SLAP IN RUSSIA'S FACE
Azerbaijan has given a strong slap in Russia's face by organizing
a provocation immediately after the meeting of the Armenian and
Azerbaijani Presidents in Saint Petersburg at the invitation of
the Russian President, Republican MP Rafik Petrosyan told a press
Leader of the People's Party Tigran Karapetyan has a different
explanation of the latest developments. "In reality, the problem
has reached a level, where the issue of deployment of peacekeeping
forces is on the agenda. Russian peacekeepers will be deployed on
some liberated territories, while the Turkish forces will be deployed
"There have always been provocations, and there will be ones in the
future. However, there will be no large-scale war. Every provocation
provides an opportunity to the superpowers to think about peacekeeping
forces," Tigran Karapetyan said.
"I do not rule out that Russian peacekeeping forces could once be
deployed with our consent. As for the Azeri provocation, it was a
strong blow to Russia. Aliyev ignored not only the Armenian side,
but also the Russian President. I think this factor will turn positive
for us," Rafik Petrosyan stated.
EU, NATO `Regret' Karabakh Fighting
The European Union and NATO on Wednesday added their voice to
international mediators' concerns about the worst ceasefire violation
in Nagorno-Karabakh in over two years that was reported late last
Azerbaijan, meanwhile, sought to rationalize this and other skirmishes
between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces, saying that they are the
inevitable result of the unresolved dispute over the
The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Catherine Ashton said through a spokesperson that she regrets the June
18-19 armed incident in northeastern Karabakh that left four Armenian
and one Azerbaijani soldiers dead.
`The High Representative calls on both sides to respect the ceasefire,
restrain from the use of force or any threat thereof, and continue
efforts for the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,'
read a statement issued by the spokesperson. `The EU reiterates its
full support to the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group and the work of
the three co-chairs.'
`NATO regrets these incidents and we certainly monitor the situation,'
Guenter Bretschneider, the head of the alliance's Euro-Atlantic
Disaster Response Coordination Center, told journalists in
Yerevan. `That's all I can say at this moment.'
Neither Ashton, nor the NATO official blamed any party for the
fighting which came just one day after a meeting of Armenia's and
Azerbaijan's presidents in Russia. Armenian leaders claim that Aliyev
ordered an Azerbaijani army unit to attack a Karabakh Armenian
outpost to sabotage the negotiating process.
In a joint statement issued late on Monday, the Minsk Group's
American, Russian and French chairs strongly condemned the
incident as an `unacceptable violation of the 1994 Ceasefire
Agreement.' They reiterated their view that `there is no alternative
to a peaceful negotiation solution of the conflict and that war is
not an option.'
`The co-chairs are urging us not give the war a chance, but in order
for that to happen, the armed forces of Armenia must leave
Azerbaijan's territories,' Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar
Mammadyarov told a news conference in Baku on Wednesday. `The sooner
that process begins, the better for everyone.'
`Armenia wants to sign with us some agreement on non-use of force,'
he said, according to the APA news agency. `But force was already
used and its consequences must be eliminated.'
Mammadyarov also said that Armenia has still not formally responded to
what the co-chairs call `an updated version' of their basic principles
of a Karabakh settlement that were originally put forward in Madrid in
2007. `It is very difficult to work in such circumstances,' he said.
Official Yerevan has repeatedly downplayed the still unpublicized
changes made by the mediators in the Madrid document. Armenian leaders
say they always accepted the original document as `a basis for
negotiations.' They also dispute Baku's stated acceptance of its
Meanwhile, the warring sides continued on Wednesday to accuse each
other of violating the ceasefire regime in various sections of the
Karabakh frontline. Neither side reported fresh casualties.
The Trend news agency cited the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry as saying
that its forces came under `intense fire' from Armenian positions east
and north of the disputed region on Tuesday and Wednesday.
A Karabakh military spokesman denied this, saying that Karabakh
Armenian forces only returned fire to `silence the enemy.' `The
Karabakh side did not breach the ceasefire,' Senor Hasratian told
RFE/RL's Armenian service from Stepanakert.
TURKEY TO PRODUCE ATTACK WEAPONRY FOR AZERBAIJAN
June 22, 2010 | 17:32
Turkey and Azerbaijan intend to establish an arms production company,
Today's Zaman reports referring to Azerbaijani press.
Presently, Azerbaijani "Azersimtel" company is holding negotiations on
structure and scope of a new company, Today's Zaman says. According to
the source, the Turkish Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation
(MKE) will hold a large share of the military facility. It is also
reported that the company will produce attack weaponry for Azerbaijan.
"Using the trade networks of both Azerbaijan and Turkey, the arms
company will most likely export some of its products abroad," Today's
Iran on war alert over "US and Israeli concentrations" in Azerbaijan
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
June 23, 2010, 1:23 PM (GMT+02:00)
In a rare move, Iran has declared a state of war on its northwestern
border, debkafile's military and Iranian sources report. Iranian
Revolutionary Guards Corps men and equipment units are being massed in
the Caspian Sea region against what Tehran claims are US and Israeli
forces concentrated on army and air bases in Azerbaijan ready to
strike Iran's nuclear facilities.
The announcement came on Tuesday, June 22 from Brig.-Gen Mehdi Moini
of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), commander of the forces tasked
with "repelling" this American-Israeli offensive. He said: "The
mobilization is due to the presence of American and Israeli forces on
the western border," adding, "Reinforcements are being dispatched to
WestAzerbaijan Province because some western countries are fueling
ethnic conflicts to destabilize the situation in the region."
In the past, Iranian officials have spoken of US and Israel attacks in
general terms. debkafile's Iranian sources note that this is the first
time that a specific location was mentioned and large reinforcements
dispatched to give the threat substance.
Other Iranian sources report that in the last few days, Israel has
secretly transferred a large number of bomber jets to bases in
Azerbaijan, via Georgia, and that American special forces are also
concentrated in Azerbaijan in preparation for a strike.
No comment has come from Azerbaijan about any of these reports.
Iranian Azerbaijan, the destination of the Revolutionary Guards forces
reinforcements, borders on Turkey, Iraq and Armenia. Witnesses say
long IRGC convoys of tanks, artillery, anti-aircraft units and
infantry are seen heading up the main highways to Azerbaijan and then
further north to the Caspian Sea.
On Tuesday, June 22, Dr. Uzi Arad, head of Israel's National Security
Council and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's closest adviser, said
"The latest round of UN Security Council sanctions on Iran is
inadequate for thwarting its nuclear progress. A preemptive military
strike might eventually be necessary."
debkafile's intelligence and Iranian sources point to three other
developments as setting off Iran's war alert:
1. A certain (limited) reinforcement of American and Israeli forces
has taken place in Azerbaijan. Neither Washington nor Jerusalem has
ever acknowledged a military presence in this country that borders on
Iran, but Western intelligence sources say that both keep a wary eye
on the goings-on inside Iran from electronic surveillance bases in
2. Iran feels moved to respond to certain US steps: The arrival of
the USS Harry S. Truman Strike Group in the Persian Gulf and the
Arabian Sea and its war games with France and Israel, which included
live-fire bombing practices against targets in Iran.
3. The execution of Abdolmalek Rigi, head of the Sunni Baluchi rebel
organization (including the Iranian Baluchis), on June 20 was intended
as a deterrent for Iran's other minorities. Instead, they are more
restive than ever. Several Azeri breakaway movements operate in
Iranian Azerbaijan in combination with their brethren across the
border. Tehran decided a substantial buildup in the province would
serve as a timely measure against possible upheavals.
Saturday, 26 June 2010