BY LIEUTENANT GENERAL (RETIRED) HAYK KOTANJIAN
Following the attacks unleashed by Baku on Armenia on July 12, strategic analysts monitoring the dynamics of the “no war, no peace” situation in the volatile and conflict-ridden region, have come across plans for a joint Turkish-Azerbaijani war against the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh.
This is evidenced by the statements of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the results of a joint reconfiguration of these plans during the visit of an Azerbaijani Armed Forces delegation to Ankara headed by Lieutenant General Ramiz Tahirov, Commander of the Azerbaijani Air Force.
Erdogan confirmed that the Turkish Army Chief of Staff General Yashar Guler had successfully worked with the Azerbaijani military delegation with the involvement of the commanders of all branches of the Turkish Armed Forces. It can be assumed that the adjustment of the plans of the joint Turkish-Azerbaijani war against Armenia was carried out taking into account the lessons of Azerbaijan’s defeat of in the 2016 April War and the precise and crushing counteraction of the Armenian Armed Forces to an attempt to escalate the Karabakh conflict in the Tavush Province in Armenia.
The end result of the statements by the heads of Turkey and Azerbaijan about their readiness to implement the adjusted military plans for a joint war has made it imperative for the authorities of the Republic of Armenia to speak about the threat of recurrence of the Genocide hanging over the Armenian people.
The relevance of the “Never Again” principle for the Armenian people is due to the genocidal attacks on the Armenian population of Azerbaijan during Perestroika in the USSR, which were in response to peaceful political rallies of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians for the right to self-determination and secession from the Azerbaijani SSR in accordance with the USSR legislation and international law. We are talking about the pogroms in Sumgait and Kirovabad in 1988 and in Baku in 1990, as well as war crimes committed against the civilian population of Armenia during the April war of 2016.
In this regard, it is extremely important to call on the international community, represented by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, and the three permanent members of the UN Security Council – Russia, the United States and France to take sequent steps to prevent a new Genocide against the Armenian people.
Wanting to make sense of the lessons of the April War and to ensure a guaranteed peace, the OSCE Minsk Group offered confidence-building measures to the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which were agreed on in Vienna on May 16 and in St. Petersburg on June 20, 2016.
The authorities of the Republic of Armenia must appeal to the Minsk Group Co-Chairs with a proposal to return the issue of confidence-building measures to the agenda, so that all stakeholders can receive reliable information on the escalation of the conflict and the identification of the initiator or the aggressor. As a monitoring tool for ceasefire violations, the use of a space sensing method in the Karabakh conflict zone via satellites employed by the three permanent members of the UN Security Council—Russia Russia, the United States and France—should be considered.
The coordinated satellite signals by the Co-Chairs to determine the concentration of military buildup and threats of deployment will enable Azerbaijan and Armenia, through the mediation of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs, to pursue more substantive steps for a peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict.