BAKU (BBC)–Former Azeri Prime Minister Surat Huseynov told a Baku court that he did everything possible to win the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict–and blamed President Haydar Aliyev for defeat by the Armenia’s–the Azeri newspaper Azadlyg reported last week.
Huseynov–who is on trial for high treason–said that Aliyev signed a cease-fire with the Armenia’s–thus stopping an Azeri offensive which Huseynov had ordered and helping the then Armenian president–Levon Ter-Petrosyan–to stay in power.
"Aliyev kept Ter-Petrosyan in power. Then he [Aliyev] told me that there was a cease-fire–no operations would be carried out. At that time I instructed the Aghdam brigade to start an offensive. I came to Baku and asked what cease-fire that was. Aliyev showed me a document and told me to sign it as we had concluded a cease-fire with the Armenia’s. I opposed this. Defense Minister [Safar] Abiyev signed the document and they sent it by fax. The same day–I phoned Aghdam and asked about the offensive. They told me Aliyev had phoned and said to stop the attack as there was a cease-fire. He told me that there was a cease-fire and that as prime minister I would concern myself only with the economy. I started visiting factories. Then the Armenian attack became fiercer and the issue of Aghdam was solved. There was a cease-fire–Fizuli was occupied–10 days later Jabrail–then Gubatly and Zangelan," Huseynov said.
He also accused Aliyev of provoking the clashes which led to the collapse of the administration of Abulfaz Elchibey–who was president in 1993.
"The People’s Front came to power. At that time–Aliyev again sent people to me–saying that they [the People’s Front] should be destroyed. I told them not to talk… Then they found a renegade in Elchibey’s entourage… They sowed the seeds of dissension between us–and with the help of this renegade they perpetrated the events of 4th June [1993–when Elchibey fled–Aliyev became president and Huseynov became prime minister]," the former prime minister said.
He also accused Aliyev of encouraging separatists–led by Alikram Gumbatov–to set up a breakaway republic in southern Azerbaijan. "It was Aliyev himself who proposed talks about the Talysh-Mugan republic.
It was a game prepared in Nakhichevan [Aliyev’s power base]," Huseynov said.