For many years, we have seen that Armenian and Azerbaijani or Armenian and Turk intellectuals and civil society actors have met and participated in various seminars both in Yerevan and Baku as well as in several corners of the world, with considerable grants spent on these events. Why was all of this unable to serve its purpose, globally speaking, of establishing peace and reconciliation, and why did the Second Artsakh War take place?
The inclination for peace and reconciliation was one-sided; as we can see now, it was one-sided. We were preparing for peace while they were readying themselves for war. Who lost? The ones that were inclined to seek peace. I have also participated in those events. It has never been possible to have a dialogue with Azerbaijanis. One of them wrote to me during the war and said that if I passed on my location to them, they would send me a present. Something like that… They knew that I am from Artsakh. One or two of the many Turk friends I have wrote something, but the rest preferred to maintain silence. When someone says that the people have nothing to do with all this, it’s all at the level of the politicians, I think it is an erroneous approach. Hadn’t those same people organized protests in support of the Palestinians in Istanbul? I no longer believe that approach. I have recently been reading the works of Armenian writers that died in the Genocide – how they believed the Young Turks, how they supported their rise to political power, and how they were betrayed, arrested, and annihilated. I no longer believe that approach.
So how can we establish good neighborly relations with Azerbaijan if they don’t return our compatriots that they hold prisoner?
Yes, how can we establish good neighborly relations with Azerbaijan when they don’t return the prisoners and, even worse, when their leader speaks with contempt about those prisoners with the First Lady of Turkey?
There have been attempts to establish relations with Turkey during the rule of all three past Presidents of Armenia. Why did Turkey break its neutrality during the Second Artsakh War?
There is an information gap there. I don’t know what those past Presidents discussed, I don’t know what agreement exists between Turkey and Russia as well as other countries. I hope that justice will prevail someday.