Our Analytics 29 december — 13:38

Who lied to Armenia: Pashinyan or Kocharyan?

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BY ALKHAS ISMAYILOV

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's press-conference held last Friday caused a powerful public resonance in Armenia. Following the prime minister, former President Robert Kocharyan held a press-conference (one would like to say in response), after which another former, Serzh Sargsyan, announced his intention to speak in a similar format. As a result, the impromptu political battle unfolding in front of the excited Armenian public sharply increased the degree of inter-clan confrontation, which was reflected on TV screens and newspaper pages in the form of theses and quotes of the present and former Armenian leaders.

Pashinyan's revelations set Kocharyan and Sargsyan into action

Which anthill did Pashinyan poke with a stick?

What did Nikol Pashinyan say that plunged the Armenian society into a semi-faint state? Which of the anthills the prime minister poked with a stick caused sensational headlines in both the Armenian and Azerbaijani media? What moment in Pashinyan's public revelations made his predecessors shake off the mothballs of the past and begin loudly making excuses to their people?

The original answer was voiced by the author of one of the opposition Armenian telegram channels, who wrote:

'With his lies at a press-conference, Pashinyan, without realising it, revealed the true essence of the Madrid Principles.'

Let us leave it to the professional conscience of our Armenian colleague to explain how a lie can 'reveal the true essence,' and try to figure out what, after all, shook Armenia so thoroughly.

The country was agitated by the question posed to Pashinyan related to the dear for the heart of every Armenian topic of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, which lost its relevance after the victory of Azerbaijan in the 44-day war. Nevertheless, it is appropriate to remind our readers that it was once considered the Gordian knot of negotiations on the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, which has not been cut in thirty years.

Kocharyan comments in detail on negotiations with Aliyev

We should dwell on the topic of these negotiations in more detail, since the second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan described their progress in the most rosy tones, presenting to the Armenian people each new proposal of the European mediators as 'much better than the previous one,' while the current prime minister of Armenia, roughly speaking, did not give a penny for the productivity of these talks within the OSCE; and the events that had developed behind closed doors since 2016, he called nothing but 'catastrophic.'

It is clear that the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, prudently stayed away from the inter-Armenian inter-clan showdowns, does not comment on the ups and downs of the political farce reigning in Yerevan. Although in Baku they know first-hand which of the Armenian politicians is honest in public statements, and which one shamelessly passes off their own diplomatic failures as success.

Pashinyan voiced the position of official Baku

Here one would like to remind that over the decades of the negotiation process, the officials of Baku and Yerevan, without disclosing the strictly confidential details of the negotiations, publicly accused each other of hypocrisy and deceit, and with the same words too: 'At the negotiating table, our opponents say one thing, but to their society something completely different.'

Naturally, none of the parties had any evidence of their correctness. However, after the end of the 44-day war, the most interesting thing began: President Aliyev and Prime Minister Pashinyan suddenly began to gradually disclose the details of the proposals of the European mediators in the negotiations within the OSCE.

And -- lo and behold! -- the coincidences in the positions of the opposing sides suddenly became much more!

Why?

According to experts, Nikol Pashinyan deliberately decided to partially disclose some of the details of the negotiations within the OSCE, in order to show his people the limitations and futility of Armenia's position. In addition, Pashinyan tried to convey to the mass consciousness of society that the catastrophic situation in which Armenia finds itself today is a direct consequence of the failed diplomacy of his political predecessors.

Pashinyan assures that the catastrophe of Armenia was prepared by Kocharyan and Sargsyan

The coincidences in the details of the long-term confidential process, which the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia began to voice a year ago, confirm that Nikol Pashinyan does not deceive his people, it were Kocharyan and Sargsyan that have been lying to the people and continue to lie. Moreover, they did this until the very end, until the last minute, after which, realising the abyss into which the Armenian steam locomotive of extremism, hatred and terrifying nationalism, which they had fired up, was rushing, they jumped, shoving all responsibility onto Nikol Pashinyan.

The piquancy of the current situation lies in the fact that while under Kocharyan and Sargsyan Azerbaijan and Armenia were accused of lying to each other, now Nikol Pashinyan accuses not Azerbaijan of deceiving the Armenian people, but his predecessors.

In a word, on Friday, Pashinyan essentially voiced the position of official Baku, for which he was immediately doused with the mud of non-parliamentary expressions and even contemptuously called 'the devil's advocate' (that is, of Azerbaijan), as if it was because of the Armenian PM that Azerbaijan's negotiating positions became accounted for and dominating over the years.

How many years have they been talking about the two-community nature of Karabakh in Azerbaijan! How many years have they been reminded of the Baker's rules that took into account the existence of two communities? How many years have they said that voting to determine the status is possible only with the participation of all residents of the former NKAO, including the Azerbaijanis expelled from there! How many years has it been said that the extrapolation of the Armenian interpretation of the 'unlimited right to self-determination' can turn into a boomerang effect and provoke counter demands for unlimited self-determination of the Azerbaijani population in the Shusha district, the Azerbaijani quarters of Khankendi (Karkijahan), Azerbaijani villages in the mountainous part of Karabakh...

How many years have we said that the demand to maintain the demographic proportions of 1988 for the next hundred years is nothing but cave savagery! How, pray tell, to support it? By what methods? Total sterilisation of Azerbaijanis? Or, perhaps, the accelerated fertilisation of Armenian women? Delirium, after all, bordering on Goebbels's racism!

Even during the negotiations within the framework of the Minsk Group, Azerbaijan stood its ground: the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh should not contradict the Constitution

Aliyev's behind-the-scenes conversation with Sargsyan

How many years have we been saying that the six principles once published do not yet lead to a guaranteed separation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region from Azerbaijan, because they do not specify who will participate in the ephemeral voting and in what territory it will be held. We even drew attention to the discrepancies in the Russian and English texts of the statement by the leaders of the three OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing states, published at the end of June 2010. Then on the website of the US State Department it was said about voting on the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh among [just] the population, and on the Kremlin's website -- about voting among 'its' population, hinting at the population of 'Nagorno-Karabakh,' which was not even mentioned in the English text.

We drew attention many times to the keyword 'legal' related to the phrase 'final status,' explaining that the final status, according to the consensus of the co-chairs, can only be legal, that is, it should not contradict the Constitution of Azerbaijan, as had done the so-called 'referendum' dated December 10, 1991.

How many times have we written that according to the Constitution of Azerbaijan, referenda can be held only on the entire territory of the state, and not in a separate region. Moreover, on such issues as changing the territory of the state and its borders!

How many times have we written that the voting time will not be set until Azerbaijan gives its consent to this, recalling the behind-the-scenes conversation between Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan, the recording of which was 'leaked' by the Armenian newspaper Hraparak (see: https://ru.armeniasputnik.am/20161201/pressa-detali-po-karabahu-armejskie-hishcheniya-i-dorogie-udobreniya-5646558.html).

And all Sargsyan's attempts to whitewash his role look pitiful

How many times have we written that the structure created by the OSCE has no right to go beyond the UN Charter, the UN Security Council resolutions and the 1975 Helsinki Final Act -- that is, the very documents that spoke about the 'Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan' and the right for its self-determination, taking into account the territorial integrity of states (Chapter VIII of the 1975 Act)!

We wrote about all this countless times, writing over tonnes of paper, spending megabytes of memory! And do you know what we heard in response from our Armenian opponents? Only hidden smiles and feigned bewilderment. And also a lie, a constant lie. We were told: 'Stop worrying, Aliyev is deceiving you, at the negotiating table he handed over Karabakh to us a long time ago!'

Revealing a number of details of the negotiations and repeating everything that the Azerbaijani side had said in previous years, the prime minister of Armenia, in fact, answered the question of who exactly -- Azerbaijan or Pashinyan's political predecessors -- systematically misled the Armenian people.

All attempts by Kocharyan and Sargsyan to justify themselves and present themselves as victims of defamation by Pashinyan look unconvincing and even pitiful. And in fact, if the negotiations for Armenia, as Kocharyan claims, were going so well, why was it necessary to drag them out, which Kocharyan, in particular, confessed to Vladimir Pozner during his election interview? On the contrary, it was necessary to force them, to bring them to an end.

Kocharyan admitted to Pozner that he was dragging out negotiations

By the way, in the same interview, Kocharyan let slip, saying that Pashinyan provoked the war with his statements, while he, Kocharyan, managed to restrain it and constantly drag out the negotiations. The question is, why drag them out, if each new proposal of the European mediators was 'better than the previous one'?

But they were delaying it! Both Kocharyan and Sargsyan!

To be in the wrong place at the wrong time

None of them admitted to their people that the negotiation process did not bode well for the adherents of miatsum. The Kazan document, which contradicted the essence and logic of the Madrid principles and was diplomatically rejected by Azerbaijan, was indeed optimal for the separatists. However, it was after Kazan that each new proposal was only worse for Armenia than the previous one and definitely better for Azerbaijan, which, by the way, was confirmed by Nikol Pashinyan last Friday.

Each new proposal after the Kazan fiasco of Armenia was worse than the previous one

Naturally, Baku was interested in continuing the negotiation process. However, then a series of extremely unpleasant events followed: strange statements from Yerevan in the spirit of 'Karabakh is Armenia and the point', 'New war -- new territories,' the announcement of the transfer of the 'Artsakh parliament' to Shusha, provocations in the Tovuz district, sending in August 2020 of a sabotage group to Azerbaijan, after which it became clear that Yerevan took a course to disrupt the very negotiation process, which Pashinyan in his hearts called a 'catastrophe.'

Robert Kocharyan's press-conference, announced as a public exposure of 'Nikol Pashinyan's false conjectures,' turned into a public embarrassment for the second president of Armenia: he was unconvincing, not so much denouncing Pashinyan, but trying to defend himself in every possible way and, of course, continuing to lie. In particular, when one of the journalists accused him of withdrawing the Karabakh separatists from the negotiation process, Kocharyan immediately recalled that the format of the meetings had changed to 'shuttle diplomacy' at a time when he was not even the prime minister of Armenia, but was in Karabakh, but at the same time for some reason 'forgot' that, having become the president of Armenia, he himself suggested (!) that at the meetings he would represent 'the united position of Yerevan and the separatists,' with which the OSCE co-chairs and official Baku, naturally, did not argue.

Sargsyan's press-conference is scheduled for January. What Serzhik says in his own defence is of no fundamental importance, since history has already passed its verdict on both him and his predecessor Robert Kocharyan -- two former leaders of Armenia who deceived their people, proved themselves mediocre diplomats and witnessed the humiliating defeat of the Armenian army, which they created.

As for Nikol Pashinyan, he was simply not lucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and become the commandant of a house of cards, unsuccessfully built on the sand.

We will diplomatically refrain from the call to give Pashinyan the opportunity to clean the Augean stables from political rubbish, since this is an internal affair of the Armenian people.

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