By LTG (Retired) Hayk Kotanjian, Full Professor, D.Sc.
Strategic analysts monitoring the dynamics of the no-war, no-peace situation in the volatile and conflict-ridden Middle East region after the military adventure unleashed by the Baku authorities at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on July 12-13, 2020 have learned of plans of a joint Turkish-Azerbaijani war against the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh. This is evidenced by the statements of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the results of the joint adjustment of these plans during the visit of the delegation of Azerbaijani Armed Forces to Ankara headed by Lieutenant General Ramiz Tahirov, Commander of the Azerbaijani Air Force. Erdogan confirmed that the Chief of General Staff General Yashar Guler had successfully worked with the Azerbaijani military delegation with 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 in the April war of 2016 and the precise and crushing counteraction of the Armenian Armed Forces to an attempt to escalate the Karabakh conflict in the Tavush section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
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 the 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, we consider it 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 measures 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.
And now we consider it expedient to urge the authorities of the Republic of Armenia to appeal to the Minsk Group Co-Chairs with a proposal to return the issue of confidence-building measures to their 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 tool of control over the ceasefire regime violation, we propose the use of a space sensing method in the Karabakh conflict zone by satellites employing the space facilities of the three permanent members of the UN Security Council – Russia, the United States and France.
The coordinated satellite sensing by the co-chairs of the signals on the concentration of military force and its threatening deployment will make it possible to take the negotiation process out of the faceless and unaddressed trap, which implies the equal responsibility for escalating the conflict. This will enable Azerbaijan and Armenia, through the mediation of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs, to move on to substantive steps for a peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict.