Why is Zangezur (Syunik) often mentioned in Azerbaijan? – commentary from Baku
Since the end of the second Karabakh war, Azerbaijani politicians of all levels in their speeches often mention Zangezur (in Armenia this region is called Syunik) – the southern part of Armenia. What is the reason for this?
The transport corridor, which should connect the main part of Azerbaijan with its exclave – Nakhichevan – should pass through Zangezur.
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In addition, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, tens of thousands of Azerbaijanis living in this part of Armenia became refugees.
The presence of the issue of Zangezur on the agenda is neither a territorial claim nor a manifestation of aggression, says Natik Jafarli, one of the leaders of the Azerbaijani opposition Republican Alternative party. In his opinion, “this is a lever of pressure.”
“We want to live in peace with our neighbors, we are interested in restoring communications, logistic ties, economic and humanitarian relations.
We are ready for good-neighborliness with Armenia, but is official Yerevan ready for this ?! If tomorrow the question of the status of [Nagorno-Karabakh] is raised not only by official Yerevan, but also by Moscow, Paris and Washington, what will happen in this case ?! ”, Jafarli writes on his Facebook page.
The OSCE Minsk Group has not gone anywhere, has remained in its place, and it is its format that can resist Moscow’s desire to become the only external player in the region, the politician said.
“If we organize our work correctly, we can make excellent use of the conflict between Moscow and the West on this issue. Therefore, Moscow, as the only external player in the region, worries not only us, but also the West. Tomorrow, in resolving the issue of the withdrawal of Russian troops from our territory, Paris and Washington can help us.
But there are also dangerous sides of the Minsk Group – this is a question of status. Let’s not kid ourselves – if this issue is on the agenda, there will be some pressure. And for their amortization there are two important ways: a strong parliament (at the same time a strong civil society) and the return of refugees to Zangezur, a guarantee of this process – I see no other way.
If every time we pronounce the word “Zangezur” with intelligence and correct political rhetoric, the chances of Yerevan’s refusal to insist on demanding status will increase.
Yes, we have no territorial claims against Armenia, but a legal basis must be created in the final peace treaty for the return of Azerbaijanis from Western Azerbaijan to their native places. If in return Armenia raises the issue of returning Armenian refugees to Baku, Sumgait and Ganja, we must agree to this. Because the demographic preponderance is on our side, and in the next 25-30 years the demographic ratio will not change. And in the end, we will also benefit from the restoration of economic and humanitarian relations.
We need to learn to be cold-blooded and think strategically … ”, Jafarli added.