Il portavoce della NATO ha affermato oggi che il generale James Jones, comandante supremo delle potenze alleate in Europa (Saceur), ha cancellato l'esercitazione Cooperative Effort 2004, di previsto svolgimento in questi giorni a Baku, Azerbaijan, nell'ambito delle attività inserite nel programma Partnership for Peace.
Nella sua dichiarazione il portavoce ha espresso il rammarico che il principio di inclusione di tutti gli alleati e partner che desiderano partecipare alle attività PfP in questa occasione non possa essere rispettato. Ciò ha portato alla cancellazione della esercitazione.
Elemento scatenante della crisi è stato il rifiuto delle autorità politico-militari azere di ammettere alla esercitazione rappresentanti della vicina Repubblica di Armenia, che si è concretizzato in una lettera del Milli Majlis (Parlamento dell'Azerbaijan) fatta pervenire dal presidente Ilham Aliyev al segretario generale della NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer l'undici settembre scorso.
Secondo quanto specificato dal portavoce della NATO, le Best Effort sono esercitazioni sul terreno previste dal calendario della PfP e hanno lo scopo di fornire conoscenze basiche sulle operazioni di supporto della pace a livello di piccola unità. Nella regione del Caucaso - ha ricordato il portavoce - le Best Effort hanno già avuto luogo in Georgia e Armenia.
Nei primi anni Novanta Azerbaijan e Armenia si sono confrontate in un conflitto per il controllo del Nagorno-Karabak, regione posta sotto la sovranità dell'Azerbaijan ma con una forte maggioranza armena. La guerra, durata cinque anni, ha causato circa 35.000 vittime e un milione di rifugiati. Attualmente il Nagorno-Karabak è occupato dall'Armenia ma la comunità internazionale ne riconosce la sovranità all'Azerbaijan.
ADDRESS OF MILLI MAJLIS OF THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN TO THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE NATO YAAP DE HOOP SCHEFFER - [September 11, 2004]
Dear Mr. Secretary General!
Due to the expedient internal and foreign policy pursued in the last ten years, the Azerbaijan Republic has turned to a worthy member of the world community, became full member of some authoritative international structures. In strengthening of the safety of Europe, it highly estimates cooperation of Azerbaijan with these structures, including the NATO, the role of which every year extends. Now our country, being the participant of the NATO "PfP" Program, shows activity in all actions, which are carried out under aegis of this Organization. Admission of Azerbaijan in associative members of Parliamentary Assembly of the NATO serves as an estimation of efforts, which our country applies in this sphere. Last years, the Secretaries General of NATO, George Robertson and other high-ranking officials have visited Azerbaijan, carried out here a number of official meetings and negotiations. The NATO representatives have been in Milli Majlis (Parliament of Azerbaijan), addressed to Members of Parliament. At all these meetings, negotiations and in statements, expressed was mutual interest of the NATO to Azerbaijan and of Azerbaijan to the NATO, desire to achieve further deepening of interaction developed step by step.
Dear Mr. Secretary General!
As you know, as a result of aggressive war and the policy of the ethnic purge started in 1988 with the intention forcibly to separate Nagorny Karabakh from Azerbaijan and annex to Armenia, 20 percent of territory of the Azerbaijan Republic have been occupied, 1 million Azerbaijanians were ousted from the territory of Armenia and their homelands in the occupied region of Azerbaijan, killed more than 18 thousand Azerbaijanians, more than 20 thousand peaceful inhabitants have received wounds, over 50 thousand people became invalids, more than 4 thousand people were taken prisoner and missing, appeared in hostages, and 877 cities, villages and settlements have been plundered, destroyed and burnt.
At night on 25 to February 26, 1992, the armed formations of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian militants of Nagorno Karabakh with support of 366th regiment of the former Soviet Army, the basic part of which was commanded by officers of the Armenian nationality, having attacked on the city of Khojali of the Azerbaijan Republic, have accomplished monstrous act of genocide against the resident Azerbaijanians there. The city of Khojali has been completely burnt and destroyed, were subjected to intolerable tortures 613 peace inhabitants, including 63 children, 106 women, 70 aged, 487 people have received heavy mutilation, 1275 inhabitants - children, women and old men, being seized in hostages, have undergone to extreme tortures and insults. For today, still there are 150 hostages, including 68 women and 26 children. The Armenian militaries that suited ambushes on roads, in woods, rascally, with special cruelty killed the peaceful inhabitants, trying to escape. The largest mass slaughter has taken place near to village Nakhchivanik where the Armenians lived, on the road leading to the territory of Aghdam region. The Armenian militaries skinned the killed people, cut out various bodies, pricked out eyes of babies, ripped stomachs of pregnant women, alive dug or burnt the people.
Azerbaijan, in spite of the fact that the most part of its territory is under occupation, that each its eighth inhabitant, being the refugee, lives in tent towns in heavy conditions, nevertheless, wishes peace elimination of consequences of aggression on the part of the Republic of Armenia. Already more than ten years on the front line between Armenia and Azerbaijan, there has been reached cease-fire. With a view of settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, in 1992, the Minsk Group of OSCE has been created. The Security Council of the United Nations, in the resolutions adopted in 1993, #822, 853, 874 and 884 concerning the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict has unequivocally confirmed the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders of the Azerbaijan Republic and has demanded urgent and unconditional withdrawal of the armed forces of Armenia from occupied Azerbaijan territory. The mentioned resolutions make an integral part of legal base of settlement. Unfortunately, the aggressive Republic of Armenia till now refuses to execute these resolutions.
The Azerbaijan Republic is devoted to the principle of fair settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem on the basis of the international legal norms, including with a condition of observance of territorial integrity of the states, and accepts active participation in peace talks carried out in this direction. We hope, that the efforts applied by the international mediators, will be productive, and in this hot point of Southern Caucasus the fair peace will be established.
In such conditions, the decision of management of the NATO on invitation of the officers of occupational Armenian army on forthcoming September 14-26 this year in Azerbaijan to take part at the military exercises "Best Efforts-2004" has been perceived in Azerbaijan completely not unequivocally. Absolutely, the said decision in which not up to the end are thought its consequences is obvious, that, can aggravate up and without that the intense situation in the region. Representatives of various layers of the Azerbaijan public, regarding this decision as a step, being gently, at all, not adequate to interests of our state, touching feelings of citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic, make the resolute protest. Besides, protests against arrival in Baku of the Armenian officers are based not only on ethnic reasons. It is enough to note that now in capital of our country lives more than 20 thousand people of the Armenian nationality. These protests are directed against arrival in capital of Azerbaijan undergone to occupation of officers of the aggressive Armenian army, which has grasped the Azerbaijan lands and subjected its inhabitants to extreme sufferings.
We, members of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic, a representative body elected by the Azerbaijan people, resolutely protest against participation of the Armenian officers in military exercises forthcoming in our country. We hope, that this unreasoned decision which can damage cooperation between the NATO and Azerbaijan, will endanger the negotiations carried out with a view of peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, will be cancelled.
Address was adopted at the session of Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan Republic on 10 September 2004.