Valdis Zatlers: Now, the most important is to eliminate any temptation of revenge by Armenian side - EXCLUSİVE İNTERVİEW
Valdis Zatlers: Now, the most important is to eliminate any temptation of revenge by Armenian side - EXCLUSİVE İNTERVİEW
SHARE: READ: 656     09:15     31 May 2021    
F ormer President of the Republic of Latvia Valdis Zatlers gave an exclusive interview to Baku Tribune. - Recently, the Azerbaijani embassy in Latvia condemned the decision of the Baltic country's parliament to recognize the events of 1915 in the Ottoman Empire as "armenian genocide". Why did the Latvian authorities recognize the so-called "armenian genocide"? Was this decision imposed on Latvia from outside? - Sensitive episodes in history are always controversially perceived by different nations, regardless if they are directly involved or not. But we live in the 21st century when any kind of ethnic cleansing is not acceptable. People’s lives matter above all. Today we prefer to solve conflicts without losing them. At the same time, we have vivid discussions about different processes of old historical facts that took place more than hundred years ago. By recognition of Ottoman Empire Armenian genocide fact Latvia demonstrates its position towards any kind of ethnic cleansing and human attitude towards any victims of violence whenever and wherever they happened. This decision was not imposed by anybody, but it was an end point of internal discussions across Latvian society on the topic. - How will this factor affect the Azerbaijani-Latvian relations? Will bilateral cooperation continue at the pace it looked like before Latvia's recognition of the "Armenian genocide"? - Nothing will change in relations between Latvian and Azerbaijan. We are friendly nations. We support the restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and wish long lasting peace in Caucasian region. This will not be an easy process and Latvia is ready to provide any support that might be needed. - How do you see the development of the South Caucasus region in the post-war period, after the end of the Second Karabakh War against the background of Russia's military presence in Karabakh? - Any war has good and bad consequences. The bad consequences should be solved and turned into good ones. The legal presence of Russian troops on Azerbaijan’s soil after ceasefire treaty is a new reality. Currently they play positive role in peace keeping on contact line. But nobody knows how their actions will develop in the future. They are also effective in creation of transit corridor to Nakhichevan. The last might play positive role in reducing the tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Profitable trade always fosters confidence building process. - How do you assess the prospects for the development of the Zangezur transport corridor, which is designed to connect the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic with Azerbaijan through the territory of Armenia? - Second Karabakh war was unique because it did not lead to new occupations or annexations of neighboring territories. It restored historical and legal territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Paradoxically, it fulfilled the UN resolutions on this conflict. Therefore, there is a good chance for long lasting peace. Now, the most important is to eliminate any temptation of revenge by Armenian side. - President Ilham Aliyev said that Azerbaijan is ready to work on a peace agreement with Armenia. “We hope that after the elections in Armenia there will be more clarity on this issue. The peace agreement provides for the recognition of the territorial integrity of both countries, and we are ready for this, ”Aliyev wrote on Twitter. How do you assess the prospects for concluding a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan? - Comprehensive sustainable peace treaty will serve as a guaranty to a new beginning of life in Caucasus. Nothing fosters peace as active trade. In my opinion, Caucasian free trade agreement should not be considered unrealistic but a must-do goal. Seymur Mammadov
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