Sometimes things happen regarding Azerbaijan that leave even people like me — who take pride in having known and loved the Azerbaijani people and their culture, and worked hard to help preserve the independence and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan – scratching their heads and wondering.
The good news is that Emin Milli and his team at Meydan TV are providing an immense service to all of us who care about Azerbaijan – Azerbaijanis and non-Azerbaijanis alike. Meydan TV offers a venue for expressing opinions about Azerbaijan that sadly could not be expressed in Azerbaijan without someone being arrested for expressing them.
Emin was kind enough to ask me to respond to Murad Gassanly’s contribution to the exchange of ideas: “In defense of Erkin Gadirli and some other thoughts.” My response is simple: I urge Ali Novruzov not to leave politics to adults. I certainly don’t intend to stop irritating people.
Three points regarding the substantive issue that brought all this to a head:
First, Erkin Gadirli endorsed the assassination of Armenian officials. That is pure terrorism. I regard this as unacceptable coming from anyone, especially someone playing a political role as Erkin does. Erkin Gadirli must retract that endorsement of terrorism.
Second we now have the combination of an Azerbaijani opposition figure calling for the assassination of Armenian officials, and the President of Azerbaijan claiming that Armenia is actually part of historic Azerbaijan. So as a former diplomat I ask: how do you peacefully negotiate a settlement to the N-K conflict under such outrageous statements? Really!
Third, for over 20 years I have been professionally and academically involved in the tragedy of Nagorno-Karabakh and ethnic wars in the Balkans. There comes a time when someone needs to stand up and say that enough Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks, Albanians… have died. Enough! It is not worth one more life in the name of revenge, or righting historical wrongs. It is time peace and reconciliation.
Maybe it is time for the children — in the South Caucasus and the Balkans — to take this over because the adults are only making matters worse.