Program Brief -- Etibar Mamedov
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About the Center
...A Presentation by Etibar Mamedov , Chairman of the National Independence Party of Azerbaijan ( AMIP )The Nixon Center , Washington , DC
May 16 , 2001A peace deal that is based on acknowledging Armenia's military aggression will not last , said Etibar Mamedov , Chairman of the National Independence Party of Azerbaijan ( AMIP ) , at a luncheon meeting at The Nixon Center
.Mr. Mamedov is also the founder of AMIP and a major opposition leader in Azerbaijan
stressed that a peace resolution must be based upon two key points : Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and its sovereignty over its entire territory.In addition to the ongoing peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan concerning Nagorno-Karabakh , Mr. Mamedov
also discussed the center-right AMIP party platform and the internal political situation in Azerbaijan.
Many analysts say the Key West talks were a good step forward , but Mr. Mamedov
said the peace talks serve only to benefit Armenia.A peace that is one-sided where concessions are only being made from Azerbaijan will not last in the long-term..Mr. Mamedov
went on to say that a peace recognizing Armenia's military aggression cannot last , referring to the 1993 Armenian military advancement into , and occupation of , 20% of Azeri territory.The territory is still occupied by Armenian forces , who have created 750 , 000 refugees in Azerbaijan.Mr. Mamedov
also alluded to what he
sees as an imbalance in the negotiations because of U.S. pressure on Azerbaijan to accept a peace settlement that its leaders do not support.The pressure is not direct , but indirect.By not pressuring Armenia , which is the aggressor , the U.S. is pressuring Azerbaijan to accept an unfair deal..Mr. Mamedov
also believes that if the current peace proposals were accepted , it would set a dangerous precedent.Many countries in the region have territorial claims on others , Mr. Mamedov
warned.Such a precedent will encourage other ethnic minorities.That will contribute to more instability in the region – hardly a result that international mediators want to achieve..
AMIP Party Views and Domestic Priorities
We believe that the most important issues within Azerbaijan are achieving economic freedom and the right to private property , Mr. Mamedov
said of the AMIP party platform.He
went on to say that without guarantees for private property , there is no chance for sustainable economic growth.He
pointed out there are no guarantees for small and mid-sized businesses , and there is no security in investing in a sector other than oil.The only industry with 100% economic guarantees in Azerbaijan is the oil industry , Mr. Mamedov
said.Ninety percent of Azerbaijan's exports in the first quarter of this year are from the oil sector.Though he
welcomed Western investment and engagement in Azerbaijan's economy , Mamedov
expressed concern over widespread corruption and arbitrary government rulings facing foreign investors , and domestic businesses.
Responding to a question about Russia , Mr. Mamedov
said , We want normalized relations with Russia , but we do not want Russian troops in Azerbaijan , which the Russians very much want..Russia has taken an active role in the peace process , and Mr. Mamedov
cited concern over its possible influence over a settlement.We need a peacekeeping force , but we do not want Russian troops back in Azerbaijan..Mr. Mamedov
also argued that Tehran is concerned by Azerbaijan's pro-Western orientation.Iran would prefer not to see Azerbaijan become a strong and democratic country , Mr. Mamedov
explained they fear a strong and democratic Azerbaijan would become a magnet for ethnic Azeris in Iran and others in the region to follow..
What's NextMr. Mamedov
said there are essential areas that must be addressed for long term security and stability.Most importantly , Armenia and Azerbaijan must agree on a peace deal that addresses the interests of both parties , rather than a one-sided proposal , which is where Mr. Mamedov
believes the current negotiations stand.Within Azerbaijan , he
stressed the need for continuing political and economic reforms including improved election laws , greater guarantees of press freedom , and protections for private property and investment.