Carey Cavanaugh comments on whether Azerbaijan will attack Armenia to open ‘corridor’
Hopefully, Azerbaijan will not start military operations to get a corridor against Armenia because that would be unbelievably short-sighted, as was this military action [in Nagorno-Karabakh] because it does not achieve the aims that they seek. Ambassador Carey Cavanaugh, former US Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group and Professor at University of Kentucky Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, stated this on the air of Armenian News-NEWS.am's Strength Factor program, when asked whether it is likely that Azerbaijan will attack Armenia, with Turkey's assistance, in order to open the "Zangezur corridor."
According to Cavanaugh, having open warfare between Armenia and Azerbaijan would simply undermine this region for decades to come.
"This [i.e. starting military operations against Armenia to get a corridor] isn't a solution to the problems or concerns that countries of the region face, you need political dialogue to advance these kinds of formulas. You will not have the world lining up to use a border that was fought for militarily, and a prize will ended up being paid for having done that kind of military action. So no, that's not a realistic means for going about achieving it.
“And again, if you wish to not have the population leave, discussions and I saw them as recently as December, I think Christmas Day [Azerbaijani] President [Ilham] Aliyev talking about Western Azerbaijan, and implying that there were potential territorial claims to larger chunks of Armenia, going back to the beginning of the last century. This is not a path to peace and stability in the Caucasus," Cavanaugh stressed.
And to the question whether Iran will intervene with military force if Azerbaijan attacks Armenia, taking into account Tehran's almost daily warnings that they will not allow changing the regional borders and, in particular, the Armenia-Iran border, Cavanaugh noted that it is difficult to predict clearly how Iran will behave.
"I don't see a military operation is a means to get that border. I don't think Iran has the ability to deny Armenia the right to arrange a transportation route, that it's more effective and useful for Azerbaijan to use. That's a different question, would not be changing the border. And those kinds of things can be explored, that are complicated, they take again, a sincere political discussion and negotiation. I think that could take place. But I don't see that happening easily in light of what's happening today," Carey Cavanaugh stressed.
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