Italian Deputy Minister reflects on fomenting Armenian revanchism in Europe

    POLITICS  02 December 2023 - 16:44

    In an interview with Formiche, Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Edmondo Cirielli made important statements regarding official Rome's view on the Armenian-Azerbaijani settlement, the situation in the South Caucasus and Italy's policy in our region.

    Thus, Cirielli criticized the position of MEP Fabio Massimo Castaldo, who urged the EU leadership to "prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and guarantee Armenia's security and prosperity in the South Caucasus region."

    "This step was ill-timed and risks harming the peace talks," the diplomat said, adding that one should not interfere in events about which one knows nothing in terms of history or international relations.

    "Europe and Italy in particular should work to create an atmosphere of détente between the two sides," Cirielli said, while noting the role of Nikol Pashinyan, who recognized Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, something none of Armenia's pro-Russian governments have done.

    "Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has sought a peaceful settlement for the last three years, after the last conflict in which Azerbaijani troops essentially won on the battlefield. Unfortunately, there have been those in Europe who have constantly stoked revanchism and Armenian nationalism.

    There are no preconditions for believing that Azerbaijan may attack Armenia. Azerbaijan has never taken any action against Armenian territory, this is also a well-known fact, witnessed by independent UN commissions. Azerbaijani troops did not do anything to provoke the exodus of Armenians from Karabakh, which did take place. The exodus was provoked by separatists, fueled by pro-Russian forces, in order to create an additional cause for tension. Aliyev categorically ruled out any Azerbaijani initiative against international law. He is a very pragmatic man and, of course, well understands that an attack on Armenia is not only not of any military-strategic interest, but also contradicts the position that Azerbaijan has always taken during these thirty years, when Armenia occupied not only Karabakh, but other Azerbaijani territories, expelling Azerbaijanis from there. Nevertheless, for thirty years Azerbaijan has always tried to defend its position in international courts and multilateral forums. The problem is that there is still a nationalist ruling class in Armenia, and outside Armenia there are circles that seek to destabilize the Caucasus," the Italian diplomat said.

    He emphasized that the influential Armenian communities living outside Armenia have an inherent nationalistic and chauvinistic worldview.

    "Azerbaijan is one of the most secular and tolerant countries in the Muslim world: this is their distinctive feature. So let's try not to use religion as an element of conflict between nations," Cirielli said.

    He also added that in the case of Azerbaijanis, international law was grossly violated by the war of aggression waged by Armenia, which lasted for thirty years. Armenia indirectly recognizes this as well, as it could have resolved the tensions differently and more favorably. Instead, the narrow-mindedness of the old pro-Russian Armenian governments prevented the conflict from being resolved through UN resolutions.

    "Today, the issue has been resolved militarily, and I believe that any other state probably would not have waited thirty years to resolve the armed occupation. Imagine if we had an armed occupation in South Tyrol by self-proclaimed South Tyrolean separatists backed by the army, volunteers, or rather the Austrian army. I don't think it would have lasted 30 years.

    Italy can play an important role in the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations. But if you continue to portray Azerbaijanis as those who used force against Armenians, you will not help peace. It is better to start a season of détente, as Georgia has been doing for a long time: despite being a Christian country, it is at the same time a strategic partner of Azerbaijan, and, like Italy, it has great mediation potential, as it has always defended Azerbaijan's legal and international arguments," Cirielli summarized.

    Caliber.Az

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