The Middle East, Abkhazia, Nagorny Karabakh - these are just a few of the hotspots in the world. PRAVDA.Ru had an interview with the former speaker of Milli Mejlis (the parliament) of the republic of Azerbaijan, a politician in exile, present leader of the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, and a potential candidate for the position of Azerbaijan president, Rasul Gouliev.
Question: Mr. Gouliev, what is the reason for the conflict between the republics of Georgia and Abkhazia?
Answer: First of all, we have to determine the reasons for the conflict. Unfortunately, certain criminal groups that were longing for power managed to create the center of conflict in the unrecognized republic of Abkhazia, in Nagorny Kababakh, and in some other regions by the end of the 1980s. Their policy resulted in the creation of terrorist regimes there, where the interests of the people were subordinated to the interests of a group.
Q: Is it possible that Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia will be involved in the conflict if the situation is becomes more and more intense?
A: Any escalation of the conflict, not only in Georgia, but all over the Caucasus, is absolutely not good for the people who live there. A conflict serves only for the interests of the people who are interested in the prolongation of their own dictatorship and in obtaining more and more financial wealth, which is a sure result of such policy with the use of corruption and bribery. I believe that the future fate of the people who live in those regions does not need this escalation; it is in need of democratization and individual liberties.
Q: Do you know that the USA offered military cooperation to the republic of Armenia, such as joint military exercises and equipment of the army? What influence do you think this can have on the settlement of the Karabakh issue?
A: The vital and urgent condition for the solution of the conflict in Karabakh is to set up state institutions in Azerbaijan and Armenia as a result of the people’s free will. If the participation of the USA will help to achieve this goal, then it will be possible to settle the problem sooner.
Q: Don’t you think that the latest agreements between Azerbaijan and Russia (pumping Azerbaijan oil through the Russian pipeline, the joint projections in the Caspian area, etc) are not at all free. They asked Russia to support Geydar Aliyev’s (the incumbent president of Azerbaijan) son during the coming presidential elections. What do you think about this?
A: Of course, Geydar Aliyev can surely do that. However, I doubt that Russia could treat such an offer seriously, taking into consideration the fact that Ilkham Aliyev (Geydar Aliyev’s son) does not at all enjoy the support of the people of the republic, and Russian politicians know this. I do not believe that the Russia Federation will try to contradict the will of the people of Azerbaijan.
Q: Mr. Gouliev, do you have your own variant for the solution of the Middle East situation? This is not a distant subject for the people of your republic, because a lot of them practice Shia Islam?
A: Religious preferences do not at all have anything in common with guaranteeing law and order and respecting human rights. I strongly doubt in the historic knowledge of those people who try to make Islam and terrorism as one. The UN has approved of dozens of resolutions regarding the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and everybody knows about it. I think that Palestinians should be given a chance to set up their own state, and Jerusalem should be controlled by international observers for five years. Of course, there should be democratic elections conducted in Palestine. Organizations that practice the ideology of terrorism must be shut down. However, all of these things should not remain in the verbal form; they should be done with support from Europe, the USA, and Russia.
Rasul Gouliev was interviewed by Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov