“Baku is testing the international community, with the certainty that it will only react weakly”

“Baku is testing the international community, with the certainty that it will only react weakly”
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on October 26, 2021. MURAT CETIN MUHURDAR / TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / AFP

MAINTENANCEThe toll of the violent clashes on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan rose Thursday, September 15 to more than 170 dead. For Franck Papazian, Baku has over-armed itself over the past twenty years, well helped by Erdogan’s Turkey.

Franck Papazian is a member of the Coordinating Council of Armenian Associations in France. He just published The Erdogan Regime. A threat to France (Versilio/Robert Laffont, 144 pages, €18).


LE FIGARO. – The toll of the violent clashes on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan rose Thursday, September 15 to more than 170 dead, according to a still provisional assessment. How can this resurgence of violence be explained?

FRANCK PAPAZIAN. – Armenia officially announces at least 105 dead on his side. Azerbaijan launched this impressive military offensive with the aim of further conquest of the territories of the Republic of Armenia. Baku is testing the international community, while having the certainty that it will react only very weakly. Azerbaijan will thus be able to continue its murderous offensives with complete impunity.

France announced that it was going to seize the UN Security Council. Is it sufficient? Should France, and more broadly Europe, intervene to put an end to the clashes?

It’s a good thing, but it’s far from enough. The UN Security Council must send blue helmets to protect the Armenian populations. Azerbaijan does not care about verbal condemnations. Since 1994, Baku has violated the ceasefire approximately 6,000 to 10,000 times each year. The 44-day war in the fall of 2020 is a violation of the ceasefire. Azerbaijan absolutely does not respect international injunctions. And if the UN refuses to send peacekeeping forces, then France will have to take its responsibilities. Will we, in 2022, let a people be massacred in front of television cameras?

Erdogan and his team are trying to justify the Azerbaijani intervention.

Frank Papazian

For his part, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu called on Armenia to “stop his provocations”. Is the process of normalization between the two countries, which began last year, crumbling?

The Turkish government is in a strong propaganda phase. Erdogan and his team are trying to justify the Azerbaijani intervention. Armenia is not at all in a posture of provocation. Armenians want peace. They want to live in their homes in safety. But Turkish and Azerbaijani forces want to occupy and control the country. The “normalization” proposed by Erdogan is not aimed at making peace with Armenia. Erdogan wants to get his hands on the country. “Normalization” and the opening of diplomatic and commercial relations will allow Ankara to control the Armenian economy within a few years. But, in addition, Erdogan issues conditions for normalization: 1- That Armenia accepts that Nagorno-Karabakh is part of the borders of Azerbaijan. 2- That the Armenians abandon the question of the recognition of the genocide by Turkey.

During the 44-day war, Erdogan dispatched to Azerbaijan 80 Turkish military experts who piloted the entire war, 1,200 elite Turkish mountain warfare soldiers and 2,000 Syrian jihadists.

Frank Papazian

Should we see behind Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan a more identity-based approach than a political one?

Turkish-Azerbaijani forces are the forces of Pan-Turkism. It is in the name of Pan-Turkism that the Armenians were genocidated in 1915. This alliance constitutes a danger on the spot for the Armenians.

How does Ankara’s support for Baku affect the conflict?

During the 44 Day War, Erdogan dispatched to Azerbaijan 80 Turkish military experts who piloted the entire war, 1,200 Turkish elite soldiers specializing in mountain warfare and 2,000 Syrian jihadists, auxiliaries to the Turkish army. Erdogan also heavily armed Azerbaijan. The Turkish president has made the war against Armenia his war. Baku has over-armed itself over the past 20 years. We talk about the acquisition of 2 to 3 billion pieces of equipment every year, including an industrial quantity of kamikaze drones, phosphorus bombs and cluster munitions. The massacre of Armenians continues in 2022. We must react.

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