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June 27, 2011

NCI Discusses the Karabagh-Azerbaijani Conflict

Yerevan—A roundtable discussion, entitled “Azerbaijani-Karabagh Conflict: Military Triumph, Diplomatic Uncertainty,” was convened on 25 June 2011 at the National Citizens’ Initiative (NCI) headquarters. The meeting brought together representatives of various political forces, policy specialists, university students, and members of the media.

The day’s first speaker was Major General Arkadi Ter-Tadevosyan: hero of Karabagh’s (Artsakh) fight for freedom, commander-in-chief of the military operation for the liberation of Shushi, and former Armenian Deputy Minister of Defense. In his intervention, General Ter-Tadevosyan noted that taking over of Shushi was impossible to achieve in terms of military rules. “The set of military rules, which I studied for nine years, were not applicable in this case. To this day I have kept that document which stated that I actually needed a 10,000-strong troop to be able to execute that operation. When the adversary has 2,500 fighters, you need 7,500 to attack, but since the terrain was mountainous, I really needed ten thousand,” Ter-Tadevosyan underscored. “They had written down everything, including the exact number of bullets to be used, to be able to capture Shushi. We, however, solely had 2,900 armed men and 900 more to replace the fallen. That is to say, not the military rules, but rather the strong moral spirit and human factor was in action.”

In his turn, the Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) Director of Research and political scientist Manvel Sargsian examined the processes of the Azerbaijani-Artsakh conflict ever since 1990. He noted that, in actual fact, the events in 1991 also have largely determined the course of the current peace talks. In Sargsian’s view, “until gaining Shushi’s control, the Mountainous Karabagh talks process was carried out primarily with the mediation of Iran. But following that event, Iran was detached from this process and the OSCE Minsk Group became more active in its stead.”

The roundtable’s last speaker was Larisa Alaverdyan: Heritage Party MP, member of the inter-parliamentary commission on cooperation between the national assemblies of Armenia and the Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR), founding member and secretary of Artsakh Compatriotic Union, chief analyst of the special commission on Artsakh affairs of the first (1990-1995) Armenian Parliament, and Armenia’s first ombudswoman. In her talk, Alaverdyan presented the history of, and causes for, the internationalization of the Artsakh conflict and the fiasco of Armenian diplomacy. According to her, “during the peace talks the Armenian side did not wish to attain the recognition of Karabagh’s independence from the very beginning and, as a result, the facts which are to our advantage, in terms of international law, were not utilized as effectively as needed from the very start.”

The remainder of the session was dedicated to an interesting exchange of views and recommendations among those in attendance.

For further information on the National Citizensí Initiative, please call (37410) 27-16-00 or 27-00-03; fax (37410) 52-48-46; email


  • Armenian version of the press release

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