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‘PostSovietPeace’ letter calls for end to Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

19 September 2022
Photo: OC Media.

Over a hundred people from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey, and other countries have signed a letter calling for peace and the involvement of peace-building organisations in resolving the conflict.

This statement was originally published on PostSovietPeace and is open for signatures. The text has not been edited.

We, a group of people who stand for peace, from the post-Soviet space and its neighborhood exhausted by never-ending wars and growing imperialist rivalry on our territories, are full of rage as we have observed Azerbaijan’s recent large-scale attack on Armenia. This, coupled with Russian Federation’s attack on Ukraine and the renewed military clashes in border areas between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, raises heavy concerns regarding possible future escalations not only in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict but all other conflicts in the post-Soviet space.

The recent attack on Armenia has cost hundreds of lives within two days from both sides of the conflict, caused serious destruction to civil infrastructure in Armenia, displaced thousands, and further widened the gap between the countries and their people. We raise our persistent voices against the continuing warfare.

The second Karabakh war two years ago was a devastating experience from which the Armenian and Azerbaijani societies have not yet recovered and remain deeply antagonized. Officials need to finally understand that military means cannot solve the conflict, but they only deepen the divide between the two countries and cause more violence and human suffering. We welcome the truce that halted the violence on 15 September and demand a permanent return to the negotiation table without any further escalations or violence.

The Azerbaijani side should realize that the “corridors” cannot be opened, and a peace treaty cannot be achieved through military aggression. Such prospects are unacceptable for people whose daily lives would presumably be crossed over by these “corridors,” as they will not let borderland populations on both sides cooperate with each other. No one can be forced into peace. Officials in Armenia, in turn, should recognize the damage their rigid negotiation position had done for over 30 years, including the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis and their refusal to compromise and settle the conflict in a timely manner.

Negotiations “mediated” behind closed doors that do not take into consideration the livelihood and human needs of the people affected are doomed to fail. The best mediators for interstate negotiations are non-state peace-oriented/peacebuilding communities of both countries who have great experience in overcoming their own disputes and facilitating dialogues between other people from their countries with antagonistic positions.

We see a clear connection between the developments in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and peace processes with the dynamics of the war in Ukraine. The deadly war in Ukraine has caused great turbulence and instabilities in the wider region, exposing the simple truth that violence creates more violence. There is no military solution to any conflict, and human life is of absolute value. The only priority should be nonmilitary diplomatic solutions that are always possible regardless of whatever statesmen try to convince us. The inability or unwillingness of states to solve the problems through non-violent means and ensure human security can no longer be tolerated.

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, we’ve lived through decades of violence. We continue to suffer through regularly recurring warfare on the territory of Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. We are deeply concerned about overt attempts to reopen the Moldovan/Transdniestrian, Georgian/Abkhaz, and Georgian/Ossetian conflicts. The confrontation between NATO and the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine is playing out primarily at the expense of the lives of people in Ukraine and, increasingly, residents of Russian regions adjacent to Ukraine. Moreover, hundreds of military men from Ukraine and Russia are killed daily.

If we stay on the current trajectory, it is only a matter of time until the ongoing and recurring warfare in different regions of Eurasia will synergize with one another and with wars in other parts of this world, turning into a bigger regional or global war and sacrificing more and more people from numerous countries.

We cannot afford this! We do not call for peace – we demand peace! We demand that governments commit to the non-use of force, engage in a genuine search for diplomatic solutions that prioritize human security, and to stop interfering with, and better yet, support people-to-people contacts and peacebuilding.

We demand that international actors involved in the official negotiations ensure that the voices of people affected by conflict are heard and that people-to-people negotiations and human security considerations are at least on an equal footing with the official negotiation process.

Signatures:

Flora Ghazaryan, Armenia/Austria, historian

Nazrin Gadimova, Azerbaijan/Turkey, conflict studies researcher

Katya Korableva, Russia, social researcher

Lilit Gizhlaryan, Armenia

Marina Danoyan, Finland, peacebuilding practitioner

Vadim Romashov, Finland/Russia, peace researcher

Sevil Huseynova, Azerbaijan/Germany, social researcher

Diana Yayloyan, Russia/Armenia, researcher in conflict studies

Mete Ulutaş, Turkey, anthropologist

Leon Aslanov, UK

Ivan Nikolovski, Austria/North Macedonia, Political Science scholar

Dunja Milenkovic, Austria, medievalist

Shirin Tumenbaeva, Kyrgyzstan/Austria, political scientist

Lala Darchinova, Azerbaijan, Feminist Peace Collective

Sevinj Samadzade, Azerbaijan, Feminist Peace Collective

Saadat Abdullazade, Azerbaijan, Feminist Peace Collective

Burcu Becermen, Turkey, Interpreter

Arpi Bekaryan, Armenia, journalist

Rustam Ismayilbayli, Azerbaijan, activist

Zakir Bayramov, Azerbaijan, human rights activist

Rovshan Mammadli, Azerbaijan, student

Nika Musavi, Georgia/Azerbaijan, journalist

Samir Akhundzada, Azerbaijan, historian

Samira Alakbarli, Azerbaijan,Social and Political Science Researcher

Toghrul Abbasov, Azerbaijan, social researcher

Hermine Virabian, Armenia/Georgia, journalist

Laman Orujova, Azerbaijan, economist

Samad Shikhi, Azerbaijan, writer

Nışan Güreh, Turkey, Nor Zartonk Activist

Ayaz Shirinov, Azerbaijan, designer

Emel Kurma, Turkey, rights defender

Farid Ismayilov, Azerbaijan, journalist

Lilit Dabagian, Kyrgyzstan, independent researcher

Aliheydar Aliyev, Azerbaijan, student/activist

Ali Malikov, Azerbaijan, LGBTQ+ activist

Elvin Jabizadeh, Azerbaijan, Filmmaker

Loghman Gasimov, Azerbaijan, doctor

Philip Gamaghelyan, Armenia/USA, peace and conflict scholar

Sergey Rumyansev, Azerbaijan/Germany, sociologist

Atuf Guliyev, Azerbaijan, student

Polad Gulushov, Azerbaijan, economist

Keti Kapanadze, Georgia, restaurant manager

Zarina Sanakoeva, South Ossetia, peace activist

Josh Nadeau, Georgia/Canada, dialogue practitioner and researcher

Zamira Abbasova, Netherlands, peace activist

Eva Gabrielian, Canada, attorney

Tamara Atayan, France, biochemist/pharmacologist

Karine Ter-Gabrielyan,

Rita Ohanyan, Armenia, chemistry teacher

Husik Ghulyan, Armenia, independent scholar

Leyli Gafarova, Azerbaijan, filmmaker

Naila Dadash-zadeh, Azerbaijan, artist

Gunel Movlud, Azerbaijan, writer/member of PEN

Darin Morsel, Georgia, Photographer

Artsrun Pivazyan, Armenia, activist

Eric Rubenz, USA, business owner

Arnold Aleverdian, USA, peacebuilder/PhD student

Anahit Aslanyan, Armenia

Ani Paitjan, Armenia, journalist

Agabeg Simonian, Armenia, videographer

Anna Leontyeva, Armenia/Russia, policy researcher

Araz Baghirov, Azerbaijan, social researcher

Mikail Mamedov, USA, PhD Historian

Shushanna Tevanyan, Armenia, graduate of University of San Diego, Kroc School of Peace Studies

Sofia Manukyan, Armenia, researcher- environmentalist

Margarita Tadevosyan, Armenia/USA, Peace and Conflict Resolution, scholar practitioner

Martin Boyadgian, Finland, Architect

Irakli Kokhtashvili, Georgia, accountant

Stepan Danoyan, Armenia, Radio-engineer, Armenia

Irina Danoyan, France/Armenia, Supply Planner

Asya Ghazaryan, Finland/Armenia, Economist

Sophio Tskhvariashvili, Georgia

Leyla Jafarova, Azerbaijan, anthropologist

Hakob Karapetyan, Armenia, journalist

Aynur Abutalibova, Baku, Azerbaijan, Graphic Designer

Hamida Giyasbayli, Azerbaijan, Peaceworker

Gunay Kazimli, Azerbaijan/Italy, Data analyst

Eviya Hovhannisyan, Armenia, anthropologist

Sona Dilanyan, Armenia

Vlada Baranova, Russia, sociolinguist

Mehmet Muslimov, Russia, linguist

Anastasiia Melkonian, Russia/Armenia, teacher\

Todar Baktemir, Russia/Armenia/Israel, journalist

Norayr Olgar, Turkey, Nor Zartonk, Activist

Sayat Tekir, Turkey, Nor Zartonk, Activist

Alexis Kalk, Turkey, Nor Zartonk, Activist

Oxana Karpenko, Russia, sociologist

Mariam Pesvianidze, Georgia, film director

Hovhannes Tumanyan, Armenia/USA, musician

Ayla Azizova, Azerbaijan/The Netherlands, Architect

Arifa Kapba, Abkhazia, journalist

Ali Hamidian, Iran, Youth Activist

Diego Ardouin, Argentina, Bright Garden Voices Activist

Nurzada Sadyrbekova, Kyrgyzstan, Activist

Clare Bath, USA, student/activist

Sabina Aliyeva, Azerbaijan/The Netherlands, dutch council for refugees

Afiaddin Mammadov, Azerbaijan, Democracy 1918 Movement, politician

Joshgun Gafarov, Azerbaijan, Baku city, Political activist

Denis Agamalyan, Russia, Insurance Company

Petar Parvanov, Bulgaria, archeologist

Giyas Ibrahim, Azerbaijan, political activist

Tinay Mushdiyeva, Azerbaijan, researcher

Andrea Mansoorian, United States, Graduate Student

Samson Martirosyan, Armenia, journalist

Ofelya Aliyeva, Azerbaijan, International Development and Cooperation scholar

Arpy Manusyan, Armenia, sociologist, researcher

Mariam Khalatyan, Armenia, Sociologist

Nvard Margaryan, Armenia, researcher

Rufat Demirov, North Macedonia, PhD International Relations

Markus Sattler, Germany, geographer

Armen Ohanyan, President of PEN Armenia

Philipp Pankraz, Austria, Sound engineer, Musician

Mirabbos Khikmatilloev - Uzbekistan/Hungary, Data Analyst/Researcher

Lusine Kharatyan, Armenia, cultural anthropologist and writer

Ari Hadjian, Argentina-Armenia, Architect

Chirkova Natal'ya, Russia, freelance

Leyla Hasanova, Azerbaijan, gender researcher

Muhammet Mazı, Turkey/Austria, PhD History

Lilit Ghazaryan, Armenia, activist

Patricia Neruta, Moldova/ Portugal, Political Science and International Relations Student

Harutyun Sargsyan, Armenia, QA

Amassia Niziblian, Armenia. Artist

Vilen Danielyan, Armenia, Project manager

Dilnovoz Abdurazzakova, Uzbekistan/ Austria PhD student Economics

Sahila Jabbarova, Azerbaijan, Translator, Researcher, Student

Chirkinyan Anna, Russia, dentist

Akhundov Ravan, Azerbaijan, student

Karim Agayev, Azerbaijan, Psychologist

Mirkamran Huseynli, Azerbaijan, Researcher

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