By Rashid Shirinov
Azerbaijani MP, member of the Management Board of the Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh Rovshan Rzayev called on Armenians, seeking and fighting for peace, to join the Baku Platform.
"If influential persons of both countries support the Platform, if the politicians and heads of other states also support it, the steps taken for restoring the lost relations between the two nations could bear fruit," he told azvision.az, while commenting on the importance of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Platform for Peace.
The Peace Platform was initiated by Baku to bring together representatives of civil society of the two countries for creating dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the sides to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
However, this initiative was negatively perceived by the Armenian government which started persecution of those Armenians who joined the Platform.
Rzayev is sure that this can contribute to peace talks aimed to resolve the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“I believe that if the opposite side can positively and properly evaluate these steps, we will begin our meetings. Moreover, the meetings can be held intensively and maybe held not only in Karabakh, but also in all countries of the world,” the MP said.
He added that it will be possible to prevent the big problem in the South Caucasus by attracting people, who want to support the peace process. “This is our only intention,” Rzayev said.
The MP noted that many states and individuals have supported the Baku Peace Platform. "They say that we are on the right track, and note that they share our position,” he said, mentioning that British expert Thomas de Waal also supported the initiative.
Rzayev believes that the rising support to the Platform may contribute to change in position of the opposite side [Armenia].
Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.