TODAY.AZ / Politics

Matthew Bryza again refutes words, spread on his behalf

07 August 2008 [11:27] - TODAY.AZ
It is already not funny. It is more like a soap opera, which can be called "The tragedy of a diplomat".
The point is that US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Matthew Bryza again refuted words, spread by journalists on his behalf. Matthew Bryza seems to add to the history of the world diplomacy as a person, whose words were constantly "distorted" and which he had to refute.

If previously in Armenia he rebutted the words, spread by Azerbaijani journalists and in Azerbaijan by Armenians, this time, he trapped Russian media representatives, if exactly, Interfax news agency. The point is M.Bryza's statement, spread by Interfax, according to which he said "Karabakh residents will decide themselves whether they will fall under Azerbaijan's jurisdiction or no".

In his interview to BBC Azerbaijan press service, M.Bryza said his words had been distorted and misinterpreted.

The full text of M.Bryza's interview to BBC is given below. We do hope that the US co-chair will not say that journalists of this world famous radio have distorted his words again.

- People who read just a part of my interview to Interfax, had drawn wrong conclusions, as it does not contain the details of the affais. Therefore, they do not take into account some details. People in Azerbaijan consider that I have said that Nagorno Karabakh residents will soon determine their fate. In the reality, I have said that there is a large package of proposals. These are just proposals from the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. These proposals include withdrawal of Armenian troops from seven regions around Nagorno Karabakh, return of Azerbaijani IDP, deployment of peacekeeping forces and creation of a certain kind of communication between Armenia and Karabakh.

It can also include a kind of voting. I can not say it may be a referendum or a plebiscite or a form of voting to involve Nagorno Karabakh residents.It may occur in the future, of which we can not speak now. But it may occur only after IDP return to their homes. It was also stated by Novruz Mamedov.

The details of this voting have not been defined yet. Voting details can be defined only in the framework of any major agreement. It means that nothing has been coordinated before the full package has been coordinated. We do not force anyone to accept any version of the resolution, we just make our proposals. Agreement on the status of Nagorno Karabakh can be reached only between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The parties should reach the consensus independently. Otherwise, there is no sense of proposals, made by the co-chairs.

- Mr.Bryza, Interfax reads quoting on you that "Karabakh residents should decide whether to fall under Azerbaijan's jurisdiction or no". But Azerbaijan says that regardless of the form of a peaceful agreement Nagorno Karabakh must remain part of Azerbaijan. A referendum or a voting can only define the status of Nagorno Karabakh's remaining a part of Azerbaijan. Perhaps, the government of Azerbaijan reacted so sharply to it therefore...

- If Interfax has published something, it does not mean that it is exactly like that. I spend too much time on distorted words and wrong quotes. In this case we become the witnesses of incorrect interpretation of my words. The reality is that we base our work on the territorial integrity and that is all.

- Cannot any referendum change it?

- We recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. This international principle has a high diplomatic status. At the same time, there are political, not jural, but political principles, important for the Armenian side. If an agreement is reached, it means both parties should sign it. The parties should reach an agreement on the previously confirmed platform that is on the basis of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. But this agreement should also envision political agreements important for the other party. We are currently working on this agreement.

- Perhaps, this event shows the difference in positions of the parties during the resolution of Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Which progress has been attained as compared to the last year?

- It is a founded question. We have not reached any serious achievements through the past year, as this year was full of cataclysms. Elections in Armenia, ending in tragic violence, were shocking. It caused the need to establish familiarization contacts between Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents and the Foreign Ministers. And it really took place.

The Presidents called the meeting in Saint Petersburg constructive. It is now possible to say that the process has returned to its normal course. But it can still be said that no significant progress has been attained on fundamental issues through the past year. Now it is possible to hold serious discussions between the leaders of the two countries.

- Mr.Bryza, have you contacted the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan regarding the interview in the Interfax and given any explanation?

- Certainly, I have.

- Why wasn't your answer made public?

- This question should be addressed to them. But I am sure that Azerbaijan is aware of our position. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry is familiarized with these proposals and they are aware of my position and trust me. I am satisfied with it. The most important is that the citizens of the two countries, officials of the Foreign Ministry or simply citizens, concerned with this issue, should realize the only thing: resolution is impossible without compromise.

Therefore, in both countries the debates should be more open. The realities should be widely taken into account. Both parties should get used to the idea of conceding and getting something. Yet the concessions and obtainment should be based on the principles of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

- Mr.Bryza, Azerbaijani press often publishes critical articles, addressed to you. According to them, M.Bryza says one thing in Armenia and different things in Azerbaijan and then complains that his words have been distorted. Do you plan to take any explanations on it?

- I think the main problem is the interpretation of my words. In some cases I sent my remarks to Armenian and Azerbaijani journalists in English. They mistranslated my words. I think my words are initially translated from one language into another and then into a third one. After it my words are interpreted either by translators or journalists. At the same time, wrong and distorted variants of my words are published. It is only left to correct them.

I am quite consistent in what I say. I have been the co-chair for already two years and through this period I have always been consistent in my statements. Therefore, I can only ask journalists to do their work. If they have questions they may address to me again and I can clarify the questions. I understand that both journalists and translators can make mistakes. We all can make mistakes.

If there is a mistake, it is my duty to correct it. But I am consistent in my statements and I am well aware of proposals, aimed at the resolution of the conflict. I am also one of the authors of these proposals. In the end I want to say that these issues may create a stir, both politically and emotionally. Sometimes, some translators and journalists hear only the moments, they want to hear. The current case is an example of it.

I read the first article regarding this interview on Friday, upon my return from the meeting in Moscow. It reads: "Bryza says referendum on Karabakh will be held". These words do not reflect what I said. I spoke of the voting process. We do not know which form the voting will have and whether it will be held at all.

As terminology is unclear, it should be defined. We do not know the possible terms of possible voting. Therefore, some people hear about the concept of voting and say that we want it to occur. Therefore, they interpret it as "referendum".

BBC Radio
Day.Az
URL: http://www.today.az/news/politics/46814.html

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