Azerbaijan International

Spring 2000 (8.1)
Page 8

Reader's Forum
Armenia Not the Only Victim

Regarding the report "Washington Feud: Azerbaijan's Riches in Oil vs. Grievances of Armenian Lobby" (March 3) in the International Herald Tribune:

Although admirable in its analysis of the current situation, the article omits two key facts about the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. First, Armenia has control of approximately 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory outside of Nagorno-Karabakh. Second, this occupation has displaced approximately 1 million Azerbaijanis and created one of the worst per capita refugee crises in the world. As part of an arts organization called American Voices, which is involved in cultural exchange, we recently performed for refugee children in Baku and Sumgayit. There we witnessed both the remarkable dignity and the appalling conditions of people who have been living in tents and railroad cars for more than eight years.

Yes, there is an Azerbaijani blockade, but the toll being inflicted upon Azerbaijan's refugees is one of the world's forgotten tragedies. The Azerbaijanis are ready to resolve this conflict, and the displaced desperately want to return home. It is in Armenia's best interest to begin serious negotiations and to stop its posturing as the only victim in this conflict.

John Ferguson
Gouda, Netherlands

From Azerbaijan International (8.1) Spring 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.

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