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KARABAGH IN THE ROLE OF SCOTLAND?
(Tofigakhanum Alekperova)

      The statement of the Azeri president about the agreement reached in Paris between Geydar Aliyev and his Armenian counterpart Robert Kocharian on the exchange of territories between the two states, caused an astir reaction not only in Yerevan, but also in Baku. It is noteworthy that, overall, the Armenian and Azeri political analysts have similar views regarding Geydar Aliyev's "couloir confessions". Thus, according to the Azeri newspaper "525", the participants of the last session of the council of the Democratic Congress did not sidestep the statement of Aliyev about the arrangements reached in Paris between the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia. Ali Kerimli, the leader of the National Front of Azerbaijan said that the statement of the president witnessed that "the authorities had been cheating the Azeri people during the last eighteen months since the president's statement was in inconsistent with the publications in the press about the arrangements concerned". Kerimli reminded that his opposition party was against the exchange of territories since it is in contradiction with the Constitution. He called for the nation to keep alert and demanded that the authorities should keep the public comprehensively informed about the Paris principles.
         Arif Yunusov, an Azeri political analyst, said that Aliyev's statement about the exchange of territories was nothing but the "first step of the campaign on the preparation of the public of Azerbaijan to the option of the exchange of the territories". According to Yunusov, "the Paris principles, in essence, assume the formation of a confederate state of Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabagh", and the relations of the subjects of such confederate state would be determined analogous to the ones between the subjects of Great Britain: NKR will allegedly be granted the right to have its state symbols, own guards and other elements of sovereignty. Moreover, Yunusov was sure that Aliyev tricked when he talked about the parity between Lachin and Meghri corridors, because "Armenia will never pass to Azerbaijan those territories which stretch along its border with Iran". According to Yunusov, the option articulated by Aliyev was dangerous for Azerbaijan, because after the formation of the common state Nagorno Karabagh would have the legal right to separation. Yunusov criticized the policy run by the leadership of Azerbaijan during the talks with Armenia. He noted that the arrangements reached in Paris should not be regarded as the final option of the problem resolution.

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