Seeds of War - Armenia and Azerbaijan
"No country recognizes Karabakh's independence. This is U.S. policy and it is the policy of the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe]. In other words all of these countries [53 out of 54] recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and that Karabakh is within the borders of Azerbaijan. Unless you want an unending future of conflict, tension and periodic wars, we urge that you talk to Azerbaijanis and the three sides reach a 'modus vivendi.' No side can win 100 percent. As I said, there is not even a dialogue, much less any progress toward an agreement [these days]. We believe that Armenia cannot realize sustained, robust economic growth unless there is a solution to the Karabakh dispute.
"As I leave Armenia, I urge you not to become complacent and think that everything is OK - it is not OK. The seeds of war are there. You should try to remove them through political negotiations...If there is no political negotiation, inevitably military tensions and military buildups go forward, eventually leading to another conflict and war. And then the process starts all over again."
Peter Tomsen, at a press conference in Yerevan, Armenia, on August 20, 1998, on the completion of what he described as "three wonderful years" as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia.
From Azerbaijan International (6.3) Autumn 1998.
© Azerbaijan International 1998. All rights reserved.