Armenia`s policy of illegal settlement: in the wake of resolution 2334...

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Baku, 17 January 2017 –

The United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution urging Israel to stop building settlements on the western bank of the Jordan River. The resolution was adopted by votes of four permanent members, with the USA abstaining. Official Tel Aviv sharply rebuked Washington, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused directly Barack Obama. Israel said it will not fulfill the requirements of the resolution. This situation raises a question: Why does the UN Security Council remain indifferent to the policy of illegal settlement that has been carried out by Armenia in Azerbaijan`s Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent districts for decades? This encourages Armenia`s impunity on the one hand, and sets a precedent for other states to violate international law on the other. This is why the UN Security Council resolutions largely remain on paper.

Tel Aviv offended by Washington: a blow to friendship or restored justice?

The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2334 on 23 December, 2016, reaffirming that Israel’s establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal validity. This is the first resolution on Israel that was brought to a vote at the Security Council in the last eight years as the United States had been using the veto power to prevent the adoption of Israel-related resolutions. Tel Aviv had attached great importance to this factor, regarding it as the corner stone of the bilateral ties. But now Washington abstained, a move that Israel interpreted as a sharp change in the US` attitude.

Official Tel Aviv slammed Obama. "The Obama administration has carried out an underhanded and an anti-Israel maneuver at the United Nations Security Council," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of the resolution. (see: Обама свел счеты с Израилем / "", 25 December, 2016). Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also lashed out on Washington. "We expected that the United States – our greatest ally and friend which has stood unwavering on the side of Israel’s security needs throughout the years – would stand by us at this time and not abandon us, leaving us in the hands of a cynical body driven by alien interests,” he said in a statement. (see: previous source).

Some experts link this to tension in Obama-Netanyahu relationship. In fact, Obama had been of great help to Tel Aviv in the last eight years, with the two countries` reaching agreement on a record new package of $38 billion in U.S. military aid last year. But editor-in-chief for Middle East bureau at RTVi Egene Sova says Obama and Netanyahu have mutual dislike. The Israeli Prime Minister even criticized the US President for the Iranian nuclear program issue during his speech at the Congress.

Against a background of these developments Israel pins hopes on President-elect Donald Trump. The President-elect said that Israel's "big loss" with the United Nations "will make it harder to negotiate peace" – but that "we will get it done anyway." Trump said on Twitter: "The big loss yesterday for Israel in the United Nations will make it much harder to negotiate peace. Too bad, but we will get it done anyway!" (see: previous source).

Tel Aviv said it will not abide by the terms of the Security Council resolution. Israel cancelled a visit by the Ukrainian Prime Minister in light of Ukraine's vote in favor of the resolution. The Israeli government is also believed to take other steps. But what is the essence of the Security Council resolution?

It is a fact that Israel has kept under occupation the western bank of the Jordan River since 1967. Israel has built 100 settlements and resettled more than 500,000 Jews there. The international community regards these settlements as illegal. Efforts have repeatedly been made to stop the construction of the settlements, and this point has been at the center of Israeli-Palestinian talks. But Tel Aviv has ignored all demands.

And Washington had blocked all resolutions on the Israeli settlements at the United Nations, supporting Israel`s illegal settlements on the Palestinian soil. Barack Obama is the first American President to have broken this chain. Is this what lies at the heart of Tel Aviv`s anger at him?

It should be noted that all permanent members of the Security Council voted in favor of the Resolution 2334, except the US. The resolution was adopted by a total of 14 votes.

Yerevan`s impunity: international confrontations caused by a bad example

We are not going to look into who is right and who is wrong in this situation because there are other points that concern us. It`s about what superpowers are doing with respect to conflicts as well as about the essence of the resolutions and documents adopted by the Security Council. More precisely, we mean the attitude to what Armenia did in the occupied Azerbaijani lands.

It is a well known fact that the Armenians committed barbaric acts in the Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent districts. They burned people alive, murdering the elderly, women and children. They also destroyed everything in the Azerbaijani lands, including cultural monuments, residential areas, cemeteries. In addition, they resettled Armenians from Iraq, Syria and other countries here. There is a convincing evidence of this. In Lachin, for example, Syrian Armenians were resettled. The same took place in Shusha, Aghdara, Kalbajar, Khojaly and other districts, which were subjected to Armenian demographic occupation.

And this happens at a time when there are four resolutions of the UN Security Council demanding the withdrawal of the Armenian military from the occupied lands (resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 that were adopted in 1993). We reiterate that the names of the Azerbaijani districts occupied by Armenia are stipulated in these resolutions, which unambiguously urge the unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces. But what has official Yerevan done?

Armenia has not just ignored these resolutions, but continues the policy of Armenization of the occupied lands. On the one hand, Armenians destroy cultural monuments belonging to the rightful owners of these places, and on the other, they forcedly resettle here indigent Armenians from different parts of the world. But why does the international community, first of all, permanent members of the UN Security Council, turn a blind eye to this?

We have no intention of defending the position of either Israel or Palestine. But there is one question: Why is something forbidden for Israel, allowed to Armenia? Why has the United Nations remained silent on Yerevan`s resettling strangers in the occupied lands so far? The Azerbaijani authorities have repeatedly appealed to international organizations over this problem. But there has not been any feedback as required by international law and justice.

Naturally, all countries are aware of this and draw appropriate conclusions. A powerful and developed Israel is no exception. Tel Aviv can reject the UN Security Council Resolution 2334 because it sees that resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the Security Council have remained unfulfilled for 23 years. And there is not a second such cruel, occupier, robber and barbaric state like Armenia. If five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the USA, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China – are indifferent to this, then why must Israel stop building settlements along the western bank of the Jordan River? Who don`t they demand the same of Armenia?

Interestingly, how will Russian official circles explain – against this background – giving state-of-the-art arms to Armenia? How will they explain the dispatch of Iskander ballistic missile systems to Yerevan, which paves the way for Armenia to threaten Azerbaijan? How will Washington, which claims to advocate democracy, human rights and humanitarian assistance, explain its silence on illegal settlement of the Armenians in the occupied Azerbaijani lands? The same question can be posed to London, Paris and Beijing.

Like other documents, Resolution 2334 seems to remain on paper. Obviously, superpowers, including five permanent members of the UN Security Council, intend making the United Nations a huge archive. But is this of any benefit to humanity?

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