Hans-Joachim Heintze: Karabakh Armenians cannot be recognized as separate people
Armenians living in Karabakh cannot be recognized as a separate people, and therefore, any reference to the right of the nation to self-determination in their respect does not work, the Professor of International Law at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Hans-Joachim Heintze said, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza on the sidelines of the international conference titled 'South Caucasus in the international arena: Cooperation and competition in the region and its vicinity', organized by the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Azerbaijan.
He commented on the topic of correlation of the principle of territorial integrity of states and the right of a nation to self-determination as applied to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "Historically, Armenians lived in Karabakh, and this group of Armenians cannot be perceived as a separate from other Armenians people .Therefore they must fulfill their duties as the inhabitants of Azerbaijani territories. Of course, it is possible to speak about some form of autonomy, because this concentrated group of people lives in a certain territory and has the right both to local administration and participation in the political life of Azerbaijan," the professor Heintze stressed.
The principle of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity is indisputable. "According to international law, all countries have the right to territorial integrity, because it is part of the country's sovereignty. Sovereignty is a very important political tool," he pointed out.
Hans-Joachim Heintze explained the non-fulfillment of the UN Security Council resolutions by the inconsistency of the organization's actions. "These resolutions stopped midway. The UN Security Council should not acted in such a way with regard to the regional security problem in the years of the Karabakh war. If the organization recognized that this war poses a threat to security in the region as a whole, it had to do everything possible according to the UN Charter to restore security," the Professor at the Ruhr-University Bochum pointed out.
According to Professor, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement requires diplomacy at the people's level. "More contacts are needed between young people from these countries. Such a practice took place in Germany, when East and West Germany were in a state of conflict. When we realized that we cannot solve the problem of Germany's unity at the political level, we tried to solve it at the interpersonal level," he recalled the historical experience of his country.
"I believe that if politicians do not act, then ordinary people start to act," Hans-Joachim Heintze concluded.