Peter Tase: "The values of multiculturalism in Azerbaijan goes back many centuries"
The 5th International Humanitarian Forum, which is held under the patronage of Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev, finished in Baku. The politics, people of science, culture and art, the media heads from 75 countries and nine international organizations gathered in Baku to participate in the Forum. Deputy Editor in DIOGEN Pro-Culture Magazine, an American International Relations Scholar, Latin American Affairs, Contributor to Eurasia Review Journal, Peter M. Tase, told to Vestnik Kavkaza about the Forum, Karabakh, and the presidential elections in the US.
- The US presidential election campaign enters the home stretch. What are your predictions?
- In 2008, the United States experienced an economic shock and immediately afterwards focused on the domestic policy - on the social issues, economic growth, redaction of unemployment, and environmental issues. The Obama’s White House during its second term (2012-2016) was focused mostly on the domestic policy and left aside the international conflicts, such as the Nagorno-Karabakh and other multiple hotbed areas - the main focus was on the economic growth.
Republican candidate Donald Trump during the election campaign, as well as for many years in business, demonstrated a pragmatic approach, and proved to be a real leader, having business ties with over 60 countries around the world, employing thousands of people of different background from Muslims to women, from Latinos to African Americans. I think Donald Trump will be much better candidate to soft the the diplomatic relations between Russia and the US. He is more business oriented, he understands how to use business in the benefit of peace and stability in the world. I think he will get along very well with the current Russian administration, with President Putin and his team. Hillary Clinton was the US Secretary of State for four years, and the first lady of the White House for eight years. But I still believe that Trump has a better chance to warm up a friendship between Washington and Moscow.
- In your opinion, who does the population of the United States support?
- The public support towards Trump and Hilary Clinton changes twice or three times a week. It is very difficult to find out who has the higher public support. Most of the times it is 45-46% on one, and 43-44% on the other, and vice versa. This is a very interesting moment in the US elections, because there is a large number of undecided and independent voters. I think it will be very interesting.
Many are waiting for the normalization of relations with Russia. A cooperation between Russia and the US can significantly contribute towards the resolution of conflicts in the neighborhood of Russia and make it possible to promote peace and stability in the world. I know its very hard. But history has shown that dialogue and negotiations is the best way to solve the conflicts, rather then embracing isolationism and talking to yourself.
- In your opinion what are the prospects for resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
- In recent years, Azerbaijan has done everything that depended on the Azerbaijani leadership to resolve this conflict. President Ilham Aliyev has consistently expressed readiness for any kind of cooperation, always welcoming the peaceful resolution of the Karabakh problem. At the same time, the Armenian army still behaves like the armed forces of the fascist regime by making provocations, violating the ceasefire regime, by shelling the Azerbaijani soldiers, killing civilians, destroying buildings, cultural monuments and historical sites. the Armenian armed forces destroyed more than 150 schools, libraries, cultural centers and religious shrines for more than 20 years of the occupation of Karabakh and the adjacent districts. "This is a crime against humanity. The resolutions of PACE, the General Assembly of the United Nations and other documents in support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan were approved by many countries, and these are only the particular examples of support expressed by the international community to resolve the Karabakh problem through the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces and military equipment from the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan. Until now 20% of the Azerbaijani territory, Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven adjacent regions are occupied by the Armenian armed forces - this means that Armenia shows absolute contempt for the four resolutions of the UN Security Council, moreover, violates them. The Armenian government violates other international laws adopted during 25 years.
Obviously, the United States could be more actively engaged in the mediation of the conflict. Suffice it to recall the visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to Baku to see what kind of enormous wealth Azerbaijan has to offer to the world in the field of multiculturalism, religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence among peoples. I think we will see another negotiation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the future. The Nagorno-Karabakh armed conflict is proof of inability of the international community to resolve the long-term conflicts, threatening peace and stability to the present day. ‘’By saying the international community, I mean the UN Security Council, the OSCE Minsk Group, the EU, the European Commission and other European institutions, and the UN General Assembly. The UN General Assembly should receive more influence, as far as today it has no power, and to play a greater role in the achieving peace, stability and strengthening the economic development in different regions of the world. Alas, over the last ten years, the UN has become a forum, a platform for discussion of the problems, where people talk a lot, but nothing is done afterwards.
- How do you assess the Baku International Humanitarian Forum?
- It is a great honor and privilege to be the moderator of the panel №2 under the round table of transforming of journalism for the information age, its role in the insuring of the inter civilization dialogue under the Baku International Humanitarian Forum. Each of us learned a lot. We had a very effective round table with the participation of the public relations specialists, information and communications media representatives, well-acclaimed journalists. The meeting was also attended by former President of Croatia Ivo Josipovic.
The round table was very effective. It significantly contributes towards promoting honesty, high level of ethics and the interest of the public good in the information and communication media. This round table could not be possible without the great support of the Government of Azerbaijan and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, who is also the Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO. The First Family of Azerbaijan has always been very dedicated to promoting peace and stability, effectiveness in journalism, research in public health issues, has paid the major importance in promoting intercultural dialogue, inter-faith dialogue.
I had a chance to visit the Gabala and Oguz regions couple of months ago and had just a great experience to see first-hand the inter-faith coexistence and inter-religious dialogue, the open-minded spirit that encompasses every Azerbaijani family. These values have their roots all their way back into the Silk Road tradition, when there was a large number of merchants and traders, who led their trading routs through Azerbaijan in order to reach the European markets and all the way back centuries ago.
It was an excellent opportunity to gather experts from Uruguay, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, South Korea, India, Slovakia, the United States, Azerbaijan, Chile, Serbia, Japan. It was a nice opportunity to exchange the ideas and thoughts on many relevant topics.