By Edmond Y. Azadian
There are many mini states and ethnic enclaves which clamor for recognition, but their right for self determination has been too politicized by the interested parties or the major countries, who try to let the wounds fester, because down the road, that volatile state may yield political dividends.
One such issue is the problem of Nagorno Karabagh. The Minsk Group member countries and regional powers all state that any settlement that satisfies the opposing parties will be acceptable to them. Yet no one tries to push the parties for a compromise solution, since any unresolved issue remains handy for the major powers, to be manipulated for their own advantage.
In all the cases, background history, legal status and common logic is the same, yet once one begins to compare those conflicts, there are many explanations and excuses to make every case a unique one. For example, when the West decided to dismantle the former Yugoslavia to break the back of Slavic dominance in the heart of Europe, an artificial country was created in Kosovo, whose inhabitants did not aspire for self determination and the sacrosanct principle of territorial integrity was not even brought up. And one of the holiest pieces of territory for the Orthodox Slavs became the homeland for Muslim Kosavars. And Serbia was bombed into acquiescing to the forced reality. Yet when it comes to Karabagh, all the powers that be have created a rectangular wheel trying to join the two irreconcilable principles of territorial integrity and right for self determination. Today more than 80 countries have been coerced to recognize Kosovo’s independence.
To counteract the West’s forceful creation of Kosovo, Russia acted unilaterally to wrest South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia, creating independent nations, although only recognized by Nicaragua and Venezuela, besides Russia. While Russia upholds the principle of territorial integrity in the case of Karabagh, it does not hesitate to trample on that principle when it comes to Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Today one of the hot issues in the Middle East is the forced division of Cyprus, a sovereign country, which was the victim of the Turkish aggression and remains divided to this date.