The April War could not have been avoided: Serzh Sargsyan

Armenia’s ex-President Serzh Sargsyan says unilateral concessions were the only way to avoid a four-day war with Azerbaijan in April 2016.

The Armenian side had no information about Azerbaijan’s plans to start military actions in April 2016, Armenia’s third President Serzh Sargsyan told a press conference today.

“Why we didn’t know is a professional issue. I should say that, unfortunately, even best intelligence services in the world fail to get complete information. I hope you do not doubt that the US intelligence service is among the best in the world, but it had no preliminary information about the planned attacks of September 11. No doubt, out intelligence failed here. We got information on April 1, in the second half of the day, that Azerbaijani was planning a subversive attempt, and relevant work was done in the sections of the supposed attack,” he said.

Serzh Sargsyan said the war could not be avoided, as Azerbaijan was not ready for any mutual concessions acceptable to us and was not prepared to acknowledge the right of the people of Nagorno Karabakh to determine their status through free expression of will.

“Thus, there was only one way to avoid the war – to make unilateral concessions, which, of course, was not even discussed, it was unacceptable,” Sargsyan noted.

According to Sargsyan, Azerbaijan’s main goal was to change the course of the negotiations. “They wanted to prove that the issue could be solved by force. The fact that the negotiations were not in their favor was proven by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s confession at a government sitting that the international community was pressuring him to recognize Nagorno Karabalh’s independence.”

“Azerbaijan also wanted to neutralize the fact that Artsakh was a party to the conflict, which was proved by a trilateral ceasefire document signed in 1994. For Azerbaijan, it was important to change the psychology of its people, to overcome the loser’s complex in the army and do the opposite in Armenia,” Sargsyan continued.

He added, however, that as a result of the aggression, Azerbaijan incurred huge losses both on the battlefield and on the diplomatic front, proving its inability to solve the issue by force and had to sit at the negotiating table.

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