One day, no one would have thought that an artifact in Greek mythology of 700 BC could be repeated in the historical territory of Azerbaijan, Kapan region. It was like the calamity that descends on people when Pandora opened the box, being unaware of the curses, diseases and troubles inside.
Thirty years ago, when furious Armenians armed with cold weapons expelled over 10,000 civilian Azerbaijanis from Kapan, it came into nobody’s mind that, this was the foretoken of the bloody Karabakh war that would continue for dozens of years.
Kapan, located in the valley of the Okhchuchay in the southeast of modern Armenia, between Nakhchivan and main-land Azerbaijan had been the homeland of Azerbaijanis living here for thousands of years before Armenians were placed in the region by the Russian Empire. Armenians were able to grab this historic Azerbaijani land, like Goyche, Irevan, and so on when they created modern Armenia. At the end of the last century, Armenian effrontery grew further and they eyed on another Azerbaijani territory – Karabakh.
Fearing that Karabakh could be a precedent for Azerbaijanis in Kapan, i.e. Azerbaijanis could ask for self-determination in the region, first-up Armenians drove out innocent Azerbaijanis. Following the Kapan deportation, compactly-settled Armenian minorities in Karabakh made protests and demanded self-determination that evolved into a full-scale war. Unfortunately, the bloody Karabakh War overshadowed and lived down the Kapan deportation. However, after the de-occupation of Azerbaijani land in the 44-day war, Kapan was brought back to the agenda once again. Iran opened its Consulate General in Kapan despite the fact that there are no Iranian citizens living in the city. Russia followed Iran and announced that it intends to open Consulate General. Reading Armenian mass media, some could think that Iran and Russia are not the last countries to open Consulate General. Why this tiny and poor city is so important? What new ‘diseases’ will bring the Pandora’s Box of Caucasus to the region?
Commenting on the issue in an interview with Azernews, political analyst, Professor at Western Caspian University, and former diplomat Fikret Sadigov noted that the question is not whether Kapan is strategically important, but the matter is the proxy of the city to the border.
“It is not a big city. Kapan enables many to observe processes – the events taking place at the border, and receive operational information about the events. At the same time, it is known that if a state representative office is opened there, certain people will work there, as well. They are far from diplomacy, but close to intelligence their main goal and task are to collect information. That is, to analyze the situation at the border and to inform their home countries. I think Kapan is so important just because of this issue,” Fikret Sadigov opined.
Responding to the question of whether the purpose is to expand the spheres of activity of Iranian and Russian intelligence, the professor pointed out that economic and humanitarian issues will be promptly resolved at a closer diplomatic level and simultaneously, intelligence agencies will strengthen their activities.
“Each country has its own duties. There can also be general tasks here. If a certain country is watching military actions there, another state may be interested, for example, in the events taking place on the border, the [Azerbaijani] military potential, and so on. That is, these countries want to study the situation on the spot through those diplomatic missions, and this is their main goal,” he said.
The professor said states are more interested when they open consulates. He ensured that these countries also received the consent of Armenia.
“They would not have opened these consulates if Armenia had not agreed. That is, perhaps these countries that collect data also share it with Armenia. We can draw such a conclusion that both Armenia and the states that opened consulates are satisfied,” he said.
He added that other countries can follow Iran and Russia.
“As is known, Iran opened its consulate in Kapan, and Russia will open soon. I will not be surprised if France opens a consulate there too. Some French cities are twinned with Armenian cities. There are such facts,” he concluded.