2019-12-25

No:415/19, Head of the Press Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Leyla Abdullayeva answers a question from the media

Question:  The Armenian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the centenary of the alleged pogroms in the village of Ailis in the Nakhchivan region of Azerbaijan. How could you comment on it?

Answer:  Unfortunately, it is necessary to state that the current leadership of Armenia, continuing the practice of its predecessors, often resorts to spreading statements full of fabrications that do not look convincing. Historical facts show that it was the Armenian armed units that began the mass extermination of the civilian population of Baku, Shamakhi, Guba, and Karabakh in March 1918, which continued in June-October of the same year in the Zangezur and Nakhchivan regions. And official Yerevan is well aware of this.

But even if the Armenian side wants to forget the tens of thousands of peaceful Azerbaijanis who were killed precisely because of their ethnic and religious affiliation, neither history nor archival documents will allow this. To get acquainted with the policy of deliberate large-scale murder and genocide committed by the Armenians against the Azerbaijanis in 1918, it is enough to read the memoirs of Stepan Shaumyan and the Great Soviet Encyclopedia of 1926.

Moreover, I would like to note that if the Armenian Foreign Ministry wants to be consistent in its statements, then it shouldn’t remain silent about the mass massacre of the civilian population of the Azerbaijani city of Khojaly, which was carried out with special cruelty by the Armenian armed forces. Not a century, but only 27 years passed since perpetration of this crime against humanity, the victims of which were 613 civilians, including 63 children and 106 women. However, this did not prevent the former President of Armenia from making a de facto confession in front of foreign journalists shortly after the tragedy: "before Khojaly, the Azerbaijanis thought that they were joking with us, they thought that the Armenians were people who could not raise their hand against the civilian population. We managed to break this [stereotype]. And that's what happened."

In general, against the background of the appeals by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to prepare the populations for peace, such rhetoric of the Armenian Foreign Ministry looks both strange and counterproductive. Instead of voicing such statements, which only aggravate the unfavorable emotional background from the point of view of the conflict settlement, the Armenian Foreign Ministry should, leaving aside the ostentatious "long-suffering", abandon the unjustified territorial claims against Azerbaijan, start de-occupation of the Azerbaijani lands and think about the implementation of concrete steps to resolve the conflict and ensure conditions for the joint existence of both peoples in an atmosphere of peace, stability, security and progress.

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