MP: On­go­ing Ar­me­nian oc­cu­pa­tion poses huge threat to re­gional peace

Azer News - - Front Page - By Rashid Shiri­nov

The on­go­ing Ar­me­nian oc­cu­pa­tion of Azer­bai­jani territories poses a huge threat to peace in the re­gion, said Vusal Huseynov, the deputy-chair­man of the Azer­bai­jani del­e­ga­tion to PACE as he ad­dressed the free de­bate of the spring ses­sion of the PACE.

The on­go­ing Ar­me­nian oc­cu­pa­tion of Azer­bai­jani territories poses a huge threat to peace in the re­gion, said Vusal Huseynov, the deputy-chair­man of the Azer­bai­jani del­e­ga­tion to PACE as he ad­dressed the free de­bate of the spring ses­sion of the PACE.

"Since our past ses­sion on Fe­bru­ary 26, Azer­bai­jani peo­ple com­mem­o­rated the 25th an­niver­sary of tragic geno­cide com­mit­ted by Ar­me­nian regime against civil pop­u­la­tion in Kho­jaly oc­cu­pied re­gion of Azer­bai­jan in 1992. I would like to draw your at­ten­tion to such crime against hu­man­ity and pay trib­ute to the vic­tims of the geno­cide. More than 600 hun­dred peo­ple, in­clud­ing women, chil­dren, el­derly were killed, 487 peo­ple were se­verely wounded and 1,275 peo­ple were cap­tured and sub­jected to tor­ture, the fate of 197 peo­ple re­mains un­known. Not only th­ese peo­ple and their fam­i­lies are the vic­tims of this crime, I be­lieve every­one, in­clud­ing us are and will be the vic­tims of this crime against hu­man­ity un­til the im­punity goes on and those li­able are not brought to jus­tice," Huseynov said.

Huseynov re­minded that those rep­re­sented in the lead­er­ship of Ar­me­nia to­day are li­able for the killings.

“The cur­rent Pres­i­dent Serzh Sargsyan, in his in­ter­view which can be eas­ily found in the in­ter­net, notes and I quote him: "Be­fore Kho­jaly, the Azer­bai­ja­nis thought that they can joke with us; they thought that the Ar­me­ni­ans were peo­ple who could not raise their hand against the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion. We were able to break that stereo­type. And that's what hap­pened." Th­ese are the words of a pres­i­dent of a coun­try which is a CoE mem­ber state. Ar­me­nia presents it­self to the world as "a vic­tim of the so-called geno­cide" but the world should know the true face of it and crimes com­mit­ted in oc­cu­pied territories of Azer­bai­jan," Huseynov said.

"There­fore, it's very im­por­tant that we speak up and act for jus­tice for preven­tion of sim­i­lar tragedies in the fu­ture. As the on­go­ing oc­cu­pa­tion by Ar­me­nia of Azer­bai­jani territories con­tin­ues, which poses a huge threat to peace in the re­gion, there can't be guar­an­tee of safety."

Huseynov stressed that Azer­bai­jan sup­ports peace and is will­ing to re­solve the con­flict by peace­ful means.

“But let's look at the at­ti­tude of Ar­me­nian au­thor­i­ties to peace. I want to give an ex­am­ple of a civil so­ci­ety peace ini­tia­tive re­cently launched by Ar­me­nian and Azer­bai­jan civil so­ci­ety ac­tivists called Ar­me­nia –Azer­bai­jan peace plat­form.

This was the first ini­tia­tive of this nature since the con­flict be­gan and laid the foun­da­tion for fur­ther peace ac­tiv­i­ties. Sev­eral hu­man rights de­fend­ers in Ar­me­nia joined it from the be­gin­ning, took part in the joint con­fer­ence and cam­paigned for its ex­pan­sion.

How­ever, this civil peace ini­tia­tive also was op­pressed by Ar­me­nia. The Ar­me­nian au­thor­i­ties launched a dirty cam­paign against those seek­ing a civil di­a­logue with Azer­bai­jan. Un­der dif­fer­ent pre­texts rep­re­sen­ta­tives of civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions, ac­tivists were ar­rested for car­ry­ing out peace-build­ing projects and for hav­ing con­tacts with the plat­form,” he said.

Huseynov added that Ar­me­nian me­dia named th­ese peo­ple "traitors" and called for their pun­ish­ment and en­cour­aged to mur­der the Ar­me­ni­ans who joined the con­fer­ence in Baku.

“Th­ese were the ac­tions of a state, which talks about peace and hu­man rights. How we can ex­pect peace and di­a­logue, if or­di­nary civil ini­tia­tives are op­pressed," Huseynov said.

Ar­me­nia broke out a lengthy war against Azer­bai­jan by lay­ing ter­ri­to­rial claims on its South Cau­ca­sus neigh­bor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Ar­me­nian armed forces have oc­cu­pied 20 per­cent of Azer­bai­jan's ter­ri­tory, in­clud­ing NagornoKarabakh and seven sur­round­ing re­gions. More than 20,000 Azer­bai­ja­nis were killed and over 1 mil­lion were dis­placed as a re­sult of the large-scale hos­til­i­ties.

Ar­me­nia has not yet im­ple­mented four UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions on with­drawal of its armed forces from the NagornoKarabakh and sur­round­ing districts.

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