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Azerbaijan, a predominantly Shiite Muslim country, is home to several other ethnic and religious groups, including ancient Zoroastrian, Christian, and Jewish communities. Respect and tolerance for national minorities has played a vital role in the development of the country from antiquity to the days of the Silk Road to modernity.
Axar.az reports the presentation of Arye Gut, Israeli expert on international relations and specialist on the South Caucasus, at the international forum on “Threats to international peace and security posed by separatism” in Brussels.
Judaism, Islam and Christianity have existed in this ancient land. This land radiated and continues to radiate a special energy of religious tolerance.
The real test for Azerbaijan’s tradition of religious and national tolerance was during the collapse of the Soviet Union. For more than 25 years Armenia occupies 20% of the territory of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 other regions of Azerbaijan. It is undisputable fact that Nagorno-Karabakh is an ancient and historical part of Azerbaijan. More than one million of Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons.
Recent events in the region once again proved that official Baku will never agree with the existing status quo in the region and that Armenia should realize that Azerbaijan's patience has limits. According to international law, Baku has the right to not only defend itself, but also to liberate the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia.
Moreover, over the years, in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions, Armenia has continued its military build-up in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, deploying there hundreds undeclared military hardware, including battle tanks, armored combat vehicles and artillery systems military personnel.
Last April, the Azerbaijan army while suppressing an Armenian armed provocation, conducted a successful counter-offensive operation and liberated thousands of hectares of Azerbaijan land from Armenia.
It is obvious that if the UN Security Council resolutions on Azerbaijan-Armenian conflict are not implemented, there will continue to be civilian casualties in the region of South Caucasus. It is an awful fact that civilians lost their lives and the heartbreaking news is that the Azerbaijan little girl Zahra was the last victim of Armenian aggression in the Fizuli district. There are numerous resolutions of the UN and they should be observed. The main question is still how to do it.
The main goal of the Armenian political power is to prevent the resolution of the conflict. The last aggravation on the front line once again confirms that Armenia is simply not interested in peace.
The modern world community should not ignore the facts of the revival of fascism, anti-Semitism, brutal chauvinism and should be ready to oppose its new forms. We bear this commitment not only to the Jewish people, but also to all others who are threatened by the same fate. The most terrible and immoral is that some countries, like fundamentalist and radical Iran, organize cartoon contests about the Holocaust of European Jewry.
An other fact that President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian have participated in the opening ceremony of the monument to the fascist and anti-Semite Gen. Garagen Nzhdeh. The history has never forgotten the cruelty of a 20,000-strong Armenian legion as part of the Wehrmacht in the WW II. The aim of the Armenian legion led by nationalist commander Dro and Nzdeh was to persecute and annihilate thousands Jews and others disliked by the German army. At the same time, the Armenian legion organized death marches at concentration camps. Here I have a question whether Armenia does not have other heroes other than the fascists who destroyed the representatives of my people?
Now I would like to give you an other example of the heroism of the Azerbaijani intelligence officer under the codename "Sadigashvili" (Hamza Sadigov). As part of the Soviet military intelligence service near Stalingrad, Hamza Sadikhov captured the closest associate of Hitler, General Roddenburg, who was called the father of the "biological bomb" of Hitler, conducted experiments on Jewish children. Thanks to his courage dozens of Jewish families were saved from the true death. With this deed and heroism, Sadigov erected a monument of courage and immortality in the hearts of his grateful generations.
Independent and secular Azerbaijan proves that the pain and suffering of the catastrophe of European Jewry is not only the Jewish people`s pain, but is the pain of the brotherly Azerbaijani people.
As an Israeli citizen, as Jew, as the grandson the Soviet Army officer whose family was murdered by German Fascists, I understand the bloody massacre in Khojaly.
Cruel and bloody scenes of this tragedy will forever remain in the hearts of Azerbaijani people. On February 25, 1992, the roads from Khojaly to surrounding Azerbaijan were cut off and blockaded by Armenian forces intent on the ethnic cleaning of the Azerbaijani population. On the eve of February 25th, Armenian armed forces began the final takeover of the area.
This massacre is a crime against humanity
This is the historical fact that the Armenian armed forces spared none of the Khojaly residents, who had not managed to leave the city and its surroundings. As a result of the atrocities of the Armenian armed forces.
613 dead,487 maimed,1275 people who were taken hostage and subjected to torture and humiliation.
The fates of 150 people are unknown to this day
According to Serzh Sarqsyan, who is the current president of Armenia: "Before Khojali, 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 were able to break that [stereotype].
What ISIS is doing today with captives, the Armenian terrorists have done in 1992 in Khojaly. Why did the slaughter of thousands of innocent people at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century trigger off all collisions, including spiritual, moral, political, and other problems? The Holocaust is a tragedy of my people. That is why for me the bloody and barbarous act of genocide in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly is my personal pain, this is my personal tragedy.
Together with the different representatives of the Israeli media, I met with the Khojaly survivors, who have captured by the Armenian armed forces. Believe me, they told terrible things about Armenian savagery that it is even shameful to write about it. They showed us signs of torture. Then I had meetings with individuals and they told what they were ashamed to tell openly to all the people and the media.
This is a sorrow for innocent Azerbaijanis, who had their own stories, families, childhood, dreams and future, which was cut short as a result of this bloody massacre perpetrated by the Armenian armed forces. The relatives of the victims have one common pain: those who had committed this terrible crime against humanity have not been prosecuted by international court and have remained unpunished.
Unlike the consequences of World War II, when the majority of the Nazis faced the international court at the Nuremberg trial, ideologists and executors of the mass slaughter of peaceful Azerbaijani citizens in Khojaly live freely in the modern Republic of Armenia.
The whole world knows the names of the countries that not only stood behind the occupation of Azerbaijani lands, but also even today are trying to countenance the Armenia's intention to preserve the status quo in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Official Baku has long made it clear that the current status in this conflict with Armenia is unacceptable.
The events of April 2016, when the armed forces of Azerbaijan responded harshly, crushing the Armenian armed forces, once again showed that official Yerevan must understand that Azerbaijan's patience is at the breaking point. In addition, official Baku, according to the norms of international law, has the right not only to defend itself, but also to liberate the territories occupied by Armenia. Unfortunately, present realities of international relations prove that the force factor acts more effectively on the world scene
Today's Azerbaijan is not Azerbaijan of the 1990s, today's Azerbaijan is the undisputed leader of geopolitical and geo-economic processes in the South Caucasus. Today, Azerbaijan is the country with the strongest and most powerful army in the South Caucasus, which has been waiting for its decisive moment to demonstrate its power.
Despite all the sentiments in this context, every state must be ready to protect its security and sovereignty. It is quite clear that the current tension in the South Caucasus region is the result of Armenia's occupation policy, its attempts to violate the negotiation process again. And this is the guilt of the Armenian leadership. I have said many times that the Armenian President, first, thinks about preserving and strengthening his personal power, about the interests of his own clan, and not about the country that is in a difficult geopolitical and economic collapse.
Unfortunately, it is a fact that Sargsyan, who accidentally fell on the forefront of Armenian politics, despite the second cadence as the president of Armenia, continues to think as a terrorist deprived of state thinking and a global view of world processes. All these facts once again prove Armenia's unwillingness to live in peace with neighboring states, in particular with Azerbaijan. So, there has been no real breakthrough in negotiations, which have been lasting for more than 25 years.
The Armenian President went on lying, stressing that "Karabakh has never been a part of independent Azerbaijan, therefore, aspirations to forcibly hitch Nagorno-Karabakh to this state formation are unfair".
Everyone understands that the so-called "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" is a separatist terrorist puppet formation created by Armenia with the help of its patrons.
If Armenia takes a reckless step to recognize this separatist puppet regime in Nagorno-Karabakh, first of all, that would be a demonstration of disrespect for the basic norms and principles of international law, disrespect for the negotiation process and the OSCE Minsk Group and its co-chairs. In addition, this will be a challenge to Azerbaijan for war. We know about the deplorable awful economic situation is Armenia. This country is the most dependent and poor country in the South Caucasus, it depends economically on external aid and the Armenian diaspora's inflow.
Under the current circumstances, no one will allow Armenia to make its own decisions. In case of recognizing, the "independence" of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia will provoke a conflict itself, thereby entering the warpath. This will once again prove the terrorist nature of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan's current regime.
However the question is how long the world community will silently endure the childish pranks of Sargsyan, who, like Kim Jong-un, took on the whole world by breaking the rules of international law.
2017.11.20 / 20:59