Heydar Aliyev and Armenian flag make joint appearance

Tbilisi’s Old Town has long been an area where ethnic Armenians, Azeris, Jews, Kurds, and Georgians intermingle, according to eurasianet.org.

Recently, for example, an Armenian flag appeared flying outside a privately owned, neighborhood bathhouse that adjoins a park featuring a bust of Heydar Aliyev, the late Azerbaijani president.

The flag was still flying until the eve of Azerbaijan’s May 10 Flower Day celebration, an event to mark the birthday of the late president. On the day itself, the flag reportedly disappeared. A day later, it reappeared.

Precise reasons for the flag’s appearance, disappearance, and reappearance could not be confirmed. The management of the bathhouse that displays the flags was not available for comment. “They just chose some international flags from somewhere,” an employee commented, with a shrug, the agency writes.

The Armenian flag appears alongside those of the United States, Israel, European Union, and Georgia, at the end closest to the HeydarAliyevPark.

The Azerbaijani embassy to Tbilisi and the Georgian office of the State Oil Company of the AzerbaijaniRepublic, which maintains the HeydarAliyevPark, did not respond to requests for comment about the flag’s appearance.

Sources familiar with the circumstances claim that the Azerbaijani ambassador to Tbilisi personally visited the owners of the baths to request that the Armenian flag be taken down.

An Azerbaijani TV crew also apparently visited the Heydar Aliyev Park to film the bust and the offending flag, but allegedly was denied permission to do so.

When the flag reappeared, the Azerbaijani ambassador, reportedly furious, made another visit to the bathhouse, the sources claimed.

The bathhouse employee, who did not give his name, denied that the facility’s Armenian flag had caused any controversy.

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