Armenian FM outlines the reasons behind Azerbaijan’s “Khojaly campaign”

Azerbaijan and Turkey are using the Khojaly events as a propaganda tool, pursuing at least several goals, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian says.

“First, Ankara and Baku are obviously opposing the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.  By disseminating falsified accusations about ‘violence committed by Armenians’ they are trying to justify their century-long policy of denial, spreading fraud, claiming that Armenians are the perpetrators, not victims, that they have slaughtered and have not been slaughtered,” Minister Nalbandian said in comments to Tert.am.

He said that Turkey has even erected a monument on the Armenian-Turkish border as a symbol of ‘massacres committed by Armenians against Turks.

Second, he said, Baku and Ankara aim to shadow the commemorations of the 30th anniversary of the Sumgait pogroms. According to him, Baku is using Ankara’s experience of organizing Gallipoli events to shadow the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide in 2015.

Third, Minister Nalbandian said, Baku follows Ankara’s example of pretending to be the victim of violence and harassment in an attempt to win dividends.

“Fourth, Azerbaijan is trying to divert attention and avoid responsibility for the massacre of Armenians not only in Sumgait, but also Baku, Kirovabad, Maragha, etc.,” Edward Nalbandian said.

“Fifth, the Azerbaijani authorities carry out targeted anti-Armenian propaganda, radicalize their society, trying to unite it in the fight against the so-called enemy,” Armenia’s top diplomat said. According to him, on one hand, this is a means for diverting the public’s attention from domestic problems, and on the other hand, a propaganda tool against the Armenian sides to inspire the army to commit crimes.

“This was particularly striking in April 2016, when gross human rights violations were committed against civilians and captivated soldiers, “he said.

“Baku spends millions on this multilayered propaganda, but even under those layers it is impossible to conceal the reality,” Nalbandian stated.

“Even the name Khojaly which was been given to this wave of propaganda does not correspond to reality because Khojaly residents, using the humanitarian corridor, moved to Aghdam region controlled by Azerbaijani armed forces several kilometers away from the settlement where they were killed. All this is proven by Azerbaijani sources, the testimonies of the survivors of Khojaly, independent eyewitnesses and journalists. The then President of Azerbaijan blamed Azerbaijani, not Armenian armed groups for Khojaly killings,” Minister Nalbandian said.

He concluded that “Azerbaijan’s attempts to avoid responsibility are useless and they will have to assume responsibility sooner or later.”

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