Baku resentful over OSCE MG Co-chair’s tweet on Sumgait

Baku resentful over OSCE MG Co-chair’s tweet on Sumgait

PanARMENIAN.Net - Baku expressed resentment over a Twitter post of the U.S. Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, commemorating the Sumgait pogroms.

“We also remember Sumgait. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan should support people-to-people programs to develop tolerance and trust,” James Warlick tweeted.

According to APA, Azeri Foreign Ministry was fast to react to the post. “Unrests happened in Sumgait, but the causes, context, facts and realities are completely different,” Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov said, commenting on Warlick’s post.

As Azimov noted, Warlick also shared his views on the so-called “Khojalu genocide” on Twitter. “Twitter is not a place to discuss Khojalu,” Azimov added.

“On the date of the Khojalu tragedy, we are reminded that violence is not the answer. All parties must work harder for a peaceful settlement,” said Warlick in his Tweet.

“I can not respond to Warlick on Twitter, because the message on Twitter must consist of only 120 letters. Warlick has recently been appointed to this post and should view the realities of the conflict,” Azimov said.

The Sumgait Pogrom

The Sumgait Pogrom was the Azeri-led pogrom that targeted the Armenian population living in the Azerbaijani seaside town of Sumgait in February 1988. On February 27, 1988, large mobs made up of Azeris formed into groups that went on to attack and kill Armenians in both on the streets and in their apartments; widespread looting and a general lack of concern from police officers allowed the situation to worsen. The violent acts in Sumgait were unprecedented in scope in the Soviet Union and attracted a great deal of attention from the media in the West. The massacre came in light of the Nagorno-Karabakh movement that was gaining traction in the neighbouring Armenia SSR.

Military operation in Khojalu

The events in Khojalu, which led to the deaths of civilians, were the result solely of political intrigues and power struggle in Azerbaijan. The real reasons are most convincingly reflected in the accounts of Azerbaijanis themselves — as participants in and eyewitnesses of what happened — as well as of those who know the whole inside story of the events in Baku. Khojalu, along with Shushi and Agdam, was one of the main strongholds from which Stepanakert, the capital of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, was shelled continuously and mercilessly for the three winter months of 1991/92 with artillery, missiles and launchers used for targeting cities. Knocking out the weapon emplacements in Khojalu and thus freeing the airport were the only way for the Nagorno Karabakh Republic to ensure the physical survival of its population condemned by Azerbaijan to complete annihilation. The daily shelling of Stepanakert from nearby Khojalu took the lives of hundreds of peaceful inhabitants — women, children and old people.

Then-President of Azerbaijan, Ayaz Mutalibov, has stated that “the assault on Khojaly was not a surprise attack”. In an interview in 1992 with the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta he emphasized that “a corridor was kept open by the Armenians for people to leave”. However, a column of civilians was fired on by armed units of the Popular Front of Azerbaijan on the approaches to the Agdam district border, a fact later confirmed by Ayaz Mutalibov, who linked this criminal act to attempts by the opposition to remove him from power, and blamed it entirely for what happened. In his interview with the Russian magazine, Novoye Vremya, Mutalibov stated that “the shooting of the Khojalu residents was obviously organized by someone to take control in Azerbaijan”.

According to Azerbaijani journalist M. Safarogly, “Khojalu occupied an important strategic position. The loss of Khojalu was a political fiasco for Mutalibov”.

Furthermore, there is a statement by an Azerbaijani journalist, Arif Yunusov, which clearly states: “The town and its inhabitants were deliberately sacrificed for a political purpose — to prevent the Popular Front of Azerbaijan from coming to power”. In this case, though, the Azerbaijanis themselves are named as the perpetrators of the tragedy.

It is already obvious for everybody that the «genocide» of Azerbaijanis in Khojalu is a myth created still by Heydar Aliyev and taken up by his throne-successor, Aliyev-junior, in order to draw the international community's attention away from the massacre of Armenians in Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad, and many other populated-by-Armenians settlements, as well as to conceal the political, humanitarian, military, economic, and other penal offences of the Azerbaijani leadership against Armenian civilians and against its own people.

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