October 6, 2017 - 10:54 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Azerbaijan is cultivating hatred among the 10 million of its citizens towards Armenia, MEP Frank Engel told The Budapest Beacon in an interview.
Engel has served in the European Parliament since 2009 and is a member of the European People’s Party, of which Hungarian ruling party Fidesz is also a member.
Engel dwelled upon the extradition of Ramil Safarov, an Azerbaijani lieutenant who had killed Armenian lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan. During a NATO-sponsored training seminar in Budapest, Safarov broke into Margaryan's dormitory room at night and axed him to death while Margaryan was asleep.
"Well, under normal circumstances I would have said I could not believe it. Under normal circumstances… But since I knew what kind of Hungarian government had come into office in 2010, I wasn’t that surprised. And my first thought, of course, knowing Azerbaijan, was that they (the Hungarian government) had been bought!" he said.
"Nobody can tell me this had nothing to do with money. There would be no reason why the champion of Christianity in Europe, Viktor Orbán, would forsake his nation’s friendship with the first Christian nation on Earth, which is Armenia, if he and his government were not paid for doing it, if they were not paid for risking the Armenian element in order for some other elements to arrive [Safarov murdered an Armenian in Budapest]."
Asked what the murder meant for the people of Azerbaijan, Engel said they were proud of Safarov.
"They were proud of him… They were very proud of him. That’s what the whole Azerbaijani education system and propaganda logic brings to citizens to believe. Now, I’m not saying that everyone in Azerbaijan was proud of Safarov, but what I am saying – and you can see this for yourself in the pronouncements made by the Azerbaijani authorities at the time – these people thought that here is a brave son of the nation who does what is required of him: kill Armenians. That’s what people like this are out to do. And that’s what they want to perform until this day," he says.
"Such a cultivation of hatred needs to be entertained because you don’t manage to keep 10 million citizens enraged about their neighbor for decades unless you channel these negative feelings and nurture them. And one of the tactics they have employed is to keep the refugees of the Karabakh War – and there are refugees, in the hundreds of thousands, I’m not denying that – in absolutely dire material circumstances. They could have them all in relative comfort. They chose not to. They kept them poor. They kept them in precarious circumstances and they do so in order to keep the anger and hatred alive. And a substantial part of the population suffers the same fate, not only the refugee population."