The former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and political analyst David Babayan has described the Baku pogrom as one of the bloodiest manifestations of Azerbaijan’s genocidal policy.
On the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of the Baku pogrom, Babayan told ARMENPRESS that January 13th, 1990 is one of the most tragic and black chapters in the history of the Armenian people.
The Baku pogrom in 1990 was a seven-day pogrom against the Armenian population in Baku, Soviet Azerbaijan during which Armenians were beaten, murdered, and expelled from the city by Azerbaijanis. There were also many raids on apartments, robberies and arson. Eyewitness accounts and independent reports prove that the anti-Armenian violence in Baku and Sumgait were premeditated and state-sanctioned, and attackers had lists and addresses of Armenians.
"On that day, the mass killings of the Armenians began in the Azerbaijani capital city Baku. We must be united, we must engage in the right policy and form an educated and patriotic society. Only in this case it will be possible to avoid a severe trial such as the Baku pogrom,” Babayan said.
Babayan said that for decades Azerbaijan has implemented its programs on achieving the exodus of Armenians, and the Baku pogrom was one of the bloodiest events of Azerbaijan’s genocidal policy.
“For us this is one of the most painful topics and regrettably it hasn’t received any proper assessment by the international community, and that’s why today Azerbaijan still continues its policy. And the blockade of Artsakh today is a manifestation of that same genocidal policy,” Babayan said.
The ex-foreign minister said there are numerous problems and the Armenian people are facing four highly important pan-national objectives and issues: the fate of Artsakh, the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the preservation of the Armenian national identity in the Diaspora and the conservation of Lake Sevan. “And now, given that now Artsakh is the most endangered one, and if Artsakh falls then definitely the Armenian statehood will fall, therefore it is imperative for the main foreign policy to be Artsakh-oriented, at least for a short-term period, so that we’ll be able to overcome this crisis,” Babayan said.
Babayan emphasized that ignoring any crime is further encouraging the aggressor, and this is a fact, be it an ordinary street gangster or a government.
“Hitler for example, one of the most notorious criminals in history, when he was perpetrating the genocide of the Jews he was saying: ‘Who remembers the genocide of the Armenians’? And this led to millions of people, various nations go through genocide. But if the Armenian Genocide were to be condemned in time and Turkey were to be held to account, perhaps what we went through since 1988 would never have happened. Unfortunately, today everyone is talking about their interests and expediency, and if expediency is replacing justice then we should expect new tragedies everywhere. The same Turkey today is threatening Greece, Europe, and the seeds of this genocidal policy have been planted in various places and unfortunately they will grow,” Babayan said.
Asked what steps must be taken in terms of restoring the rights of the citizens who were affected as a result of the Baku pogrom, Babayan said first of all Azerbaijan must be held to political accountability and sanctioned, however Babayan noted that at this moment the international community is unlikely to take that steps due to its interests.
“But at least we must realize whom we are dealing with: what is the state of Azerbaijan? Because there are no good or bad nations, there are rogue and dangerous states. That’s why we must not live in illusions: Azerbaijan and Turkey are not our friends, to say the least. This doesn’t mean that we ought to not deal with them in any way, but that must be done by understanding the red lines,” David Babayan said.