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UNSC meets on April 6, 1993 to pass a statement condemning the invasion of Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar district

On November 25, 2020 Armenia handed the Kalbajar district back to Azerbaijan, in line with the Nov. 10 agreement, which also ended the 44-day-war in Karabakh. Thus a 27-year-long illegal occupation of Kalbajar came to an end. Tens of thousands of forcibly displaced Azerbaijani residents of Kalbajar will finally be able to return home.

The invasion and total ethnic cleansing of Kalbajar by Armenia in early April 1993 was one of the most crucial moments and darkest chapters in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. After Lachin’s invasion in 1992, Kalbajar was the second district outside of Nagorno-Karabakh to be invaded, thus de facto annexing Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.


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To the editor: Nagorno-Karabakh is not a disputed territory. It is an integral part of Azerbaijan, recognized as such by the international community. In the early 1990s, Armenia illegally invaded, occupied and ethnically cleansed 20% of Azerbaijan’s sovereign territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts, and expelled 800,000 Azerbaijanis from their ancestral lands. (“ In the South Caucasus, the threat of war,” editorial, Oct. 7)

The United Nations Security Council demanded that Armenian forces be withdrawn. Armenia refused to comply, and the U.N. did nothing to enforce its own resolutions. …


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Armenian Church in Baku, Azerbaijan

On September 27, 2020 Armenia started a new war against Azerbaijan.

Since the very first day of this new war of aggression and occupation, we have been observing some very worrisome propaganda by Armenia and their allies trying to portray the Armenia-Azerbajan conflict as an interreligious war between Christians and Muslims. This is a familiar tactic Armenia used in the early 1990s in the West, in their attempt to garner sympathy, when they invaded, occupied and ethnically cleansed 20 percent of Azerbaijan. …


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On July 21, 2020 a few minutes before hundreds of Armenian radicals violently attack a small group of Azerbaijani Americans in Los Angeles, one of the Armenians screams: “You are only safe at home”. https://youtu.be/p7E1ZHdoXDs?t=38

In a world already totally upended by COVID-19 and the ensuing social and economic consequences, we observe an additional emergency, in the form of rising incidents of racism, xenophobia and hate crimes.

Just last month, several crude yet sizable banners were hung from an overpass above the I-405 freeway in Los Angeles. The largest sign read “The Jews Want a Race War”, and the other “Honk if you know”.

Tweet by American Jewish Committee-Los Angeles Regional Director Rick Hirschhaut

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) documented more incidents of antisemitism in the U.S. in 2019 (2,107 incidents) than any other year since it began collecting data for their annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, over 40 years ago. …


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Some images showing both verbal and physical assaults by Armenian radicals on peaceful Azerbaijanis on July 21 in Los Angeles.

On July 21, thousands of locals representing the radical Armenian Dashnak groups, led by Armenian National Committee of America, came to protest in front of our Consulate General, located in West Los Angeles. At the same time, approximately 50 Azerbaijani community members came to counter-protest and highlight the occupation and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijan’s lands by Armenia, as well as the recent aggression committed against our north-western border.


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A version of this article was originally published in Spanish by Los Angeles Times Español: https://www.latimes.com/espanol/opinion/articulo/2020-07-13/opinion-en-medio-de-la-crisis-del-coronavirus-armenia-lanza-ataque-militar-contra-azerbaiyan

Starting on July 12, the Armenian army attacked, with heavy artillery, the positions of Azerbaijan’s armed forces along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, killing four Azerbaijani soldiers. It has become clear that the objective behind this new military operation, which is the most violent breach of the ceasefire regime in years, has been to seize strategic positions in Azerbaijan. …


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Alrededor de la mitad de los civiles azerbaiyanos desplazados por las tropas armenias son niños.

El 12 de julio el ejército armenio atacó con artillería pesada posiciones de las fuerzas armadas de Azerbaiyán a lo largo de la frontera entre los dos países, matando a cuatro soldados azerbaiyanos y violando flagrantemente el cese al fuego establecido desde hace años.

El objetivo de esta nueva escalada militar, la peor en varios años, pero no la única, es tomar posiciones estratégicas en Azerbaiyán.

En el momento de redactar este informe los enfrentamientos a lo largo de la frontera continúan con el bombardeo por parte del ejército armenio de las estructuras militares y civiles y la situación corre el riesgo de que escale a niveles tales que ponga en riesgo a la población civil. …


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Azerbaijani Juma Mosque in the Armenian-occupied city of Agdam turned into a barn for pigs and cows. Its interior and exterior walls have been desecrated with insults in Armenian.

Warfare is always disastrous, yet when it includes war crimes, such as targeting civilians, bulldozing entire towns or committing ‘cultural genocide,’ it becomes particularly catastrophic for generations to come. Over the last decade, Daesh in Iraq and Syria has taught us the peril enacted on generations of victims. Yet despite the atrocious example Daesh has left, perhaps there is something worse — such as when the perpetrators of horrific crimes deny their responsibility and try to discredit those they have brutally victimized.

This very scenario is playing out in the Caucasus, with reverberations in the US. In the early 1990s, Armenia invaded, occupied and ethnically cleansed the neighboring Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region. Almost a million Azerbaijani civilians were expelled from Karabakh and Armenia. Though the U.N. Security Council repeatedly condemned this occupation and demanded the withdrawal of Armenian troops, Armenia defied these calls, continuing to hold around 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s sovereign territory under illegal military occupation. Almost three decades later, Azerbaijani forcibly displaced are still not allowed by Armenia to return to their homes and lands. …


Azerbaijani IDPs. Photo by Ilgar Jafarov. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Azerbaijani IDPs. Photo by Ilgar Jafarov. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Azerbaijani IDPs in the early 1990s. Photo by llgar Jafarov. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The vulnerability of the human species that the COVID-19 pandemic has so ruthlessly exposed vividly demonstrates the primordial importance of creating a more caring, inclusive, tolerant and equal world, where no one is left behind.

Now more than ever increased global understanding and compassion is needed for the ongoing suffering of millions of fellow humans who were forced out of their homes and lands.

According to UNHCR, there are currently up to 80 million forcibly displaced people in the world, including 26 million refugees and almost 46 million IDPs (internally displaced people). Every two seconds, one person is displaced!

Last few years have witnessed a colossal increase in refugee/IDP numbers. In 2019 alone, 11 million people were forced to flee their homes due to conflict or persecution. …


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Today, April 28, marks a sad centennial for Azerbaijan. Namely, 100 years ago-on April 28, 1920-the Soviet Red Army invaded Azerbaijan and put an end to the very first secular democracy in the Muslim world-the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.

The establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic two years earlier, on May 28, 1918, had been an event of historic magnitude. Not only was it the first secular and parliamentary republic in the Muslim world, but also the first majority-Muslim nation granting women the right to vote and to run for election, with a law passed in July 1919.

That law on equal voting rights to all men and women upon the age of 20, regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious, or other background, was fascinating in many regards, making Azerbaijan one of the first countries in the world to ensure such inclusive voting and election rights for all its citizens. …

About

Nasimi Aghayev

Nasimi Aghayev has been Consul General of Azerbaijan to the Western US since 2012. His letters & articles were published by NYTimes, WSJ, LA Times, Wash.Times

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