Politics 11:32 06/12/2023 Armenia

Azerbaijan plans takeover of Armenia to create 'Western Azerbaijan'

By Harut Sassounian

Publisher, The California Courier

While Armenians are dealing with the dispossession of Artsakh and trying to cope with its tragic consequences, Azerbaijan is escalating its demands by launching a campaign claiming that the entire territory of the Republic of Armenia is supposedly ‘Western Azerbaijan.’ No sensible person in the world would take such an outrageous lie seriously, simply because Azerbaijan was founded a little over a century ago, while Armenia has been in existence for thousands of years. Even Coca Cola is older than Azerbaijan!

After establishing the ‘Western Azerbaijan Committee’ with the blessing of Pres. Aliyev, Azerbaijan has embarked on a worldwide campaign to disseminate its ridiculous scheme around the world and at the United Nations. Those Armenians who are concerned about Azerbaijan’s expansionist plans over the Syunik province of Armenia or the so-called Zangezur Corridor should be more alarmed about Azerbaijan’s enormous appetite to take over all of the Republic of Armenia, after occupying Artsakh.

Here are four actions Azerbaijan has taken at the UN in recent months:

1) Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the UN Yashar Aliyev circulated to all members of the General Assembly and Security Council a letter by the ‘Western Azerbaijan Committee’ on January 17, 2023, stating that “All Azerbaijanis expelled from the territory of nowadays Armenia and their descendants have the right to return to their homeland.”

2) A second letter was submitted by Azerbaijan to the UN on February 22, 2023, accusing Armenians of carrying out acts of “violence, genocide, massacres and other crimes against humanity and gross violations of human rights. This process was particularly violent and cruel in 1905–1906, 1918–1921, 1948–1953 and 1987–1991.” The letter added that “in nowadays Armenia, Azerbaijani historical and cultural heritage, including mosques and graveyards, were massively destroyed, toponyms were changed and systematic racial discrimination was carried out against Azerbaijanis.”

Moreover, Azerbaijan demanded that the UN take the following steps for the settlement of Azerbaijanis in Armenia:

“− Obtaining a legally binding international agreement with appropriate verification and guarantee mechanisms ensuring the voluntary return of Azerbaijanis expelled from the territory of nowadays Armenia to their homeland in safety and dignity;
− Securing the return process with appropriate security, humanitarian and socio-economic assistance programs;
− Establishing international monitoring, accountability, security, intervention and other necessary activities to prevent the recurrence of expulsion, discrimination and harm to the returned population;
− Ensuring sustainable rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees through the implementation of reconstruction and reconciliation measures under international supervision.”

Azerbaijan’s UN Ambassador demanded that Azeris who return to Armenia “have unimpeded communication with the Republic of Azerbaijan.” This is a very alarming suggestion which means that the Republic of Azerbaijan wants to have a road under its control within the territory of Armenia. The letter added that Azeris returning to Armenia should not be dispersed throughout the country, but kept together as a group and their safety and rights ensured. Even more alarming is the demand that Azeris be able to “use the Azerbaijani language in the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the [Armenian] Government.” Azerbaijan added the following ridiculous demand: “Azerbaijanis shall be entitled to form local security forces and take an appropriate role in courts” of Armenia. This actually means that Armenia will be an appendix to Azerbaijan rather than a sovereign republic.

Furthermore, to ensure the safety of Azeris returning to Armenia, Azerbaijan “considers it necessary to deploy an international security mission with an appropriate mandate and comprised of the forces of countries trusted by Western Azerbaijanis in the areas to which they will be returning.” In other words, Azerbaijan wants to station foreign troops on Armenia’s territory, which is completely unacceptable. Azerbaijan also stated that “The Government of Armenia shall ensure the return of property and community lands belonging to Azerbaijanis and pay compensation for property damage and losses caused by preventing the use of property.” Those who make such insane demands are living in a make-believe world.

3) The ‘Western Azerbaijan Committee’ delivered a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in April 2023, requesting him “to send a special UN mission to Armenia for launching the process of safe and dignified return of Azerbaijanis expelled from this country.”

4) The ‘Western Azerbaijan Committee’ submitted a report in October 2023 to the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. According to the Azeri media, the UN Committee “demanded that Armenia address the issues raised by the Western Azerbaijan Committee.” If there is any truth in this claim, I hope that Armenia’s UN Representative responded to Azerbaijan’s allegations and exposed the Azeri lies.

This is the vindictive enemy that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan naively believes he can sign a ‘Peace Treaty’ with. This unnecessary ‘Peace Treaty’ will actually undermine Armenia’s interests. Azerbaijan is already demanding that the rights of “Azeris expelled from Armenia” be included in such a treaty, thus providing the ground for future aggression and occupation by Azerbaijan. The Azeri letter to the UN in fact includes such an alarming provision: “the [Azeri] Community will aspire to include the creation of conditions for the return of Western Azerbaijanis to their homeland as an obligation of Armenia in the peace treaty to be concluded between Azerbaijan and Armenia.”

The only way to end this nonsense is for Armenia to stop the slippery slope of making endless concessions to Azerbaijan and reject all of its unacceptable demands.

Source Panorama.am
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