Western Azerbaijan Community comments on biased statement of Armenia’s Foreign Ministry
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia tried to present the statement made by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev at the Organization of Turkic States on March 16, 2023, regarding the issue of Western Azerbaijan in a misleading context and tried to infringe on our right to return peacefully, with dignity and in safety, the Western Azerbaijan Community said in a statement on Friday, News.Az reports.
“First of all, we would like to thank the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, for his political support for the peaceful return of Azerbaijanis expelled from Western Azerbaijan, and for voicing this issue from the podium of prestigious international formats,” the statement said.
“As for the term of Western Azerbaijan objected to by the Armenian government, we would like to note the following. Taking into the fact that Azerbaijanis were the majority in that region until recently and that more than 95% of the toponyms and hydronyms there recorded until recent times are of Azerbaijani origin, the use of this expression is well justified. In particular, given the fact that all Azerbaijanis, the lawful inhabitants of that area, were forced out of their homes through ethnic cleansing, it is the duty of all mankind to use this term as a way of rejecting that crime against humanity,” said the statement.
In the Concept of the Return of the Community, the Republic of Armenia established in that area is regarded as the legal and political reality, and the approach based on reconciliation and reintegration is taken as the basis, the Community stressed.
“As we also mentioned in our letter to the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, our demands for the peaceful return to our homes should not be misinterpreted or mispresented as being detrimental to the territorial integrity or sovereignty of Armenia. In this case, the Government of Armenia had better explain using expressions such as "Artsakh government", "Artsakh people", "Artsakh army",” it noted.
“Finally, we once again call on the Government of Armenia to create conditions for the peaceful, safe, and dignified return of expelled Azerbaijanis, who are lawful inhabitants of that territory, within the framework of a legally binding international agreement with verification and guarantee mechanisms, and to respond to our dialogue request for this,” the Community added.