Matthew Bryza: Return of Aghdam to Azerbaijan’s control ‘great triumph’
It is obvious that the return of Aghdam to Azerbaijan’s control is a great triumph, Matthew Bryza, former U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan and former OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, told News.Az.
The former diplomat recalled that he visited Aghdam ten years ago.
“When I visited Aghdam district ten years ago, it looked like Hiroshima without any rubble. As if somebody took a knife and cut off everything on the surface of the ground. There are nothing left but building foundations except for the mosque. There was a frame of a mosque. There were cattle grazing inside the mosque. We, as co-chairs, profusely complained to Armenia’s then-president Serzh Sargsyan. Unfortunately, they put up a fence, cleaned up the mosque and put the cows back in,” he said.
Bryza noted that Aghdam was one of the most depressing sides he has ever seen.
“It is so unfair that it was taken from Azerbaijan and nobody was there, such a desecration of a religious site that was performed by Armenians there. We are so happy for its return. We are also happy that no further Azerbaijani or Armenian soldiers had to die for the rightful return of Agdam to Azerbaijan after the fighting stopped with the liberation of Shusha. It is great that on November 10, when the agreement was signed, Azerbaijan regained Aghdam without any more fighting,” Bryza added.