Petition launched in protest against anti-Azerbaijani resolution in French Senate

Azerbaijani citizens have launched a petition to protest against an anti-Azerbaijani resolution being prepared by the French Senate, News.Az reports.

The text of the petition was published on the website of Insanoid portal.

The petition reads as follows:

“We Azerbaijani citizens of different age, sex, nationality and social status appeal, as ordinary representatives of our country, to the Senate and people of France.

Never before have ordinary Azerbaijani citizens, who do not represent the official position of the government, appealed collectively to the parliamentary authorities and to the French people. We were prompted to do so by the presentation of a motion for a resolution, which was made on October 3rd, 2022 by six members of the Senate. The review of the aforementioned resolution is scheduled for November 15th. This document contains accusations against our country, and therefore also against us, as well as an appeal to the French government and other EU countries to impose an embargo on imports of gas and oil from Azerbaijan.

The motion for a resolution represents an absolutely one-sided and biased view of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. The authors defend the interests of only one, the Armenian, side of the conflict. They completely ignore the other side, millions of ordinary Azerbaijanis, their sacrifices, their feelings of pain, grief and loss of loved ones. And it is to us alone they assign the role of the offender.

Such biased view, preference for one nation, discrimination and blind condemnation of another is a public manifestation of ethnic intolerance and racism”

Here are just three examples:

- Paragraph 21 of the Senate motion accuses Azerbaijan of committing “mass crimes”. There is also a call to conduct an investigation on this occasion in the International Criminal Court. In October 2020, the Armenian Armed Forces fired missiles at Ganja, one of our biggest cities, five times. That autumn, more than 80 places in Azerbaijan were bombed. Thus, two years ago, we were victims of an aggression, just as Ukraine, which is close to our hearts, is experiencing those horrors today. At that time, 454 people were injured, including 50 children. The number of people killed reached 93, including 27 women and 12 children. Think about it, please! It’s not just numbers. They are small children torn to pieces or killed under the rubble of collapsed buildings. For example, Naryn Khalygova was only 10 months old; Madina Chakhnazarli was one year old; Maryam Khalilli was only six years old. All were killed during the Armenian bombardment of Gandja. These names are now burned in our memory! But civilized Europe chose not to notice the corpses of these children. In the past two years, not a single member of the French Senate has issued a condemnation or a call to investigate and punish those responsible for this mass crime! Azerbaijani children, massacred and mutilated at night in their cradles, do they not deserve the attention of members of the Senate?!

- Paragraph 20 of the draft resolution of the Senate states that Azerbaijan must ensure the right to return (Armenian) displaced persons. According to the UN General Assembly resolution of 03.1994, more than 1,000,000 Azerbaijanis were expelled from their homes as a result of the attacks of the Armenian armed forces! In particular, they were expelled from regions recognized by the international community as the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan. The UN General Assembly resolution notes that “refugees and displaced persons are in a precarious situation, at risk of malnutrition and disease”. The cited document contains an appeal to all states to provide effective support “to refugees and displaced persons from Azerbaijan”. But in 30 years, the French Senate has never considered a resolution demanding the right of return for these people. Are you depriving Azerbaijani refugees of this right, unlike the much smaller number of Armenians who left Karabakh?

- In the 20th paragraph of the draft resolution of the Senate, it is said that Azerbaijan must ensure “the preservation of the Armenian cultural and religious heritage”. However, the Senate has never made such statements about the obligation of the Armenian side to preserve Azerbaijani cultural and religious heritage in the sovereign territories of Azerbaijan, which have been under occupation for 30 years. Our country’s leaders have challenged the international community on this subject. On May 15th, 1992, excerpts from the appeal of the Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan to his European colleagues, to the Director General of UNESCO and to the Secretary General of the International Council of Museums, were published in Baku newspapers. The letter noted that the war “is being waged against the unarmed population, against the helpless children, as well as against the unprotected monuments of our culture… We ask you to use your authority, to influence the governments, the parliaments of your countries, to do all you can to stop the bloodshed and vandalism. But even in this matter the Senate has maintained a deafening silence for 30 years. Meanwhile, according to the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, 215 historical and cultural monuments were damaged in the city of Shusha alone; regarding all the occupied territories, only 4 out of 67 mosques survived partially . According to members of the French Senate, are Azerbaijani history, culture and religion less valuable than those of other Caucasian people?

What is the reason for this blatant discrimination? It is well known that France is home to one of the largest Armenian diasporas in the world. The vast majority of these French citizens, who have considerable electoral weight, have never been to Armenia. Many of them perceive what is happening in the South Caucasus from the reports disseminated by the media which reflect the position of the predominantly Armenian side of the conflict. At the same time, the feeling of sacrifice and the desire for revenge in the face of the events of more than a hundred years ago have been cultivated in French people of Armenian origin since childhood. Some politicians try to take advantage of these feelings for personal gain. That’s how resolutions like this one come to existence.

And that happens when a real negotiation process is launched for the first time, in no small part thanks to the efforts of the European Union. However, instead of encouraging the parties to mutual rapprochement to achieve peace, the authors of the proposed resolution call on the state to strengthen Armenia’s defense capabilities – that is, to arm it with modern French weapons. At the same time, the blame for the continuation of the conflict lies exclusively with Azerbaijan. Thus, the racist worldview and personal ambitions of some politicians, as well as the old grievances of some French people of Armenian origin, create the preconditions for a future escalation in the South Caucasus.

Members of the Senate and the French people must also take into account that the desire to “sanction” Azerbaijan, in the event of an embargo on gas and oil imports to EU countries, will cause new misfortunes and new miseries for ordinary Azerbaijani citizens. In 2021, nearly half of our state’s budget revenue came from energy exports. This money covered the needs of refugees, the cost of education, financed social housing projects. Do you really want to punish poor students or, perhaps, elderly people who lost all their belongings and homes 30 years ago? But in this case, this severe punishment will not only affect the socially weak strata of Azerbaijanis. It will affect millions of Europeans.

Italy, Bulgaria, Greece already have largely reoriented themselves towards the import of Azerbaijani energy resources.The embargo proposed by the members of the Senate will mean an even greater raise in inflation for them than now.

Considering all the above, we call on the Senate and the entire French people:

- Try to realize that the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is a much more complex tangle of contradictions, national traumas and resentments than you were made to believe. It is very important that France gets rid of one-sided perception and takes a more balanced approach.

- Try to notice and understand the long-term pain, feelings of loss, and hopes of not only one side of the conflict. Azerbaijanis do not have less rights, they do not deserve less understanding and compassion. Only in this way will France be able to make a just and balanced contribution to achieving the long-awaited peace between these two peoples.

- Give the negotiation process a chance! Do not escalate the situation with unilateral accusations and sanctions!

- Please note that the policy of economic pressure on Azerbaijan will only bring new problems and difficulties to ordinary people. Such threats are certainly not conducive to peace efforts.

 Authors of the petition:

1) Ələkbərova Kubra, 52 years old – Gandja

2) Əliyeva Aynur, 29 years old – Gandja

3) Mirzəyev Vəzir, 29 years old – Lankaran

4) Əmirsultanov Əmirsultan, 42 years old – Sumgaït

5) Nəzürova Nəzürova 58 years old – Baku

6) Əliyeva Ülfət, 29 years old – Baku

7) Tağıyev Süleyman, 31 years old – Sabirabad

8) Rəsulova Fatimə, 23 years old – Baku

9) Ağayeva Seyidnurə, 36 years old – Sabirabad

10) Abdullayeva Afət, 61 years old – Baku

Please click here to sign petition:


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