By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva has slammed Armenia’s smear campaign around Black January, which marks the killing over a hundred Azerbaijani civilians by Soviet troops in 1990.
Abdullayev said that the Armenian propaganda in connection with the January events of 1990 is aimed “at concealing the genocide carried out against Azerbaijani civilians over the history, and the policy of ethnic cleansing, as well as the massacre of 613 civilians over a night [by Armenian forces in 1992]," Abdullayeva said.
Addressing her Armenian counterpart, she called on the Armenian MFA to recognize the ethnic cleansing policy implemented by Armenia, the gross violation of the fundamental rights of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis expelled from their homes as a result of the occupation, as well as Yerevan’s policy of occupation, strongly condemned by the international community.
Abdullayeva emphasized that the massacre committed by Soviet troops against the civilian population on the night of January 19 to January 20, 1990, is a crime against humanity, and the former Soviet leadership is responsible for this crime.
"The events of January 1990 could not break the desire of the Azerbaijani people for independence, and our country regained its independence. Today, the independence and sovereignty of Azerbaijan is unambiguously recognized and supported by the entire international community," Abdullayeva noted.
She noted that commemorative events in honor of the 30th anniversary of the events of January 20, 1990, when Azerbaijani people sacrificed their lives for the state independence of Azerbaijan, were held by Azerbaijani diplomatic missions in more than 60 countries across the world.
"We would like to especially note the support provided to us by the international community, including the diplomatic corps in our country," Abdullaeva concluded.
Armenia and Azerbaijan are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, which along with seven other regions were occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. Around one million Azerbaijanis were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities that were started by the Armenian forces due to territorial claims against Baku.
A temporary cease-fire agreement was signed between the countries in 1994, however a final peace deal has not been reached yet. Peace negotiations mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have yielded no results to this date.
Since 1992, negotiations have been underway for a peaceful settlement of the conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. In 1993, the UN Security Council adopted four resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. However, due to the unconstructiveness of Armenia, they still remain on paper.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz