By Vafa Ismayilova
Presidential aide Hikmat Hajiyev has described Azerbaijan's recently liberated Aghdam city as a clear example of ubicide.
"Urbicide is a term which literally translates as 'violence against the city'. The liberated city of Agdam which [was] entirely ruined and looted as a result of Armenia's 30-years-long vandalism is a clear illustration of urbicide. Agdam is referred to as the 'Hiroshima of the Caucasus'," he said in a post on his official Twitter page on April 11.
Earlier, commenting on the Turkic Council delegation members' visit to Azerbaijan's liberated Aghdam region and missile-hit Ganja city, he said that it aimed to witness Armenia's savagery on the spot.
"The visit was organized to demonstrate the destruction of the cultural heritage of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an important place in the cultural heritage of the Turkic world, during the Armenian occupation. Let the delegation of the Turkic Council see this vandalism and savagery on the spot," he said.
On April 11, the delegation members visited Aghdam and Ganja as part of the third Baku-hosted meeting of ministers and high-ranking information and media officials of the Cooperation Council of the Turkic-speaking States (Turkic Council).
Speaking about the situation in Ganja, Hajiyev said that those in Armenia, who ordered missile strikes on the country's second-largest city, are responsible for war crimes.
"On October 11, 2020, Scud missiles were fired from the territory of Armenia at the city of Ganja. Several ready-to-launch Scud missiles were neutralized. One of the Armenian officials stated that their goal was to prevent even archaeologists from finding Ganja. Those people in Armenia who gave the order to launch missile strikes on Ganja are responsible for war crimes," he said.
In an exclusive interview with Trend, the head of the Turkish presidential administration's communications department, Fahrettin Altun, said that the Turkic Council’s delegation witnessed a scene in Azerbaijan’s Aghdam region in which barbarism and many crimes against humanity could be observed.
"Aghdam was destroyed in a barbaric way. Nothing was left of the city. During these 30 years [of occupation], only traces of Armenia’s atrocities remained here. Alas, the whole world saw all these crimes against humanity," he said.
Altun stressed that Aghdam city, reflecting many beauties, was once magnificent and lively but later it was completely destroyed.
"Azerbaijan tried to convey the truth to the world community, but despite Turkey rendering all possible support to Azerbaijan during that period, unfortunately, injustice could not be avoided here," the Turkish official added.
International double standards
He spoke about an international hypocritical position despite Armenia's unprecedented barbarism in liberated lands.
"We have witnessed signs of injustice, oppression, vandalism of Armenia. This is unprecedented barbarism, and despite all this, we see what a hypocritical position is taken by the world and the international organizations," he said.
Altun slammed the lack of international reaction to the destruction of Azerbaijan's cultural heritage.
"The countries and organizations responsible for the protection of cultural monuments in the world do not react to this in any way although all cultural monuments have been destroyed here. In fact, they were destroyed to completely erase the traces of Turkism and Islam here. But the occupants failed and will not succeed to do this because these lands are the lands of the Turks, the lands of Islam," he said.
He noted that a new stage began in the Nagorno-Karabakh region with the victory in the war.
"This stage is very important not only for Azerbaijan but also for the geopolitics of the region. It is the duty of the entire world community to make big efforts to ensure and maintain peace here. We have made big efforts in this issue from the very beginning and will continue to do so," Altun said.
He reiterated that it is necessary to take important steps for regional development.
"Turkey will participate in this process, especially when the Turkic world needs closer cooperation. We must not allow any attempts which are made to eradicate Turkism and Islam in this region," the official added.
He stressed that Azerbaijan showed great heroism during the war and congratulated the country on the victory in the Karabakh war.
"This is a great victory not only for Azerbaijan but also for Turkey and the entire region. The thirty-year-long occupation has ended. The Nagorno-Karabakh region was liberated from the Armenian occupation thanks to the decisive position of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Turkey, under the leadership of our President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, supported this just struggle," Altun said.
In the meantime, the head of Uzbekistan’s Information and Mass Communications Agency, Asadzhon Khodzhayev, said that his country is ready to actively participate in the restoration of Azerbaijan’s liberated territories.
He said that the best specialists of Uzbekistan will contribute to the restoration and development of the liberated territories’ infrastructure in the near future.
"Uzbekistan is interested in cooperation with the Turkic-speaking countries and is ready to work in this direction," said the agency’s chief.
He stressed that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict brought big misfortune and destruction to the Azerbaijani lands.
"Now Azerbaijan is moving to a new stage in its development. A lot of work related to the construction and restoration of infrastructure is to be conducted on the Azerbaijani territories liberated from the Armenian occupation," Khodzhayev said.
He underlined that almost everything, except for one mosque, had been destroyed and the entire world community must pay attention to this. The agency chief noted that the Turkic Council countries will actively participate in rehabilitating Karabakh.
"Moreover, Uzbekistan offered its assistance in the development of the infrastructure of these lands. Presently, we are determining a list of facilities in the restoration of which we will participate, with specialists. As far as I know, there is an agreement on the construction of one school, which will be presented by Uzbekistan to the Azerbaijani people," the Uzbek official added.
The director of the agency said that the list of such facilities is being determined and agreed upon and the results of this cooperation will soon be visible.
"The most important thing is that there is peace in the lands of the Nagorno-Karabakh region now," he said.
As a result of Armenia's targeted missile attacks on Azerbaijani cities outside of the war zone (Ganja, Barda, Tartar and others), 100 Azerbaijani civilians, including 12 children were killed and over 400 were wounded. International human rights watchdogs Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also verified the use of banned cluster bombs and rockets by Armenia in its attacks against Azerbaijani cities.
The clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan resumed after Armenia launched large-scale attacks on Azerbaijani forces and civilians on September 27.
The trilateral peace deal signed by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders on November 10, 2020, ended the 30-year-old conflict between Baku and Yerevan over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region that along with the seven adjacent regions came under the occupation of Armenian armed forces in the war in the 1990s.
On January 11, 2021, the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders signed the second statement since the end of the 44-day war. The newly-signed statement is set to implement clause 9 of the November 2020 statement related to the unblocking of all economic and transport communications in the region.
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