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Baku: Azerbaijan to avert all threats against independence

19 January 2022 17:54 (UTC+04:00)
Baku: Azerbaijan to avert all threats against independence

By Vugar Khalilov

Azerbaijan will resolutely respond to all threats directed against its state independence and integrity, the Foreign Ministry said on January 19.

In a statement posted on its website on the occasion of 20 January – the National Mourning Day, the ministry said: "We will continue to respond resolutely to any possible threats to the independence and integrity of our state and all necessary steps will be taken to bring to justice those responsible for various crimes against the people and state of Azerbaijan.”

The statement added that Azerbaijan restored its territorial integrity as a result of the 44-day war with Armenia in 2020 and during the 32 years of its independence the country became “a worthy, reliable and responsible member of the world community”.

“Strengthening the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is the foundation of our statehood, and we will persevere in our struggle for the steadfast upholding of these fundamental principles,” the ministry emphasized.

It was stressed that on the night of January 19-20, 1990, by order of the USSR leadership, 26,000 Soviet troops invaded Baku, Sumgait and other cities of Azerbaijan, as a result of which 147 civilians were killed and 744 were seriously injured. This tragedy became known as "Black January" in modern Azerbaijan's history.

Prior to these tragic events, Armenia's spurious territorial claims against Azerbaijan in the late 1980s, Armenian radicals' aggressive separatist activities in Azerbaijan’s former Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region, the Soviet leadership's support for these activities, and the violent deportation of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis from Armenia (from their ancestral lands) fueled the growth of the anti-Soviet movement in Azerbaijan, the statement said.

“Deployed to the country to prevent the national movement and break the will of the Azerbaijani people for independence, the Soviet Army committed massacre against the civilian population, violating the norms of international law and the Constitutions of the former USSR and the Azerbaijan SSR,” the ministry highlighted.

In February 1994, the Azerbaijani parliament specified the murder of innocent people on January 20, 1990, as military aggression and a crime and in March 1994, a decision “On the tragic events committed in Baku on January 20, 1990” was adopted, declaring January 20 the National Mourning Day, the statement said.

The ministry stressed that the tragedy was a gross violation of international legal documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international legal documents and described it "as one of the most serious crimes of the 20th century by its essence and scope"

It was emphasized that despite 31 years have passed since the tragedy, these events have not yet received appropriate political and legal assessment on a global scale.

The former Soviet leadership bears full responsibility for this crime and the January 20 events must be classified as a crime against humanity under international law, and those who authorized and performed it must be held responsible, the statement added.

“We commemorate with deep respect and gratitude the memory of all our heroes who gave their lives for the independence of Azerbaijan, as well as for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country,” the ministry stressed.


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