Baku: Yerevan’s obstinate stance deprives Armenians of peace, prosperity
By Vugar Khalilov
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva has said that Yerevan’s uncompromising stance deprives Armenians of peace and prosperity, the ministry reported on February 28.
Abdullayeva made the remarks while commenting on the Armenian Foreign Ministry’s statement on the Sumgayit events (1988).
“As long as the Armenian government will demonstrate an uncompromising position based on lies, unfortunately, until then the Armenian people will be deprived of peace and prosperity,” Abdullayeva stressed.
She stated that Azerbaijan has repeatedly responded to the completely baseless and false allegations made by the Armenian Foreign Ministry in connection with the events in Sumgayit.
“We stress once again that the bloody events in Sumgayit of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) in late February 1988 were a deliberate and planned provocation against Azerbaijan,” Abdullayeva said.
She reminded that the USSR Prosecutor General's Office opened a criminal case in connection with the incident, conducted an investigation, and identified the perpetrators of the riots and accomplices, as well as a total of 32 victims, of which six were Azerbaijanis.
“We draw the attention of the Armenian Foreign Ministry to the fact that the numerous testimonies of Armenian people living in Sumgayit were collected about Eduard Grigoryan, an Armenian by nationality, who played a leading role in these events, killed six people and raped three women of Armenian origin,” the spokesperson stressed.
Abdullayeva reminded that Grigoryan, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison, was transferred to Armenia to serve his sentence and was later released.
As a result of the trial in connection with the events of February 27-29, 1988 in Sumgayit, 92 people were sentenced to imprisonment and one was sentenced to death, Abdullayeva said.
However, no action was taken against those responsible for the deaths of 217 Azerbaijanis, who were forcibly expelled from the densely populated regions of the Armenian SSR in the late 1980s, she underlined.
Abdullayeva reminded that Armenia, which occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory for nearly thirty years, committed numerous war crimes, as well as crimes against humanity, such as the Khojaly genocide, as part of its aggressive policy. However, none of the perpetrators has been brought to justice yet, she added.
“We remind the Armenian Foreign Ministry that the Republic of Azerbaijan has put an end to the decades-long military occupation of Armenia in a part of its internationally recognized sovereign territory and ensured its territorial integrity,” Abdullayeva stressed.
She added that instead of taking advantage of the new opportunities for cooperation and peace-building that are currently emerging in the region with the elimination of the occupation factor, Armenia’s false, baseless and hostile statements demonstrate its true intention.