How double standards work against Azerbaijan
By Ayya Lmahamad
Much has been said about Azerbaijan's great victory and the liberation of its territories from Armenian occupation, but it is also worth noting and discussing the world's unjust position and the double standards applied to Azerbaijan during the war and afterward.
Azerbaijan is pursuing the process of rehabilitation and revival of the liberated territories on its own, relying solely on its own efforts and resources.
This is an example of the tendency to apply a double standard. Since the end of the 2020 second Karabakh war, international organizations, large foundations, and charitable organizations have not provided any assistance to Azerbaijan. Organizations usually become more active after wars end because there is a lot of work to be done. Donor conferences are held, and projects related to international organizations' restoration plans are carried out. The Marshall Plan, which was designed to rebuild Europe after World War II, is an example of this.
During the 30-year Armenian occupation, Azerbaijani territories were completely destroyed, cities and villages were leveled, ecological genocide occurred, and all infrastructure was destroyed. So far, Azerbaijan has received no financial or other forms of assistance in connection with the restoration of these territories.
Nearly one million refugees are about to return to their homes to be rebuilt at the expense of the Azerbaijani government rather than by foreign donors. It is worth noting that if the liberated territories could be demined more quickly, the return of refugees would be much faster, but there is a shortage of specialists. All of these are manifestations of the double standard.
Azerbaijan saw the Russian-Ukrainian war as another example of the world's double standards. When Azerbaijan liberated its lands from the occupation in 2020 using the famous "Bayraktar" drones, foreign experts and media referred to it as a lethal weapon. It is referred to as an angel in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. This is the distinction; this is the case of double standards.
The situation surrounding the gas supply to Khankandi is yet another example of the world's double standards attitude toward Azerbaijan. A gas supply line in Karabakh, where Armenians live, was being repaired, and there was no gas supply there for some time; Armenians claimed that Azerbaijan was causing a humanitarian catastrophe there. At the time, the Azerbaijani leadership received almost universal appeals in this regard, from America to Europe.
So, where was everyone when Armenia cut off Nakhchivan's gas supply for 15 years? From 1990 to 2005, the people of Nakhchivan were without gas, and the Armenian leadership and state were to blame. Back then, no organization or country raised its voice. Everyone called it a humanitarian disaster when Armenians were cut off from gas for a week, but no one called it a humanitarian catastrophe when Nakhchivan was cut off from gas for 15 years. Another clear example of discrimination and double standards.
In light of all of this, President Ilham Aliyev made an appeal to international organizations during his speech at the meeting dedicated to the results of the first quarter of 2022. "Those involved in human rights, those championing the principles of justice should pay at least some attention to Azerbaijan and avoid double standards," he said.
Azerbaijan has always relied on its own resources and capabilities and has worked hard to develop them. Similarly, it now relies solely on itself to restore liberated territories.
Azerbaijan, led by President Ilham Aliyev, is carrying out large-scale restoration and construction projects in liberated territories on its own. The necessary funds have been allocated from the state budget for 2021 ($1.5 billion) and 2022 ($1.2 billion), and work is being completed as soon as possible. These funds will primarily be used to restore infrastructure (such as electricity, gas, water, communications, roads, education, health, and so on) as well as cultural and historical monuments.
The world must recognize that Azerbaijan, not Armenia, is the country whose lands were occupied and whose citizens were expelled from their native lands.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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