Twitterati question Armenia-Azerbaijan peace in light of Nazi march in Yerevan
By Vafa Ismayilova
In light of international and regional efforts to reach a final peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Nazis backed by the US-based ultra-nationalist diaspora Armenian National Congress of America (ANCA) and supporters of former Armenian Presidents Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan, who oppose any progress in relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey, burned Azerbaijani and Turkish flags in Yerevan on April 23 night.
The episode sparked a flood of Twitter replies from Azerbaijan and foreign users, who questioned the prospects for peace with Armenia, where certain segments of people maintain animosity and hostility toward neighbors Azerbaijan and Turkey.
On April 6, 2022, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and EU Council President Charles Michel met in a trilateral format in Brussels again. Both Aliyev and Pashinyan expressed a willingness to work quickly toward a peace agreement between their countries. To that end, it was decided to instruct foreign ministers to begin work on drafting a future peace treaty that would address all of the issues.
At the same time, it was also agreed to convene a Joint Border Commission by late April. The Joint Border Commission's mandate will be to: delimit the bilateral border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and ensure a stable security situation along and in the vicinity of the borderline.
Hatred, anger, aggression
User Elman Muradov stressed that "Germany made burning foreign flags a jailable offense, saying the sole aim of burning flags is to 'stir up hatred, anger and aggression'. Only far-right Alternative For Germany said it interfered with citizens' freedom of expression. This means that Armenians think like AfD".
He quoted Armenian poet Narek Mesropian as saying that "it is in our blood to hate the Turks" and Trukish poet Yunus Emre "I do not come for dispute, My work is love", underlining the presence of the generations that grew up with the education they received.
"Peace for the region is being discussed in Brussels and Baku, but Azerbaijani and Turkish flags were burned in Yerevan. The same rhetoric, the same empty revanchism. But the Azerbaijani and Turkish flags will always be on high, no one can take them out of people's hearts. Long Live Azerbaijani and Turkish Friendship!" economic expert and MP Vugar Bayramov tweeted.
Azerbaijani Consul-General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev shared the video of the Nazi rally in Yerevan tonight on April 23, describing it as a "result of 30 years of state-sponsored anti-Azerbaijani and anti-Turkish hatred in Armenia".
The Twitter group "Azerbaijanophobia" believes "burning flags are a very cheap and lower level way of demonstrating hatred towards other countries".
"The very 'first Christian' nation 'peacefully' burning my flag. Welcome to the 21st century, where no aggression and hatred should have a place! I still hope for peace in our region," user "NazuLkin" tweeted.
MP Nigar Arpadarai wrote: "Today's torchlight procession in Yerevan city center ended with solemn burning of the Azerbaijani and Turkish flags. Similarities to third Reich rallies are not a coincidence. They reflect the fundamentals of the political system of Armenia, based on ethnic supremacy and crusading."
Peaceful South Caucasus
In an address to the EU and its agencies, the user "FarahG777" slammed the act and outlined that "barbarism, hatred and racism must be condemned. We need a peaceful South Caucasus that will benefit the entire region, not this filthy show".
User Samira Aghayeva recalled that "Azerbaijan is trying to sign a peace contract with Armenia... hays [Armenians] will never change".
Commenting on the Nazi rally cheering up the burning of the Turkish and Azerbaijani flags, the Twitter page Shusha News questioned: "How long it would take for the Armenian society to free itself from senseless hatred and animosity against its immediate neighbors?".
Diplomat Hasan Mammadzada described the move as a "barbaric act" stressing that Armenian nationalism is based on racism, violence, animosity and hatred towards their neighbors.
Burning Armenia's future
"An outdated mentality that believes in being a puppet of imperial powers... They think they can gain something by burning the Turkish and Azerbaijani flags in Yerevan. In fact, what they burned is nothing but their own future! Time will tell!" Turkish Prof Kurshad Zorlu tweeted.
Against the background of reactions to the abovementioned rally, user "JSpitsbergen" stressed: "Just returned from Shusha, Azerbaijan. Now I learned what does Armenian hatred infused with human blood, annihilation means. Barbaric, savaging, inhumane, cruel hatred. Speechless and sad not only for my country but for the Armenian people if one can call them such."
"Amidst the long-awaited normalization talks between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkiye, hundreds of pro-Russia Kocharyan (former president) supporters in Armenia are burning Azerbaijan and Turkiye flags and celebrating hatred tonight. What a freak show," Canada-based analyst on South Caucasus, Azerbaijan and post-Soviet region Nika Jabi wrote.
Raoul Lowery Contreras, a contributor to FoxNews, The Hill, Daily Caller, NYTimes Syndicate (New America News), said that "pro-Russian opposition in Armenia led by ANCA_DC-affiliated Dashnaks and former Presidents Kocharyan/Sargsyan, burned today flags of Azerbaijan and Turkey in Yerevan, opposing the peace. Continued hostility is their raison d’être".
User Emin Aslan urged Armenia to take all necessary steps "to prevent the incitement and promotion of racial hatred, including by organizations and private persons in its territory, targeted at persons of Azerbaijani national or ethnic origin!"
Armenia destroyed and vandalized Azerbaijani territories during the three-decade occupation between the early 1990s and late 2020. The scale of destruction and massacres on Azerbaijan's formerly occupied territories is shocking, implying deep hatred and animosity toward the Azerbaijani people, with many experts describing these mass destructions and killings as genocide.
The country's war-torn Aghdam region alone is seen as a stark example of Armenian hatred and enmity. Aghdam, known as the "Hiroshima of the Caucasus" astounds delegations from all over the world with its infamous scenes of destruction.
Currently, the work is underway to restore Azerbaijan's liberated lands. Azerbaijan will rebuild its recently liberated areas in four stages. The initial stage includes the solution of the issues of governance and security, and infrastructure, while the subsequent stages include the solution of the issues of social services activities, reconstruction, and development of the economy.
In 2021, Azerbaijan allocated $1.5 billion for the reconstruction of liberated territories, followed by AZN 2.2 billion ($1.2 billion) in 2022. These funds will be used primarily to restore infrastructure (electricity, gas, water, communications, roads, education, health, and so on) as well as cultural and historical monuments.