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Armenian who set fire to Azerbaijani flag in Yerevan burned future of Armenia

16 April 2023 09:00 (UTC+04:00)
Armenian who set fire to Azerbaijani flag in Yerevan burned future of Armenia

By Elchin Alioglu, Trend

With the burning of the Azerbaijani flag in Yerevan, the mask was burned, which the Armenian authorities have been trying to "shape" for months...

The championship at the Karen Demirchyan Sports Complex could be a way out of many years of international sports isolation for Armenia. However, this did not happen.

For many years, no prestigious international sports competitions have been held in Armenia, and the current championship could be a small step forward to improve the situation. But the exact opposite happened.

An incident occurred at the opening ceremony, which was also attended by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. During the presentation of the teams participating in the championship, a man ran out onto the stage and set fire to the Azerbaijani flag. It turned out to be a member of the organizing committee of the championship, designer-stylist Aram Nikolyan. Security officers detained Nikolyan and handed him over to the police, but he was soon released.

Posing for cameras outside the police headquarters, Nikolyan said his intent and goal was "to prevent the Azerbaijani flag from flying in Yerevan, and also from anyone having false illusions about forcing Armenians to a certain position."

While Nikolyan was at the police station, deputies of the Armenian parliament, journalists, bloggers, organized a spontaneous rally demanding his immediate release. On social networks, the Armenians declared the criminal who burned our flag a "hero".

It should be noted that Azerbaijani weightlifters Isa Rustamov (67 kg), Omar Javadov (73 kg), Ali Shukyurlu (102 kg), Nazila Ismailova (49 kg) were supposed to perform at the competition in Yerevan.

However, their participation in the tournament did not take place due to the aforementioned incident. In connection with the incident, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan adopted a joint statement.

"On April 14, 2023, in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, at the opening ceremony of the European Weightlifting Championship, the flag of Azerbaijan was defiantly burned by an officially accredited person. In conditions where such an atmosphere of hatred reigns in Armenia, security is not provided, the participation of Azerbaijani athletes in competitions is impossible due to psychological pressure. Given all this, it was decided to return the Azerbaijani athletes to their homeland. Armenia must ensure their safe return," the statement said.

"We condemn the burning of the national flag of Azerbaijan at the opening ceremony of the European Weightlifting Championships in Armenia. It is worrying that the organizers did not take any security measures against such acts of hatred. The perpetrators should be punished accordingly!" - Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Aykhan Hajizade wrote about this on his Twitter page.

The burning of our flag in Yerevan the day after the distribution of video footage of the brutal torture of an Azerbaijani soldier in Armenia cannot be considered a series of accidents.

The fact that an employee of the Public Television of Armenia, a well-known designer in this country, a member of the organizing committee of the championship Aram Nikolyan defiantly burned our flag at the opening ceremony of the European Weightlifting Championship in Yerevan, broadcast live at the international level, as well as the actual lack of security guarantees at the championship, can be considered a clear manifestation of hatred for the Azerbaijani people and state.

Despite the fact that in the current legislation of the country headed by Nikol Pashinyan, disrespect for the state symbols of other countries is considered a crime, the police on the same night released this man, who had committed a crime in front of the international community, without filing any charges against him. Moreover, he is now considered almost a "national hero" in Armenia.

All this is a clear example of the state-supported systematic policy of hatred towards Azerbaijan; Azerbaijanophobia in Armenia.

The organizers of such acts of public hatred in Armenia seek to further inflame intolerance towards Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis, increase discord and prevent the signing of a peace agreement with Azerbaijan, creating an atmosphere of fear and chaos in the country.

If Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan decides to rid his country of the "failed state" status, he should immediately stop the policies and practices that instill hatred and discrimination against Azerbaijanis, ensure that those who committed crimes against Azerbaijanis are brought to justice, and put an end to the acts "declaring" these criminals "heroes".

President of the International Weightlifting Federation Mohammed Jaloud and Chairman of the European Weightlifting Federation Antonio Conflitti also attended the opening ceremony in Yerevan yesterday. They must immediately take appropriate decisions, give an official assessment of the shameful acts of nationalism that have taken place in Yerevan.

Support by the Armenian segment of social networks of an act of vandalism, such as the burning of the Azerbaijani flag at the opening ceremony of the European Championship, the non-denunciation of this by the Armenian media, the cruelty and inhumane acts committed against our unarmed soldiers, other cases of Armenian vandalism, which we have repeatedly witnessed, show that all this is an integral part of the state policy of Armenia.

Armenia should first study the norms and rules of ethics, the rules for organizing international competitions.

Recall that in 2015, at the first European Games in Baku, fans booed an Armenian athlete representing Ukraine, who won a medal in boxing competitions. But President Ilham Aliyev stopped this.

We know the difference in the level of organization, culture and political ethics in Yerevan and Baku - Europe and the world must see and understand this.

Official Baku will definitely turn to the International Weightlifting Federation and the International Olympic Committee.

Because Armenia has proved that it does not have the capacity and potential to host such a prestigious competition as the European Championship.

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