GOULASH DIPLOMACY: WHY VIKTOR ORBAN SHOULD RESIGN: HUFFINGTON POST
17 September, 2012
YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 18, ARMENPRESS: Huffington Post dwelled on
Azerbaijani criminal Ramil Safarov extradition by Hungary in the
article entitled “Goulash Diplomacy: Why Viktor Orban Should Resign “.
On August 31st, the Hungarian government, under direct orders from
prime Minister Viktor Orban, extradited Azerbaijani Army lieutenant
Ramil Safarov to Baku. Safarov had already served eight years in
a Budapest jail for killing Gurgen Margarian in 2004. As has been
widely reported in the press, Margarian, an Armenian officer who
was a fellow participant in a NATO Partnership for Peace exercise,
was hacked to death in his sleep with an ax by Safarov, Armenpress
reports citing Huffington Post.
Orban first stated that he transferred the prisoner to Azerbaijan
on the understanding that he would serve out the rest of his life
sentence in his home country. In later statements, Orban admitted
that he not only signed the extradition agreement himself, but
that he had repeatedly been warned that if Safarov were extradited
to oil-rich Azerbaijian, he would be pardoned and even celebrated
by Ilham Aliyev’s brutal dictatorial regime. In the past, Aliyev has
referred to Armenians in only the most vile of terms and continually
threatened to destroy Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh by military
means. Not surprisingly upon his arrival in Baku, Lieutenant Safarov
was pardoned by Aliyev, restored to military duties and promoted to
major. He was also given an apartment and awarded back pay for his
time in prison.
In the press, Safarov has been hailed as a national hero.The pardoning
of Safarov sets back the quest for peace in the Caucasus, as it is
a direct provocation to the Republic of Armenia and increases the
possibility of a renewal of armed conflict between Armenia and its
neighbor Azerbaijian. Unfortunately both Margarian’s murder and his
murderer’s pardon falls in line with continued violence and hatred
against Armenians that has existed unabated for several hundred years.
This type of barbaric act, a hate crime pure and simple should
belong to the dustbin of human history. Yet after the Safarov
incident and the murders a few years back of Hrant Dink and Sevag
Sahin Balikci in Turkey the first a renowned Armenian journalist, the
second a young Turkish-Armenian man performing his military service
we can only conclude that the continued hatred against Armenians
that is propagated in Azerbaijian and Turkey in schoolbooks and the
media is doing its job of fanning the fires of ethnic and religious
hatred.The United States, the United Nations and other international
organizations and governments should apply all available pressure on
the Azeri government to honor its agreement with Hungary and return
Safarov to where he belongs for the rest of his life a jail cell.
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban who has most probably parlayed
Safarov for loan guarantees or cheaper priced Oil from Baku, should
on his end understand the grave consequences of his actions and of
his remarkable moral bankruptcy and resign immediately.