Armenian FM Slams Azerbaijan Over Safarov Affair At UN


Karabakh | 02.10.12 | 10:46

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian called Azerbaijan a threat
to the security and stability of the South Caucasus and accused it
of being responsible for the ‘frozen’ conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh
as he addressed the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly on Monday.

Armenia’s top diplomat devoted much of his speech to raise concerns
about the policy of hatred towards Armenians in Azerbaijan that he
said was being promoted “at the very top level”.

“Year after year Armenia has been raising its concerns from this podium
over the militaristic rhetoric, blatant violation of international
commitments and anti-Armenian hysteria being instilled into the
Azerbaijani society from the highest levels of its leadership. Many
international organizations on human rights alerted about flagrant
cases of xenophobia, racism, intolerance and violations of human rights
in Azerbaijan, alerted on the policy of hatred against Armenians,”
said Nalbandian.

“What is the Azerbaijani response? It is not only ignoring the
expectations of the international community, but is constantly making
new and new steps going against the values of civilized world. The
latest such case is the Azeri government’s release and glorification
of the murderer [Ramil] Safarov, who had slaughtered with an axe
an Armenian officer in his sleep, during a NATO program in Budapest
simply because he was an Armenian. The Azerbaijani leadership made
him a symbol of national pride and an example to follow by youth,”
continued the Armenian foreign minister.

Nalbandian stressed that the world reaction was “unanimous” and
“very clear” in condemning what was done by Baku. But he added:
“The Azerbaijani leadership is continuing to pretend that this act
corresponds not only to the Azerbaijani constitution and legislation,
but also to the norms and principles of international law, the
respective European Convention. The leadership of this country is
claiming that what was done is just very good. It is very sad that
the constitution and legislation of any country could allow the
glorification of a murderer…”

“It is clear that the international community should not tolerate the
attempts of the Azerbaijani leadership to adjust the international
law to their own racist ideology,” stressed the Armenian official.

Nalbandian also suggested that the Safarov Affair had “seriously
undermined” the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiation process and “endangered
the fragile regional security and stability”.

“Azerbaijan poses a threat to the security and stability in the region
by its constantly menacing to use force against Nagorno-Karabakh and
Armenia along with unprovoked daily war-mongering by its leadership,
by not only rejecting the proposals of the three Co-Chair countries
on the consolidation of the ceasefire agreement, on the creation of
a mechanism of investigation of incidents on the line of contact, but
also by systematic ceasefire violations not only on the contact line
between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan, but also by provocations on
the border with Armenia, by ceaseless acts of vandalism towards the
Armenian historical and cultural heritage,” said Nalbandian.

“While Armenia together with the international mediators is exerting
efforts around the table of negotiations, Azerbaijan is multiplying
its military budget, increasing it more than twentyfold during the last
few years, and boasting about it. While Armenia and the international
community are calling for withdrawal of snipers from the line of
contact, Azerbaijani leaders are rejecting it and opening sniper
schools for the youth. While Armenia is calling for regional economic
cooperation, which could become a tool for increasing confidence
between the parties, Azerbaijani authorities are declaring that
together with Turkey, they will continue the blockade until there
are no more Armenians in Armenia,” he added.

The Armenian foreign minister underscored, however, that regardless
of Azerbaijan’s “destructive stance”, Armenia will continue to make
efforts towards the settlement of the Karabakh issue “exclusively
through peaceful means and on the basis of the purposes, principles
and norms reflected in the UN Charter and the international law.”

Nalbandian also used the UN tribune to raise concerns about the
worsening of the humanitarian situation in Syria, which directly
affects the large Armenian community in this country. He said that
Armenia continues to receive refugees from Syria that are “full
of worries about the escalation of violence in their country”. “It
is impossible to reach a durable settlement without the cessation
of hostilities by all parties and without an inclusive political
dialogue taking into account the interests of all Syrians,” the
Armenian foreign minister stressed.

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