Top Iranian General Urges Respect for Minorities in Karabakh

Tasnim News Agency, Iran
Oct 7 2023

In a speech at the Supreme National Defense University of Iran on Saturday, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri said what the Republic of Azerbaijan has done in the Nagorno-Karabakh region in recent weeks was the restoration of its territorial integrity.

However, the Iranian commander said, all minorities across that region should be able to live with peace of mind and with equal rights like other citizens.

He noted that Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan are respectable neighbors of Iran in the Caucasus region and the Islamic Republic cares about the territorial integrity of both of them.

The general also expressed hope for the establishment of full peace in the Caucasus without any change in the geopolitics and borders of the region leading to tranquility, prosperity and welfare of people.

Major General Baqeri underlined that there is no justification for the continuation of war in the Karabakh region hereafter.

The separatist government of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, backed by Armenia, said last week it would dissolve itself by the end of 2023 after a three-decade bid for independence.

The decision triggered a massive exodus by the ethnic Armenians.

The region and sizable surrounding territories came under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by the Armenian military at the end of a separatist war in 1994. However, the Azerbaijan Republic regained the territories and parts of Nagorno-Karabakh itself after six weeks of fighting in 2020. The area is recognized internationally as part of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan can’t have territorial demands towards Armenia – EU’s Michel tells Aliyev

 15:54, 5 October 2023

YEREVAN, OCTOBER 5, ARMENPRESS. President of the European Council Charles Michel has said that during his latest phone call with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev he demanded the latter to guarantee a mutual recognition of territorial integrity between Baku and Yerevan and told Aliyev that he ‘can’t have territorial demands towards Armenia,’ TASS reports.

“I spoke with President Aliyev two days ago and I clearly told him that he can’t have territorial demands towards Armenia,” TASS quoted Michel as saying in Granada ahead of the European Political Community summit. “This must be said out loud, and it must be guaranteed that it exists [mutual recognition of territorial integrity between Armenia and Azerbaijan],’ Michel said.

“I am not going to publicly comment on Aliyev’s decision not to come to Granada, I will personally tell him what I think about that,” he added.

Charles Michel said that the EU mediation between Armenia and Azerbaijan is aimed at protecting the EU’s interests and advancing European values in the Caucasus.

“We weren’t particularly active in the Caucasus until we started this mediation. These mediation efforts by the EU mean that we are protecting our interest, we are advancing our values in this region,” Michel said.

NK fuel depot explosion: 170 remains found so far


YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 29, ARMENPRESS. 170 remains have been found so far at the site of the deadly September 25 fuel depot blast in Nagorno-Karabakh, local emergency services announced.

The Nagorno-Karabakh authorities said rescuers continue searching the area.

“So far, a total of 170 remains have been found and transferred to the forensics bureau,” the local police said, adding that personal items found at the site of the explosion were collected and taken to the operational headquarters.

The remains will be transported to Armenia for DNA identification.

Number of Nagorno-Karabakh refugees in Armenia reaches 2906


YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 25, ARMENPRESS. The number of refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh who’ve arrived to Armenia reached 2906 as of 06:00, September 25, the government of Armenia said in a statement.

Registration data of 2100 of the 2906 forcibly displaced persons has been completed, while the needs assessment for the 794 others is in process.

1000 of the 2100 registered persons are accommodated in residences chosen by themselves, while the 1100 others have been provided accommodation by the government of Armenia. The accommodation process of a part of the refugees is still ongoing.

The flow of the forcibly displaced persons continued throughout the whole night. The registration process for needs assessment and accommodation continued overnight and is still in process.

Blinken, Russia’s Lavrov race to discuss Armenia-Azerbaijan relations

Sept 24 2023

Blinken, Russia's Lavrov race to discuss Armenia-Azerbaijan relations

By Adam Schrader

Sept. 23 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, raced Saturday to discuss their relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan, which have been engaged in recent conflict.

Lavrov, who engaged in a lengthy question-and-answer session with reporters Saturday, was asked if Russia believes its influence is waning in former Soviet states after an outburst of anti-Russia protests in Armenia's capital Yerevan.

Azerbaijan launched a new offensive Tuesday against Armenian separatists amid a decades-long territorial dispute between the countries over the ethnic Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenians largely blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for losing a 44-day war in 2020 when Azerbaijan regained control of land in and around Nagorno-Karabakh and blocked its main supply route to Armenia.

The sentiment was shared this week by Alen Simonyan, the head of Armenia's parliament.

"It is not up to me to judge. It would be very arrogant for me to say that our influence is increasing or if it remains the same. It is up for you to decide," Lavrov began. "Many things are becoming clear right in front of our eyes right now."

Lavrov claimed that non-governmental organizations backed by Western states are in Armenia and other former Soviet nations "advancing the interests of the United States and their allies."

"These interests include undermining Russian influence. This is a fact," Lavrov said. "We see this as artificially created tensions. We once again know who is interested in this and who is pulling the strings and, unfortunately, the leadership of Armenia from time to time adds fuel to the fire itself."

Lavrov added that the 2020 agreements ending the brief war said that Nagorno-Karabakh is "in the realm of responsibility of Russian peacekeeping contingent."

"It was presumed, this was discussed during negotiations, that the decision on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh would be postponed, it would be taken later," Lavrov said. "So after Armenia reaffirmed that Nagorno-Karabakh was a part of Azerbaijan, it was ludicrous to accuse us of this."

Lavrov added that Russian peacekeepers are currently helping to facilitate contacts between the Nagorno-Karabakh representatives and the Azerbaijani officials, including at meetings held Saturday.

"Our peacekeepers have a presence there on the basis of the importance of their role there for confidence building to ensure that the members of the representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh, especially at the beginning to feel themselves to be safe and secure," Lavrov said.

"Time will be necessary, as for the amount of time and the number of peacekeepers, these are issues being resolved on the ground."

Blinken on Saturday held a call with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in which he "reaffirmed U.S. support for Armenia's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity," according to a readout provided by U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

"The Secretary expressed the United States' deep concern for the ethnic Armenian population in Nagorno-Karabakh," Miller said.

"He underscored the United States is calling on Azerbaijan to protect civilians and uphold its obligations to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh and to ensure its forces comply with international humanitarian law."

Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council — of which both the United States and Russia are a part — warned that the latest clashes between Azeris and Armenians "undermine prospects of peace" in what is one of the longest-running conflicts since the end of the Cold War.

In May, the European Union mediated a long-term negotiation plan for a "comprehensive peace agreement."

"The final statement included their unequivocal commitment to the 1991 Almaty Declaration and their 'respective territorial integrity'," according to an EU document.

"Some experts see the details of the statement as a potential breakthrough in the peace talks, while others warn of the heavy price tag for the population of Nagorno-Karabakh and the potential political costs for Armenia itself."

In additional remarks, Lavrov added: "We are convinced that the Armenian people remember their history, our history and that they will tie their history to that of Russia and other friendly states in the region rather than those that swoop in from abroad."

Turkish citizen receives DNA result: "We were Christians who were kidnapped by the Ottomans"

Sept 22 2023

A Turkish citizen did a DNA test and discovered the truth – "we don't come from these real Turks with slanted eyes; we come from Christians who were kidnapped and used as slaves by these Ottomans."

"I did a DNA test, and I am almost entirely from Christian Europeans, from the Balkans, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, and also some Turkish (Anatolian), Caucasian, and Jewish from Iran," he added.

With the advent of genetic testing, more and more Turkish citizens and diaspora communities are discovering that they are Turkified peoples, mostly pointing towards Greek.

A famous case of a Turkish citizen discovering they are Greek is Yannis Vasilis Yaylalı, born Ibrahim Yaylalı.

Yannis was a former Turkish ultra-nationalist that was proud of his enmity towards Kurds and other indigenous peoples of Asia Minor.

However, he soon discovered he was actually Greek, became Christian and then became an activist for minorities in Turkey despite originally joining the Turkish Army to kill them, as reported by The Armenian Weekly.

Full transcript of the above video:

"If you look at this map, it's obvious which is the good and bad sides. Right next to Europe, the Ottomans enslaved European Christians for 600 years to their harems and Janissary army. How can nobody be talking about this?

"How can there be no Hollywood movies about this? Wouldn't Hollywood be dying to make movies about this?

"They would, but Ataturk destroyed all these real Ottomans with these slanted eyes so that history would not exist anymore. That's why nobody makes movies about it. Nobody talks about it. Us Turks are not considered innocent because we don't come from these real Turks with slanted eyes.

"We come from Christians who were kidnapped and used as slaves by these Ottomans. By making us all Turks, by calling us all the same, by saying 'How happy is he who says calls himself Turk', Ataturk turned to the dark side.

"Instead of telling us that we were turned into Turks, instead of telling us we were kidnapped Christians who were then turned into Muslim Turks, he kept this most important part of our history a secret.

"Instead of telling us we come from Christians, he committed genocide against Christian Armenians and Christian Greeks so he can establish a country without any Christians in them.

"I did a DNA test and I am almost entirely from Christian Europeans, from the Balkans, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, and also some Turkish (Anatolian), Caucasian, and Jewish from Iran. Other Turks' DNA will also look like this. There's only going to be a little bit of Turkish DNA."


Putin is certainly aware of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border tension, says PM Pashinyan


YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 11, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said that the first phone call he had on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border tension was with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Actually, my first phone call was with the Russian President,” Pashinyan said during an interview with Public Television when asked why he didn’t call President Putin on Saturday but instead held calls with leaders of other regional countries. “He [Putin] is certainly aware of the situation, the Lachin Corridor has been blockaded since December last year, and since then I’ve had dozens of conversations with the Russian President. Unfortunately, the situation hasn’t changed since our last conversation,” Pashinyan said.

The Armenian PM said the purpose of all phone calls was to inform his counterparts about certain nuances which they were unaware of.

On September 9, Pashinyan spoke by phone with French President Emmanuel Macron, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi and Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz.

Armenian Social Council: SDF holds the key to peace in Syria

Syria – Sept 4 2023

Denouncing external efforts to instigate unrest in the region, the Armenian Social Council expressed their support for the SDF and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.

Members of the Armenian Social Council made a statement to the press in front of the council’s headquarters in the Kibaba neighborhood of Heseke.

The statement read by the co-chair of the council, Imad Teteryan, denounced the attempts of foreign powers and their collaborators that seek to incite sedition among the peoples in the region by distorting the Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) Operation Security Reinforcement against ISIS cells and criminal elements in Deir ez-Zor region and by portraying it as a campaign against tribes.

“The SDF is not a Kurdish force as some circles claim, but is made up of Arabs, Kurds, Armenians, Syriacs, Assyrians, Turkmens, Circassians, Christians, Muslims and Yazidis. The SDF protects all components and religions. It has freed the region from the atrocities, persecution and terror of ISIS mercenaries and their supporters. Half of the fighters in SDF ranks are made up of the children of the Arab population and tribes,” said the statement.

The Armenian Social Council pointed out that: “We are against any form of discrimination between religions. We are meant to live together in our land with pride, honor, love and peace. We support the SDF and the Democratic Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. We stand against the intended instigation.”

The council stressed that the SDF holds the key to peace in Syria and is the people’s hope for freedom and equality.