Aliyev Blames Armenian Lobby for Azeri Human Rights Abuses
“The day will come when the Azerbaijani flag will fly in Khankandi (Stepanakert) and Shusha (Shoushi),” vows Aliyev.
BAKU—Azeri President Ilham Aliyev blamed the Armenian lobby, the scope of whose influence he said “is quite broad” on the continuing international criticism of Azerbaijan’s abysmal human rights record.
Aliyev, who last month called “Armenians of the world” the number one enemy of Azerbaijan, told a meeting of his cabinet ministers Monday that “The Armenian lobby is the driving force of negative information about us,” reported RFE/RL citing reports in the Azeri news media.
“An information war is waged against us … The Armenian lobby is especially active in that information war. Attempts to badmouth Azerbaijan, to deny Azerbaijan’s realities, to present Azerbaijan to the outside world as a backward and undemocratic country primarily result from dirty deeds of the Armenian lobby,” Aliyev said in remarks cited by the official Azertag news agency.
“The scope of their influence is quite broad. They [Armenians] are represented in the leading print media outlets of various countries. Sometimes they go under different names and hide their ethnic origin,” added Aliyev.
International criticism of Azerbaijan’s human rights record has been growing, with international watchdog groups Amnesty International and Human Rights watch echoing the same concerns with the European Parliament and the State Department. Aliyev’s government increasingly has been criticized for intolerance toward opposition forces, and jailing and suppressing dissidents. Especially harsh is Azerbaijan’s crackdown on journalists and bloggers.
“For us, the number one enemy is the Armenian lobby,” Aliyev said, slightly revising his statements from last month. “We must be prepared to fight against it.”
Armenians are Fascists
Aliyev reiterated comments he earlier this month during a session of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, during which he called Armenian fascists, blaming them for what he and his government continue to say were massacres carried out in Khojaly at the height of the Karabakh war, reported news.az.
Of course, there was no mention of the brutal Azeri aggression against Armenians beginning in 1988 in Sumgait and continuing thereafter in Kirovabad, Baku, Shahumyan and Getashen.
The 20th anniversary of one of the most savage attacks on Armenians by Azeri forces in Maragha village was marked last week, with the Vice-Speaker of the British House of Lords, Baroness Cox, calling the event an “example of Azeri crimes against humanity.”
“Every minute, every day brings us closer to victory. Every day Armenia is declining while Azerbaijan is growing in strength. Every day we are moving closer to the day of victory. The day will come when the Azerbaijani flag will fly in Khankandi (Stepanakert) and Shusha (Shoushi),” vowed Aliyev when describing his policies vis-à-vis the Karabakh conflict.
“At all international events, I have spoken about the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, exposing the aggressive policy of Armenia. I continue to expose the aggressive policy of Armenia at all levels,” said Aliyev.
“Our military capacity is also increasing. Constant attention is paid to this area and this will continue. We are creating a powerful military industry and at the same time we are buying and will continue to buy a large amount of military equipment, weapons and ammunition,” added Aliyev.
“I’m not talking about weapons of defense. We are buying tanks, artillery, combat aircraft, different weapons, all the modern equipment needed for combat. I can say that we also have a diversified policy and do not depend only on one manufacturer. The number of countries willing to cooperate with us in this area is growing, and we have the capacity. Unlike some other countries, we do not get anything for free, we pay with money, and this will continue,” explained the Azeri president.
“Azerbaijan already has a strong army. All the armed forces are ready to meet any objective today, to ensure all the interests the country, to restore Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh and the other occupied territories,” said Aliyev.