Yerevan Blasts Aliyev for ‘Armenian Terrorism’ Remarks At G20 Summit

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signs a print of the G20-Turkey family photo at the Group of 20 (G20) summit, in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya on November 15, 2015 (Source: AFP)
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signs a print of the G20-Turkey family photo at the Group of 20 (G20) summit, in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya on November 15, 2015 (Source: AFP)

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signs a print of the G20-Turkey family photo at the Group of 20 (G20) summit, in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya on November 15, 2015 (Source: AFP)

YEREVAN—Official Yerevan reacted angrily on Monday after Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev used a summit of the Group of 20 (G20) nations in Turkey to accuse Armenia of resorting to terrorism in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“That is an unsuccessful attempt to deflect the international community’s attention from direct links that have traditionally existed between Azerbaijan and various terror networks,” Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharian charged in comments to RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).

Aliyev was among world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, invited to the summit in the Turkish city of Antalya that was dominated by Friday’s deadly suicide bombings and shootings in Paris. They reportedly pledged to tighten border controls, step up intelligence sharing and crack down on terrorist financing after discussing ways of jointly fighting against the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq.

In his speech at the summit, Aliyev said that Azerbaijan has long been suffering from terrorism emanating from the unresolved Karabakh conflict. “That terrorism is an integral component of Armenia’s policy of occupation against Azerbaijan,” Azerbaijani news agencies quoted him as saying.

“More than two thousand citizens of Azerbaijan have died as a result of terrorist acts perpetrated by Armenian terrorist organizations against Azerbaijan,” alleged Aliyev. He went on to repeat his calls for a resolution of the conflict that would restore Baku’s control over Karabakh and Armenian-controlled territories surrounding it.

Kocharian rejected the allegations, accusing Aliyev of acting “immorally” in the wake of the Paris attacks. He listed some of “the numerous facts” purportedly proving Azerbaijan’s ties with international terrorism.

In particular, Kocharian pointed to the well-known participation of Chechen fighters in the Karabakh war, led by Shamil Basayev, a notorious warlord who claimed responsibility for a 2004 attack on a school in Beslan, Russia. At least 331 people, half of them children, were killed as a result.

“After the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, American special services recorded 60 phone calls to Baku made by [Osama] bin Laden,” said Kocharian. “In a statement adopted on November 25, 2002, the UN Security Council emphasized the existence in Azerbaijan of groups linked to Al-Qaeda.”

The Armenian official further pointed to reports that hundreds of Azerbaijanis have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS.

The bitter accusations come amid continuing efforts by U.S., Russian and French mediators to organize a meeting between Aliyev and President Serzh Sarkisian. The mediators have said the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders have agreed to meet next month and try to revive the Karabakh peace process.

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5 Comments

  1. Norin said:

    He is signing his own name in the photo above? That’s amazing, I didn’t know baboons could write!

  2. Vartan hrandian said:

    The son of kgb officer even lacks his fathers non existing values, no decent world leader and organisations takes him serious, even he knows himself,but what is not funny is Los of innocent lives of young conscripts from both side due to this comedian action.

  3. Raffi said:

    I don’t think the meeting with this insane and corrupt Aliyev will give any result, Aliyev will only react if loses his Oil and Gas resources.

  4. hrach said:

    Who invites Aliev to G20? If they (Aliev Azerbaijzn) are supposed to be in the list of G20 they could invite also ISIS.
    All is very vsad and unacceptable by civil word

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