Azeris Respond to Nakhichevan Union’s Announcement

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Officials in Azerbaijan rather surprisingly responded to the statement recently released by the Nakhichevan Compatriotic Union–an Armenian public organization.

Azeri State Adviser Vafa Guluzade said the document clearly presented a territorial claim–demanding an autonomy for all Armenia’s of Nakhichevan extraction. Likewise–the official said–Baku might call for the return of Azeris to lands in Armenia.

"Many people and organizations from both Armenia and Azerbaijan say what they feel–and we do not comment on their statemen’s," presidential spokesman Vahe Gabrielian said in an interview. He made it clear that the Nakhijevan Compatriotic union was a public organization–not a governmental organization.

However–some politicians in Azerbaijan described the statement as "a new claim by Armenia’s" and labeled it as a Moscow orchestration to fan tensions in the Caucasus.

In his commentary–Milli Mejlis deputy from the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic Eldar Ibragimov said that "our neighbors [Armenia’s] should not forget that they live in a territory that once belonged to Azerbaijan."

The September 11 forum of the Nakhichevan Compatriotic union in Yerevan–which founded the National Council of the Armenia’s of Nakhichevan adopted a document recognizing illegal and invalid the points of the Treaty dated October 13–1921–concerning Nakhijevan–which were foisted on the Armenian people under the Russian-Turkish Treaty dated March 16–1921–and under which Nakhijevan was annexed.

The document urged the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia to declare void the points of the Kars Accord concerning Armenia and to send a special message to the Parliament of the Russian Federation demanding that the Russian-Turkish Treaty of March 16–1921–regarding Armenia’should be declared void.

There are many compatriotic societies in Azerbaijan also presenting territorial claims to Armenia–for example–over Zangezur–the basin of Lake Sevan and others. But there has been no response on the official level from Yerevan regarding the statemen’s by these organizations or by their leaders.

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