Armenia OSCE Rep. Addresses Permanent Council on Azeri Murder of Armenian Officer

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenia’s representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)–Ambassador Jivan Tabibian–addressed the OSCE’s Permanent Council on Wednesday about the murder of Armenian Lieutenant Gurgen Margarian in Budapest–Hungary. Margarian was axed to death by an Azeri officer Ramil Safarov–while attending a NATO Partnership for Peace Language Training program.

Referring to the statement by Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs–which claims Safarov was "repeatedly insulted and humiliated by Markarian," Tabibian retorted–saying: "Instead of an unequivocal condemnation of the act–the official statement provides explanations as a justification?an exercise in blaming the victim–an old and vicious practice–used throughout history to justify persecution and genocide of the "impure other."

Tabibian also called Azeri attempts to defend the "honor and dignity" of an allegedly slighted officer who decapitates another in his sleep–"a very strange idea of honor," adding that neither police reports–nor witness statemen’s–and that of fellow students refer to any hostile exchange or an altercation between murderer and victim.

Tabibian questioned whether the official Azeri Foreign Ministry statement does not suggest to millions of refugees–including to those of Armenia–that they should become self-appointed avengers operating outside the law–even as they wear the uniform of a state’s armed forces. "Actually–perhaps the Azerbaijani officer did not think he was acting outside the wishes–designs–and ideology of his government and superiors–since his leaders encourage people to act vengefully," continued Tabibian.

Tabibian also stressed that Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian sentiment–and the prevailing "Armenophobia" among its population–poses serious obstacles to a peaceful resolution of the Mountainous Karabagh conflict.

Tabibian recalled that only a few weeks back–he expressed to a Permanent Council session Armenia’s indignation at Azerbaijan’s refusal to issue visas to officers to attend a NATO-sponsored conference in Baku–but to no avail. "When we fail to explicitly condemn so-called little things–we eventually face the dilemma of what to say about monstrous acts."

"It is the responsibility of all of us to see this sequence in its proper order: Security and co-operation–as well as through co-operation," Tabibian concluded.

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