Expert Decries Azeri Efforts to Distort History

YEREVAN (PanArmenian)–Armenian political expert Levon Melik Shahnazaryan called divisive efforts by Azeris living outside of Azerbaijan to create displays within various Holocaust museums around the world commemorating what they call the "genocide of Azeris," in Khodjalu. Melik Shahnazaryan was commenting on an announcement by Javanshir Valiyev–an Azeri government official who works with Azeri communities outside of Azerbaijan–regarding plans–in conjunction with Jewish organizations–to include displays and exhibits in Holocaust museums around the world. "Statemen’s by Valiyev and other Azeri officials can only further the gap between Azeris and Armenia’s and make the Karabakh conflict resolution process more difficult," said Melilk Shahnazaryan. During the Karabakh liberation struggle in the early 1990’s–Azeri forces suffered heavy losses during an operation to liberate the only airport and lift a blockade that had caused a severe shortage in food and other basic essentials in Stepanakert and other areas of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The Azeri government–using several Azeri organizations outside of Azerbaijan is waging a campaign of distortion and misinformation to characterize the Khodjalu fighting as "genocide." Melik Shahnazaryan explained that as a participant of the Khodjalu battle–he can attest that the murder of innocent civilians in and around the area was committed by illegal armed detachmen’s of People’s Front of Azerbaijan. The expert added that the operation was merely aimed at liberating the only airport–through which food and other basic supplies could be flown in to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. In his announcement–Valiyev announced that the establishment of displays in Holocaust museums across the world–"not only benefit Azerbaijan and Azeris–but also the Jewish Diaspora." Melik Shahnazaryan warned that the establishment of displays on Kodjalu in various He also noted that establishment of stands about Khodjalu at Holocaust Museums was purely politically driven.

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