LOS ANGELES—The guest speaker on the evening of November 13, was the Consul General of Azerbaijan to Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev. The forum was the World Affairs Council (WAC). The occasion was Azerbaijan ‘s response to a compelling account of that region, the southern Caucasus — Armenia , Artsakh and Azerbaijan — by the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Armenia , Edward Nalbandian, given from the same podium less than two months earlier.
Garo Ghazarian, the Chairman of the Armenian Bar Association, after being recognized and permitted to address the Azeri Consul General by the President of the World Affairs Council, proceeded to challenge the half-truths and outright inconsistencies articulated by the Azeri Consul General at the World Affairs Council, after the latter concluded his presentation before a predominantly American audience.
Ghazarian took issue with the blatant Azeri misrepresentations regarding the policy and practice of alleged “tolerance towards minorities, including Armenians…,” as declared from the podium by the Azeri Consul General.
“You speak of tolerance and you speak of alleged violations of law by Republic of Armenia. How do you reconcile your President’s utter disregard of international law, his refusal to adhere to recognized rules of engagement dealing with prisoner transfers, his pardoning of convicted ax murderer Safarov, his declaring all those who kill Armenians as heroes, his stating that Armenians all over the world are the enemies of Azerbaijan?” queried Garo Ghazarian, after identifying himself as the Chairman of the Armenian Bar Association.
Ghazarian continued his remarks to the Azeri Consul General by quoting President Barack Obama and the White House’s Press Release on August 31, 2012, reminding all in the audience of President Obama’s remarks: “I am deeply concerned by the pardon, [and that the Azeri President’s] action was contrary to ongoing efforts to reduce regional tensions and promote reconciliation.”
Inviting the Azeri Consul General to respond to his remarks and the concerns expressed by President Obama, Ghazarian took his seat. What followed by the Azeri Consul General was more of the same –innuendos, denials and distortions, which at once were both offensive and injurious to any rational person’s intelligence.
“We may be in the 21st Century, but on the evening of the 13th of November, 2012, truth was the latest victim of the oil-fueled Azeri propaganda machinery. The audience was treated to yet another rewriting of history, courtesy of the Azeri Consul General who shamelessly declared that the first Christian people of the world were residents of Azerbaijan and were known as the Albanians of the Caucasus . We were transported to a make-believe reality, where the Azerbaijan Government in Baku, according to its Consul General in Los Angeles, is the most tolerant government in the region,” said the Chairman of the Armenian Bar.
The Azeri Consul General also referred to the Armenian Genocide as the “so called Genocide,” despite the fact that it clearly was not lost on him that many members of the Jewish-American community were in the audience. It must have not occurred to him that these Jewish Americans, like their fellow compatriot Armenian Americans in the audience, experienced great suffering and survival in their recent history, or that they were the children and grandchildren of the Jewish Holocaust. Finally, the Azeri Consul is apparently not familiar with the words uttered by Adolf Hitler in 1939, before he gave the orders to exterminate all Jews in Poland by stating “after all, who remembers the Armenians today?”
“The Azeri falsehoods uttered from a prominent podium such as the World Affairs Council provided all the confirmation one needed to mistrust, more than ever, anything said by the Azeri regime. We have reached a point where we can tell when they are being disingenuous. All we have to do is look to see if their lips are moving,” said the Chairman of the Armenian Bar Association.