Urges End to Azeri Hatemongering, Calls for More Extensive Humanitarian Aid for Syrians
GENEVA—Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian made a statement at a high level meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday in which he reminded the Council about the several human rights crimes committed by Azerbaijan before and during the Karabakh War, including the pogroms in Sumgait, Baku, and Kirovabad.
The Foreign Minister also warned the UN about Baku’s increasingly hostile and vitriolic rhetoric, pointing out propaganda campaigns carried out by the government that foster and induce hate, racism and xenophobia in the Azeri population.
“Such propaganda preceded anti-Armenian massacres in Azerbaijan – in Sumgait, Baku, Maragha and other places, when thousands of Armenians were tortured and killed, starting the ethnic cleansing of Armenians living on the territory of Azerbaijan,” Nalbandian told the UN Human Rights Council.
“Twenty five years later, in today’s Azerbaijan, similar and sometimes even worse hate speech and war propaganda is emanating from the highest levels of the Azerbaijani government, and is directly contributing to the escalation of hostilities and loss of innocent lives,” the Foreign Minister continued.
Nalbandian also reminded the Council that the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), in its report on Azerbaijan, noted with deep concern the “constant and negative official and media discourse concerning the Republic of Armenia,” and recommended the Azerbaijani authorities to “adopt an appropriate response to all cases of discrimination and hate speech against Armenians.”
Speaking on the situation in Syria, Foreign Minister Nalbandian welcomed the UN Security Council’s unanimous adoption of a resolution that calls for an urgent increase in humanitarian aid access in Syria, calling to immediately cease attacks against civilians and lift the siege of populated areas.
“We welcome all efforts towards the peaceful solution of the crisis. Armenia has already received over 10,000 refugees from Syria, and our Government tries to do its best to assist them,” Nalbandian said.