Baku, Azerbaijan, June 3
Extensive information about the Azerbaijani realities should be presented to the international community, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said addressing the 4th Congress of World Azerbaijanis in Baku June 3.
"We try to do that as a state. But much depends on the diaspora organizations as well," said the president.
"Our access to foreign media is very limited," said President Aliyev. "It is clear that the diaspora organizations of Armenia, of Armenians have been formed over decades. They have penetrated into the world's leading media structures by various means and are represented there," said the president.
"Armenians are seen behind the vast majority of the publications discrediting Azerbaijan, distorting the Azerbaijani realities and slandering us," he said. "We should even more improve our activities in this sphere."
First of all, there should be carried out work with media, according to the president.
The president noted that a layer of Azerbaijani journalists should be established, which would be represented in various media outlets.
"They will defend their homeland and will convey the truth, because the 21st century is the century of information and currently, the information wars exist as a tool and as a weapon."
Azerbaijan's president pointed out that currently, bloody clashes are taking place in various parts of the world.
"How can we know while being in Baku, or in another city about what is happening there, who is right or who is wrong, who is on the offensive and who on defensive? We can know about this only through media outlets," said President Aliyev.
If a coordinated dirty campaign is carried out against any country, the public opinion will eventually also follow the same path, according to the president.
"Therefore, it is our weak spot. It is a priority. I think that this issue should be seriously discussed during the congress," he added.
The president noted that there should be held talks, discussions on taking necessary measures in various countries in order to convey the Azerbaijani realities and a program should be worked out.
"If the Azerbaijani state can in any form provide its support in this issue, we are ready," said President Aliyev.
"The main thing is that we should do it in a planned manner, and perhaps, it should be the primary issue in all countries where Azerbaijani diaspora organizations operate," he added.
"Naturally, extensive information about the Azerbaijani realities should be presented to the international community."
"By taking the advantage of our weakness in the first years of independence, the Armenian diaspora was carrying out a very dirty campaign against us," said President Aliyev.
"The integral part of this campaign was to present Azerbaijan as an anti-democratic country, while Armenia as a miserable country living under the conditions of 'blockade', as well as to spread false, fictitious information about the history of Nagorno-Karabakh. To some extent, they managed to do it," said the president.
President Aliyev recalled that in 1992, the US Congress adopted a well-known and unfair Section 907 [Section 907 of the United States Freedom Support Act bans any kind of direct United States aid to the Azerbaijani government].
"Imagine that Armenia occupied Azerbaijani lands, committed the Khojaly genocide, expelled people from their native lands, and the Congress adopted this decision," said the president.
"The US Congress made an amendment according to which Azerbaijan should be deprived of the US government's aid. Why? Because Azerbaijan keeps Armenia in blockade," said President Aliyev.
"I believe that no parliament has seen a more absurd and hypocritical resolution than this one," said the president. "Why is this happening? Because the venal and corrupt congressmen affiliated with the Armenian lobby (some of them still continue this dirty mission) resorted to such a lie."
President Aliyev noted that this is while Azerbaijan simply remained silent.
"That time we didn't have diaspora. Those who were governing Azerbaijan had not idea what is governance. That's why they led the country to brink of the abyss and started a civil war," said the president.
"Currently, that amendment [Section 907] is in force. Great efforts should be made in order to cancel it," he said. "At the initial stage, we were really making great efforts, but then we came to a conclusion that there is no need for this, since this amendment makes no sense. We don't depend on anyone's aid."
"We firmly stand on our own feet and can render assistance to those in need. What I want to say is that it was the Armenian provocation," he added.
The president pointed out that by using the similar methods, Armenians carry out a dirty campaign against Azerbaijan in various countries.
"We should convey the truth about that Nagorno-Karabakh is a historical Azerbaijani land. The Azerbaijani people have been living on these lands for centuries," said President Aliyev.
"Armenians were resettled in Nagorno-Karabakh from the Eastern Anatolia and Iran in early 19th century. We all know well why they were resettled there," he added. "There was even erected a monument in Nagorno-Karabakh in 1978 in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Armenians' resettlement in Nagorno-Karabakh."
"During the war, Armenians demolished that monument in order to erase this from history. That is to say, this is the reality. It is our historical land. All the toponyms, the names of all cities and villages are of Azerbaijani origin," added the president.
"Not only Nagorno-Karabakh, but also the Irevan Khanate, Zengezur and Goycha in Armenia itself are our historical lands," said President Aliyev.
He noted that the maps published in the Tsardom of Russia in early 20th century show that 80 percent of all the toponyms are of Azerbaijani origin.
"During the Soviet period, they started to gradually change those toponyms, demolished, destroyed our historical monuments, mosques in order to erase history. This is the first issue," said the president.
"The second issue is that we were subjected to aggression. This happened in front of the whole world. Twenty percent of our lands - Nagorno-Karabakh and seven districts - are under occupation," said President Aliyev. "A policy of ethnic cleansing was pursued against us."
"We have a million refugees and IDPs. Khojaly genocide was committed against Azerbaijanis," said the president. "The UN adopted four resolutions and demanded the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the occupied lands."
"This is history and the legal aspect of this issue," said the president. "Naturally, no one can deny that. Even the pro-Armenian forces can't deny that, albeit they are trying to do it."
"Therefore, this truth should be conveyed. There are enough materials in Azerbaijan on this topic - there are maps, books and historical documents," he added. "Our scholars are carrying out great work and a great scientific work "Irevan Khanate" has been created."
"Many are unaware that it is our historical land. But we prove this based on the documents and translate them into foreign languages," he said. "Therefore, it should be the main direction for the diaspora organizations."
The president noted that diaspora organizations should open relevant websites in their countries of residence.
"These websites should be interesting to the public of these countries, and at the same time these sites should contain truth about Azerbaijan. This should be an ongoing process," said the president.
President Aliyev also said that there should be newspapers published in Azerbaijani language in those countries, so that Azerbaijani citizens could read them, including children so they would know their mother tongue, and also publish newspapers in local languages so that the public in those countries would read too.
"Again, I'd like to note that we live in the age of information, and the importance of information will only grow," Ilham Aliyev said, adding that Azerbaijan must be ready for it, in particular, considering the Armenian diaspora.
"Armenia is a poor country, it cannot find the money even to replenish its budget, not to mention rendering any assistance to someone or abroad," President Aliyev noted.
"This is while Azerbaijani government solves and can solve many problems, provides and can provide support. It should simply be done deliberately, this work being implemented efficiently. Thus, the information regarding Azerbaijani realities will be provided in accordance with reality."
The president of Azerbaijan went on to add that the most recent example of that is related to the April armed clashes, when Azerbaijan launched a counter-attack on Armenian occupiers and liberated several strategic heights and settlements of its occupied territory.
"No matter how much Armenia tried to again spread false information about this fighting, it failed," Ilham Aliyev said. "But some corrupt journalists in close business relations with the Armenian diaspora, we all know their names very well, are trying to blame Azerbaijan and were attempting to picture the April fighting as a great victory of Armenia."
The president went on to add that it did not work a Azerbaijan has possibilities too, and can say its word as well.
"Everybody knows why it happened. Everyone knows about the results of the April fights. It's very surprising that in this situation the Armenian leadership tries to deceive the world. Armenia was trying to deceive its people, then the world community, and now has put itself in a ridiculous position."