Azerbaijani official: Separatism will be insurmountable, if every nation gets self-determination right (UPDATE)

Details added (first version posted on 19:49)

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 15

By Elchin Mehdiyev – Trend:

If every nation is given the right to self-determination, ethnic separatism will become an insurmountable process in the world, Azerbaijani President’s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov said March 15.

He was speaking at a panel session titled “Majority against Minorities” as part of the 6th Global Baku Forum.

Hasanov noted that presently the strengthening of ethnic separatism in the world is one of the main factors that negatively affect the regional and international security, as well as the mankind's peaceful and tranquil life.

“For more than 200 years, Azerbaijan has been subjected to the policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide, carried out by the Armenians, and has been suffering from bloody tragedies and a war as a result of this policy,” Hasanov said. “The main goal of this policy is to expel the Azerbaijanis from their historical lands and create on their territories a “Greater Armenia”, invented by the Armenians.”

“The basis of the ethnic cleansing policy against Azerbaijan was laid as a result of the resettlement of the Armenians, living in other states, to Azerbaijan in the beginning of the 20th century with the support and pressure of some foreign geopolitical forces,” he noted. “This started to greatly influence the change of the demographic situation related to the national-ethnic composition in the historical lands of Azerbaijan.”

He said that in order to organize confrontations on national and ethnic grounds, the Armenians openly committed large-scale bloody acts against Azerbaijanis in 1905-1906 and subjected the peaceful population to mass slaughter.

“Skilfully taking advantage of the First World War, as well as the February Bourgeois and October Bolshevik revolutions of 1917, the Armenians were able to implement their separatist claims under the Bolshevik flag,” he noted. “In March 1918, the armed Armenian nationalists with military assistance from Soviet Russia, committing genocide of the peaceful Azerbaijani population throughout Azerbaijan, killed thousands of people.”

“Occupying Azerbaijani lands after the Sovietization of the South Caucasus, in 1920, they declared Zangezur province and a number of other lands as the territories of the Armenian SSR,” he added. “The Armenians continued to put forward territorial claims regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh region, where the Azerbaijanis lived since ancient times, and as a result, in 1923, under the influence of such Armenians as Mikoyan, and according to Stalin’s instruction, the Armenians living in the mountainous part of the Karabakh region were given the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast within Azerbaijan.”

Ali Hasanov added that when creating the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, which is an integral part of Azerbaijan, Karabakh was artificially divided into plain and mountainous parts, and the leadership of Azerbaijan was forced to grant the status of autonomy to the Armenians placed in the mountainous part of Karabakh.

“At the same time, this status of autonomy was granted without considering the opinion of the Azerbaijanis that historically lived in Nagorno-Karabakh and with grave violation of their rights,” he said. “The course of historical events showed that the creation of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast laid the foundation for future territorial claims and ethnic separatism on the part of the Armenians.”

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