Details added (first version posted on 12:24)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 17
It is not too late to deprive First President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev of the Nobel Prize, Head of the Department for Foreign Policy Affairs of Azerbaijan’s Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev said.
Hajiyev made the remark at an event at ADA University in Baku dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the January 20 tragedy, Trend reports on Jan. 17.
"The January 20 tragedy was not just an event that happened on the night of January 19 to January 20, 1990,” the head of the department said. “The January 20 tragedy must be considered as a process which followed the Sumgayit events and then continued in Khojaly city."
Hajiyev stressed that a policy of ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis was conducted in Armenia.
"This process also occurred in Nagorno-Karabakh region,” the head of the department added. “It was carried out after Heydar Aliyev was dismissed from his position in the political bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.”
“It is also necessary to consider the January 20 tragedy from a military point of view,” Hajiyev said. “A plan of occupation of Baku as a foreign city was prepared. Tanks and other armored vehicles were used. There was not only artillery. The goal was the mass destruction of people on the streets."
“Moreover, these events occurred during information blockade of Azerbaijan,” Hajiyev added. "Foreign journalists were accredited in Moscow and were not allowed to visit Baku.”
“After a small number of journalists covered the press-conference of Heydar Aliyev, who appeared in the Azerbaijani Permanent Mission in Moscow, the international community learned about the events from other viewpoint,” the head of the department added. “The international media reported on the tragic events in Baku.”
“However, Gorbachev was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize on October 15 ,” Hajiyev added. “It is not too late to deprive Gorbachev of the Nobel Prize. The Soviet government wanted to break the will of the Azerbaijani people, but failed. Azerbaijan has gained independence, and we must preserve it. We are proud of our martyrs who gave their lives for Azerbaijan’s independence."