BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb. 28
When the Khojaly genocide was committed, the world was silent, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said giving a press conference for local and foreign media representatives, Trend reports.
“One of the reasons for this was probably the lack of information that existed at the time. Information related to the war was lop-sided. Armenia used its propaganda, while the Azerbaijani side was in a completely helpless state because we did not have the foundations of statehood at the time. Azerbaijan was then in an uncontrollable state. The then Azerbaijan resembled today's Armenia – incompetent management, crisis, lack of discipline in the army. The army was actually out of the government’s control. We see the same picture in Armenia today. Our options were very limited back then. This was one reason. Another reason was that the world did not want to see this because, as we realized later, it was a picture that somewhat contradicted the prevailing stereotypes. Because when the first Karabakh war began, one might say that most countries believed that Armenia was right and Azerbaijan was wrong. Questions of territorial integrity were set aside and the question of self-determination of nations came to the fore. No-one asked the question: after all, the Armenian people have already determined themselves, they have an independent Armenian state, so why should a second Armenian state be created on historical Azerbaijani land? Nobody has been able to answer this. Therefore, these stereotypes continued to exist for many years. Over the years, we were treated unfairly. Have a look – after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US Congress passed the Freedom Support Act. This law was adopted with the aim of providing assistance to all former Soviet republics. Azerbaijan was excluded from there. Who did that! Representatives of the Armenian lobby. Many of them are still in high positions today. This was done under the pretext that Azerbaijan was allegedly keeping Armenia in a blockade. How could we do this if our lands were occupied? But sanctions were imposed against us. They remain valid to this day. They even have a reference number – Section 907. Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act implies sanctions against us. Could there be such injustice? Those who were in power at that time simply could not do anything to prevent this. It took us many years to change the mind of the world and present the truth. See how much effort we have put in to prove the obvious truth. The stereotype was that Armenia is always right. Whatever it did, it was always justified. Look how many opposition leaders have been arrested in Armenia over the past few years, how many people have had their rights breached. There were even political killings. Has any international organization condemned them? Not! They are allowed to do anything. We proved our case in struggle and succeeded. Your current visit to Azerbaijan and the communication of our position to the world are, of course, a great contribution to the restoration of justice,” the head of state said.