BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb. 28
The Armenian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the events in Azerbaijan’s Sumgayit city and brought accusations against Azerbaijan, Spokesperson for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva said.
Abdullayeva made the statement commenting on the journalists’ question about the statement of the Armenian Foreign Ministry in connection with the events in Sumgayit city, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
"Unfortunately, the issue is again about the statement of the Armenian side, full of lies and fabrications," the spokesperson said. "We have repeatedly responded to the groundless claims of the Armenian side regarding the events in Sumgayit and today I would like to emphasize once again that the bloody events in Sumgayit of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic in late February 1988 were a deliberate and well-planned provocation against Azerbaijan."
"As is known, the General Prosecutor's Office of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) filed a criminal case in connection with the incident," Abdullayeva added. "The investigation was carried out. As a result of the investigation, the perpetrators and accomplices of the riots, the victims and those injured - a total of 32 people were identified. I would like to emphasize that six of those injured were Azerbaijanis."
"Numerous testimonies of Armenians living in Sumgayit were collected about Eduard Grigoryan, an Armenian by nationality, who led this campaign (movement, riots), personally killed six people and raped three women of Armenian origin," Abdullayeva said. "Grigoryan, sentenced upon a court decision to 12 years in prison, was sent to Armenia to serve his sentence, and then was released."
"As a result of the trial in connection with the events of February 27-29, 1988 in Sumgayit, 92 people were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment and one person - to death," the spokesperson said.
"For comparison, I would like to stress that no measures were taken at the end of the 1980s of the last century against those responsible for the deaths of 217 Azerbaijanis during the forced expulsion of the Azerbaijani population from the densely populated districts of Armenia, which was then part of the USSR," Abdullayeva said.
"The events before and after the events in Sumgayit (mass deportation of Azerbaijanis from the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republics, aggressive separatist tendencies of radical Armenian nationalists in the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region, the murder of two Azerbaijanis - the first victims of the Armenian aggression in the Nagorno-Karabakh region) and their consequences clearly show that the incident was part of a planned chain of actions, the purpose of which was the forcible separation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region from Azerbaijan and its accession to Armenia," the spokesperson said.
"Armenia, which held the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the adjacent districts of Azerbaijan under occupation for almost thirty years, committed numerous war crimes against humanity, including the Khojaly genocide, as part of its aggressive policy," Abdullayeva said. "However, none of the perpetrators have been brought to justice yet."
"Presently, when there are real opportunities for cooperation in the region amid the agreement on the cessation of hostilities, Yerevan’s stubborn, hostile and slanderous rhetoric, instead of constructiveness and respect for international law, still testifies to a lack of common sense in the government circles of this country," the spokesperson added.
"We remind the Armenian side that the Republic of Azerbaijan put an end to the military occupation of a part of the internationally recognized sovereign territory of Azerbaijan by Armenia which lasted for decades, by ensuring the implementation of the well-known UN Security Council’s resolutions of 1993 and a new security format was created in the region as a result of a trilateral statement signed on November 10, 2020 [on ceasefire and cessation of all hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region]," Abdullayeva said.
"In this case, the choice is up to Armenia to take practical steps to implement this statement for its future development and pursue a policy of good neighborliness based on strict observance of the principles of international law or throw its people into the abyss despite its obligations," the spokesperson said.