BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 12
We immediately organized visits of diplomats, journalists and public figures from different countries to the liberated territories. They were all in shock. And so are we all. Everyone there was simply shocked. We hadn’t known the scale of vandalism and barbarism, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said in an interview with local TV channels on January 12, 2022, Trend reports.
“This completely subverted the whole ideological concept of the Armenians of being a civilized people, an ancient people surrounded by barbaric Muslims, a noble people in the Caucasus and a product of Christianity. Can a noble nation do such a thing? To dig the dead out of the graves, to extract their gold teeth, to break the gravestones and sell them to neighboring countries, to destroy mosques, to keep pigs there. We have shown all this, although there was no need for showing anything because could come there and see it themselves. When I said to the Muslim countries during the occupation that the Armenians were committing horrific acts there, insulting the holy shrines of all Muslims, many may not have believed it, but how will they react when they see it now? In other words, another turnaround has taken place in understanding what is happening here, in realizing that we are right not only historically, legally and politically, but also in terms of sheer humanity. We have not committed anything like that. Everything in the villages under our control – I mean the villages inhabited by Armenians – is safe and sound. When I was in Hadrut a year later, not a single building has been touched. During the occupation, mainly Armenians lived there. This, in general, contradicts the nature of the Azerbaijani people. No tombstones were broken. No churches were destroyed. But as you probably know, I am talking about the UNESCO saga, they tried to accuse us almost of vandalism. They thought that we would destroy the churches now. We agreed the route of the Armenians' arrival here with them. They and some countries associated with them wanted to come here very much. When we organized visits of foreign diplomats and foreign journalists to the liberated territories, when they saw that these churches and these graves were in place, the topic of UNESCO's visit was removed from the agenda. This is the story. We were inviting them throughout the years. What was the answer? It was said that UNESCO did not deal with political issues. As soon as the second Karabakh war ended, they started insisting on coming here. We agreed on the routes and so on. What happened during this period is known too well. They saw themselves that we are not destroying anything, but if they come here, they will see the destroyed mosques, the destroyed cemeteries and historical monuments, the destroyed cities, so they will just have to acknowledge who did it. They don't want to do that. All these factors, as well as our active diplomatic work, created conditions for the acceptance of these realities in the world. I think this is a great success. Because after this war, in fact, we overturned all the predictions and assumptions of Armenia, a country with its world-class patrons, about what will happen if the war starts. Of course, I think that the world has seen how attached the Azerbaijani people are to their land, how prepared they are to make sacrifice and take great risks. This factor has also played a role. Because the reaction of Armenia’s patrons on 27 September could not have been predicted even by me – someone who knew or could have predicted it. All this has played a role,” the head of state said.
“Therefore, respect for our people and our country has incredibly increased. We are seeing that. Everyone, every Azerbaijani, everyone living far from Azerbaijan can see and feel it now. The second Karabakh war does not only mean the liberation of the territories, the awakening of the national spirit and the return of dignity, it has a huge multiplier and positive effect, and I think it will always have a positive effect,” Azerbaijani president said.