BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 16. All Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia have the right to return to their native lands, Spokesperson for the Western Azerbaijan Community Ulviyya Zulfigar said, Trend reports.
Zulfigar made the remark at the international conference themed “Islamophobia as a Specific Form of Racism and Discrimination: New Global and Transnational Challenges” in Baku.
She noted that the last deportation of Azerbaijanis, carried out in 1988-1991, completely turned Armenia into a mono-ethnic country.
"The territorial claims of Armenia against Azerbaijan led to the First Karabakh War and 30-year occupation of Azerbaijani territories. Azerbaijan liberated its lands during the 44-day 2020 Second Karabakh War. The Azerbaijani cultural and historical heritage, including mosques and cemeteries, were destroyed in Armenia, and Azerbaijani toponyms were changed," the spokesperson reminded.
Zulfigar stressed that Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia and their descendants have the right to return to their native lands, but the Armenian government does not demonstrate a constructive position on this issue, trying to present the right to return in the context of territorial claims.
"For a better future for the South Caucasus and a lasting peace between the two countries, it’s necessary to stop ethnic discrimination, Islamophobia, and anti-Muslim tendencies, which will never lead to peace and stability anywhere in the world, including the South Caucasus," she concluded.
Previously, the Western Azerbaijan Community sent a letter to Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan, calling on him to start a dialogue on the issue of return.
The conference themed “Islamophobia as a Specific Form of Racism and Discrimination: New Global and Transnational Challenges” was organized by the Baku International Multiculturalism Center (BIMC), the Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center), and the G20 Interfaith Forum on March 15-16.