With the support of their foreign backers, Armenians are building a state on Azerbaijan’s ancestral lands, said Ali Hasanov, Azerbaijani President's Assistant for Public and Political Affairs.
He made the remarks addressing a session of the Congress of European Azerbaijanis on Tuesday, an APA correspondent reported from Amsterdam.
“Each session of the Congress of European Azerbaijanis is considered to be an extraordinary event with the important tasks lying ahead. Given our state’s development, the relevance of the tasks set before our diaspora, and the main aspects of today's development, then holding this session is very timely. It’s time for European Azerbaijanis to sum up last year’s activities and defining the task lying ahead,” Hasanov said.
Hasanov also spoke about the event held in Amsterdam on February 26 to commemorate the Khojaly genocide.
“The Khojaly tragedy is not a matter for a single day. The history of the Armenian genocide against Azerbaijanis dates back to 200 years ago,” he said.
The presidential assistant stressed that Armenians are building a state on the ancestral lands of Azerbaijan.
“From time to time, the Azerbaijani people were expelled from their native lands and killed, their houses were destroyed. As a matter of fact, Armenians are seeking to realize its dreams of building a great state at the expense of mass extermination of Azerbaijanis, driving them out of their lands, and putting an end to their existence as a nation. Of course, those who aided them had their own goals,” he said.
Those killed in Khojaly were civilians, said Hasanov, adding that the Armenians committed this act of genocide in order to intimidate the Azerbaijanis and expel them from their native lands.
He stressed that the main task for Azerbaijani diaspora is to convey to the world community the truth about the Khojaly genocide.
“The primary duty of the Azerbaijani state and diaspora is to bring to the world community the selfish intensions of our neighbors and the policy of Armenia’s criminal regime that committed an act of genocide against Azerbaijanis. Of course, this will not be so easy,” he said.
Hasanov went on to say that Armenians have been engaged in anti-Azerbaijani activities for a long time, setting up “nests” for these purposes in different countries.
“They have attracted representatives of the world’s leading media outlets, as well as foreign politicians with anti-Azerbaijani and anti-Turkish sentiments. With the support of the Armenian lobby, they also try to attract NGOs operating abroad to these activities. The anti-Azerbaijani coalition created by their lobbying is, unfortunately, is strong. The Azerbaijani state, elite and diaspora are in fight against these activities. Frankly speaking, we are facing a very difficult task,” Hasanov said.
He noted that Armenians shamelessly mark the 30th anniversary of their occupation policy in Nagorno-Karabakh through the campaign for “Artaskh recognition”.
“The have created large centers in Brussels, London, Paris, Moscow and different parts of the US. Armenian lobbyists abroad, rich and shameful Armenians are transferring to each of these centers,” he said.
Hasanov underlined that the main purpose of the campaign for “Artaskh recognition” is to bring travelers, politicians, former and current statesmen, famous journalists and from different countries to Armenia and from there to Nagorno-Karabakh.
“They are working to promote the illegal regime created in Nagorno-Karabakh. They propagandize as if there is a formed state, and Azerbaijanis want to destroy it. In such circumstances, we hold and must celebrate the anniversary of the Khojaly genocide every year,” he added.
The presidential assistant went on to say that Armenians also intend to use the upcoming centenary of the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic in an anti-Azerbaijani spirit.
“The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic is part of our statehood. They [Armenians] say that the Azerbaijanis have only 100-year history of statehood, but they claim the territory of the Irevan Khanate. The Irevan Khanate is an Azerbaijani state. But our centralized state has more ancient roots. The existence of the Safavid state in the 16th century is a clear testimony to this,” he said.
“Our task is to make our statehood eternal. Our goal is to ensure the economic, social and political interests of Azerbaijan,” he added.
Hasanov said that the Azerbaijani press and diaspora set and should set themselves the task of defending the interests of the state.
“Alongside informing the world community about Armenia’s occupation policy against Azerbaijan that has been continuing for about 30 years, we should also promote the idea that Azerbaijan stands for peace in the South Caucasus. The diaspora should set this task before itself. Azerbaijan is a guarantor of peace and prosperity in the region, while Armenia brings war and disaster to the region,” Hasanov said.
He stressed that the Azerbaijani diaspora should also promote the transnational and geopolitical interests of the country.
“Today, Azerbaijan together with Turkey is implementing the Southern Gas Corridor project instead of the Nabucco project, the EU could not realize,” he said.
The Southern Gas Corridor will actually give a second wind to Europe’s energy security, said Hasanov, underlining the importance of conducting a promoting campaign in this regard.
“Armenians want to prevent his, and you should expose their actions wherever you live. Armenians, through the media of some countries which really feel a great need to Azerbaijani gas, oppose these projects,” he added.
The presidential assistant went on to say that security is a major part of Azerbaijan's interests.
"Today, the Azerbaijani Army is considered to be the region’s well-equipped army with high combat capabilities. The April battles proved this. If no one intervenes or if we come to the conclusion that Armenians will not free the occupied Azerbaijani lands, we are able to liberate our lands within a short period of time,” he said.
He added that the first resource in this regard is the state.
"The state is playing its role on the basis of President Ilham Aliyev’s policy that is based on great leader Heydar Aliyev’s Azerbaijanism policy and national interests. President Ilham Aliyev has increased Azerbaijan's existing capabilities at least 3.5 times in 15 years. This includes the budget, social resources, military, economic, foreign policy resources and so on. There is no issue Azerbaijan can not solve today. The only problem we still have is the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which we are dealing with. Azerbaijan has already conveyed its right position to the entire civilized world concerning this issue. Unfortunately, because of double standards from the international community, the final decision is yet to be reached," Hasanov said.
He also noted that along with the official resources of the Azerbaijani state, the national elite, the media and the diaspora have a special role in promoting the country's foreign policy and national interests.