On August 3, a general meeting of the “Azerbaijani Refugee Union” was held in Azerbaijan, during which, as a result of the vote, the organization was transformed into the “West Azerbaijan Community” non-profit organization, the purpose of which is to “restore the rights of Azerbaijanis expelled from their historical homeland.” It should be noted that under the so-called “Western Azerbaijan” wording circulating in Azerbaijan, the current sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia is assumed.
On August 5, Aziz Alekberli, the president of “Western Azerbaijan Community” organization, stated in an interview with “APA” news agency that if until today the organization was mainly concerned with “problems of Azerbaijanis evicted from historical places in Western Azerbaijan in 1988-1991”, then today they there are “larger-scale goals” in front of them, for example, “to reveal and bring to the international community the policy of deportation, massacre, ethnic cleansing, destruction of the Azerbaijani historical and cultural heritage on the historical lands of Azerbaijan carried out by Armenians and their sponsors”.
Continuing the distortion of historical truth, A. Alekberli claims the entire internationally recognized sovereign territory of RA, including Zangezur, Sevan, Yerevan, Lori, declaring that “until the last piece, these are the historical lands of Azerbaijan.” According to him, the reality of “Western Azerbaijan” should be transferred to the international platform.To the question whether it is possible to return to “West Azerbaijan”, Alekberli answered: “We will definitely return to our historical lands, the hearths of our ancestors.” However, he considered peaceful coexistence with Armenians impossible, because “the Armenian population will never be able to coexist peacefully with its neighbors.”
Both by its name and by its nature and activity, this organization has a complete anti-Armenian orientation. In essence, the goal of the organization is to speak out on the international platforms about the alleged Azerbaijani ownership of the current territory of RA, the need for the return of “Azerbaijani refugees” there, and the “destruction of Azerbaijani historical and cultural monuments”, providing legitimacy for further anti-Armenian actions and expansionism towards the sovereign territory of RA.By the way, this process of cultural appropriation has taken a new, larger scale after the third Artsakh war.
Let us remind that the President of Azerbaijan Aliyev on July 14, signed a decree to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the State Azerbaijani Drama Theater of Irevan (Yerevan) at the state level, effectively encroaching on the territorial integrity of Armenia, in particular, the capital city of Yerevan.Another similar manifestation was the declaration of Tepebashi (Kond) district as one of the historical districts of the “ancient Irevan city”. a number of Azerbaijani scientists appealed to UNESCO to send a mission to “Tepebashi” district of Yerevan, because “Azerbaijani historical monuments are being destroyed” there.
We can record that in the conditions of inaction and silent consent of the RA de facto authorities, the Azerbaijani authorities not only carry out active cultural and military-political appropriation of the Armenian territories occupied during the third Artsakh war, but also continue to show ambitions towards the internationally recognized territories and cultural structures of the Republic of Armenia. Moreover, these ambitions are voiced not only in front of the domestic audience, thus ensuring the high level of anti-Armenian sentiments, but also on the international stage, which is related to ensuring the external legitimacy of expansionism towards Armenia.
In 2020 On December 10, during the parade in Baku, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev announced that Yerevan, Sevan and Syunik are “historical Azerbaijani territories“. However, this was not the first such statement. The Azerbaijani government consistently injects its society with the thesis about the Azerbaijani belonging of the Armenian historical territories, accompanying this process by creating maps on which Syunik, Sevan and Yerevan are depicted as a part of Azerbaijan, with the corresponding historical falsifications.The use of the terms “East Zangezur” and “West Zangezur” in the official rhetoric can be seen as a vivid manifestation of the territorial claims of the Azerbaijani authorities towards RA at the high state level.
These and other similar statements, events and initiatives by Azerbaijan are an attempt to legitimize not only the occupation of more than 70 square kilometers of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces after November 2020, but also prepare the ground for the new Azerbaijani aggression against Syunik region and other sovereign territories of the Republic of Armenia. for aggression, up to full capture.
Armenian version of the article is available here