Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian launched a blistering attack on Azerbaijan accusing it of “anti-Armenian fascism” as he spoke to a group of Diaspora journalists at the weekend.
In his October 16 remarks made in Goris, a town in the southeast of Armenia, Sarkisian emphasized that such fascism is “getting momentum in Azerbaijan and being executed purposefully and on the highest level.”
“It is not about individual crooks or sick persons suffering from nationalism who can be neglected. We are speaking about the state ideology,” said Sarkisian, responding to repeated statements by officials in Azerbaijan alleging that modern Armenia was created on ‘historical Azerbaijani lands’.
The Armenian president further argued that Azerbaijan articulates this “extreme jingoistic position” because it is “staggered and infuriated” that the international community and, notably, the presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair states, which spearhead international efforts to broker a solution to the Karabakh conflict, “publicly recognize the right of the people of Artsakh (ed. Karabakh) to self-determination.”
“Today, the entire world rules out military solutions, and only Azerbaijan, according to their own words, ‘does not exclude military solution of the problem.’ Is this assertion for internal use only? Probably. But what good does it make to the internal consumers of this assertion, i.e. to the people of Azerbaijan or foreign investors?” Sarkisian queried.
In his speech the Armenian leader also referred to several “sick fantasies” of Azerbaijan claiming ownership of Armenian places and churches.
As an example he addressed the dispute about names of geographic locations and places in the region, in particular arguing that the first reference to Artsakh, the Armenian name of what is now known internationally as Karabakh, dates back to the VIII century BC.
“Sick fantasies resulted in claiming that Christian churches of Artsakh – Amaras, Gandzasar, are Azerbaijani. Furthermore, they were the first in the world to adopt Christianity. To Turkey they present their new slogan “One nation, two states”, i.e. the Turks and the Azeris are the same people living in two states. Five minutes later, Azeris claim that they are not Turks, or rather were not Turks: used to be Aghvans, used to write books which didn’t reach present days because all those manuscripts were burned by the Armenians; they were Aghvans and built masterpieces of Christian architecture that were expropriated by the Armenians, and finally they changed their language and became Turks. Later, the world’s first Christian-Aghvan-Azeris changed their faith and became the most faithful Muslims of the world. Simultaneously, they are promoting the idea that they are direct descendants of the Mar people, who spoke Persian, and are lawful owners of Iran’s Atrpatakan region.”
“A switch of languages, nationalities and beliefs is their [Azerbaijan’s] own business; but manifestations of anti-Armenian fascism are our business,” said Sarkisian. “Azerbaijan unleashed the war, and was defeated in that war; Azerbaijan asked for truce, including from the Commander of Karabakh’s forces, and later started to sob about the dire repercussions of that war. As if wars ever bring pleasant repercussions. And on top of that, Azerbaijan adopted a conceited stance and started to make demands as if anywhere in the world defeated aggressors are ever allowed to make demands.”