The “park of trophies” inaugurated by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Monday features not only military hardware but also helmets of Armenian soldiers killed in action and degrading wax mannequins of Armenian military personnel. The public demonstration of these and other items is meant to underscore Azerbaijan’s victory in the six-week war which Russia helped to stop on November 10.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry accused Baku of “dishonoring the memory of victims of the war, missing persons and prisoners of war and violating the rights and dignity of their families.”
“Azerbaijan is completely solidifying its position as a global center of intolerance and xenophobia,” a ministry statement said, adding that the park makes mockery of Aliyev’s calls for regional peace and stability.
Armenia’s human rights defender, Arman Tatoyan, decried the “clear manifestation of fascism.” “This once again shows that we must not allow ourselves to be numbed by Azerbaijan’s false pacifist programs,” he said.
The development also prompted uproar from senior members of the Armenian parliament representing the ruling My Step bloc.
“We are dealing with a terrorist state,” one of them, Vladimir Karapetian, declared on the parliament floor.
Opposition lawmakers seized upon the public display in Baku to again denounce Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s recent calls for a post-war normalization, including through commercial projects, of Armenia’s relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Taron Simonian of the Bright Armenia Party said Yerevan should forget about seeking “economic or other friendly relations with such a criminal regime.”
“I think we can end the discourse about whether Azerbaijan and Turkey are our enemies. Yes, they are enemies, old enemies. Yes, they are barbarian states,” said Arman Abovian, a deputy affiliated with another opposition party, Prosperous Armenia.