For the umpteenth time, Naira Zohrabyan, Edmon Marukyan and Co harp on about “hundreds” of so-called “Armenian prisoners of war” in Azerbaijan, “brutal murder of 19 of them” and other “crimes” allegedly committed by Baku, calling on all and sundry to impose sanctions against Azerbaijan and its leadership as “punishment”.
Thus, not only won’t Armenia stop trying to demonize Azerbaijan in the eyes of the European and world community, it also clearly seeks to motivate them to exert “effective pressure” on Baku. However, the clamor raised by its delegation in PACE around the falsely hyped up “issues” holds no promise of dividends for Yerevan—neither in terms of resolving these “issues”, nor in the context of overcoming the vital problems facing the post-war Armenia.
The first reason lies in the absolute inconsistency of the accusations the Armenian side keeps flinging at Azerbaijan. The trials of the so-called “prisoners of war” taking place in Baku convincingly prove that the persons presented by Armenia as such are saboteurs and terrorists who were planted on the territory of Azerbaijan after the cessation of hostilities with the purpose of committing grave crimes. The Armenian servicemen who were indeed POWs were returned to Armenia shortly after the war ended as per the trilateral statement of November 10, 2020.
Reports about the alleged murder of nineteen Armenians detained by Azerbaijan are also a blatant lie. No evidence is given to support this information. Then again, the Armenian propaganda machine does not need evidence. After all, its goal is not to disseminate authentic information, but to create the image of “bloodthirsty” Azerbaijanis—with far-reaching implications.
While making groundless accusations against Azerbaijan, Armenia itself offers no answers to the many questions addressed to it since the 1991-1994 war. In particular, Armenia still won’t disclose any information on more than 4,000 Azerbaijanis captured by its armed forces in that period. Meanwhile, a number of facts of abuse of captured Azerbaijanis have been proven in the course of trials of the Armenian saboteurs and terrorists. Not to mention that the mass graves found in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan also prove the war crimes committed by the Armenian army during the 30-year period of occupation of Azerbaijani lands, including crimes against POWs. Thus, the remains of 12 civilians (including one child and one teenager)—victims of the Armenian military aggression—were found in the village of Bashlybel, Kalbajar District.
Undoubtedly, it will be impossible to achieve a comprehensive solution to the humanitarian problems in the post-conflict region without the full disclosure of Armenia’s war crimes during the years of the occupation of Azerbaijani lands. Likewise, further peaceful development of the region is unthinkable without resolving the extremely important issue of Armenia handing over all landmine maps to Azerbaijan.
Therefore, it would be appropriate for Armenia, in particular for the Armenian delegation to PACE, to focus its efforts on this constructive endeavor. Attempts to push anti-Azerbaijani sanctions through such organizations have no future—not only because these attempts, even if we imagine their hypothetical success, will not have any effect on Azerbaijan, which strictly adheres in its actions to the principles and rules of international law. As the situation in Armenia continues to be catastrophic, the country’s Interests would benefit from its real contribution to building an atmosphere of trust in the region, rather than from pointless attempts with the vile purpose of turning certain world powers against Azerbaijan.
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