This year, Azerbaijani nation is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the genocide committed by Armenians against Azerbaijanis in 1918.
It is to mention that in order to create a mythical state of “Great Armenia” over Azerbaijani lands, as well as over the territories of Turkey and Georgia, the Armenian chauvinists and their supporters have been carrying out the policy of ethnic cleansing, genocide and deportation against the Azerbaijanis, spanning last two centuries.
As a starting point for this policy, from the beginning of 19th century on, thousands of Armenian families were moved from Iran and Turkey onto historical territories of Azerbaijan such as Karabakh, Nakhchivan, Zengezur, also Iravan and other provinces.
In pursuance of their illegal goal of ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis, Armenians committed the mass killings of Azerbaijanis in March, 1918. Armenian troops murdered more than 30 000 innocent Azerbaijanis in a series of bloody massacres on March 31, subsequently on April 1-2, 1918, in Baku, Shamakhi, Guba, Kurdamir, Salyan, Karabakh, Zangezur, Nakhchivan, Irevan, Shirvan, Lankaran and other provinces of Azerbaijan. In the course of this genocide, historic buildings, worship places were subjected to shelling; the minarets of Juma and Tazapir mosques were severely damaged. All of these innocent Azerbaijanis were massacred only because of their nationality and religion. Precious historical monuments, mosques, also schools and hospitals were destroyed by the armed Armenian nationalists.
In spite of many years passed, that bloody genocide was not forgotten. Though Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) government had established the Emergency Investigation Commission in 1919 to investigate the grave crimes committed by the Armenians, after the collapse of ADR, this process was stopped.
After Azerbaijan regained its independence in 1991, the truth hidden for many years was gradually revealed. 80 years after the genocide, on March 26, 1998, by the Decree of President Heydar Aliyev “On the Genocide of the Azerbaijani people”, political assessment of those tragic events was carried out; declared as “the Day of Genocide of the Azerbaijanis”, 31 March is commemorated in Azerbaijan every year at the state level.
According to the Decree signed by Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, on “The 100th Anniversary of the 1918 Genocide of the Azerbaijanis”, relevant Plan of Actions was approved and is being implemented.
The ongoing hostile actions after this genocide by Armenians against Azerbaijanis has proved that the Armenian chauvinists did not give up their hatred. In continuation of ethnic cleansing and aggression policy, Armenia occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as seven surrounding regions, making one million of the Azerbaijanis refugees and IDPs. On February 26, 1992, Armenian terrorists perpetrated unprecedented genocide in Khojaly city, butchering all the people without differentiating.
UN Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874, 884 adopted in 1993, the UNGA Resolution titled “The Situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan” on March 14, 2008, Resolution 1416 in 2005 and Recommendation 1690 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, European Parliament's Resolution on Nagorno-Karabakh on October 23, 2013 re-affirmed once again Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent seven districts as the integral part of Azerbaijan. However, ignoring the decisions adopted by the respected international organizations, the Armenian side creates obstacles to the peace in the region, always demonstrating unconstructive position.
In order to achieve justice, pay tribute to the memory of martyrs who were killed during those tragedies, as well as to ensure the functionality of the norms and principles of the international law, the Government of Azerbaijan urges all states and international organizations to recognize the massacres of the Azerbaijanis on March 31 – April 2, 1918 as a genocide. International community should legally and politically assess these severe crimes against humanity at the international level as genocide acts, and impose necessary sanctions on Armenia. Criminals having committed genocide should be brought to book and punished. Armenia should be forced to ensure the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and to restore the violated rights of refugees and IDPs.
Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan Islamabad, Pakistan
March 30, 2018