Azerbaijan International

Winter 2000 (8.4)
Page 10

Reader's Forum
Calling the Kettle "Black"

[The following letter was published in the Washington Times, October 18, 2000.]

Your October 12 Editorial, "Genocide by No Other Name" makes a good point in noting that the "Armenian aggression against the people of Azerbaijan, who are ethnically and religiously akin to the Turks, in 1995 led to massive casualties and has created hundreds and thousands of refugees."

In fact the Armenian aggression which began in 1992, resulted in the current military occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijan and the displacement of a million people - giving Azerbaijan the world's highest per capita population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees. This aggression was preceded by ethnic cleansing in Armenia, in which more than 200,000 ethnic Azerbaijanis were exiled from Armenia. In 1992, Armenian forces massacred hundreds of civilians, including children and the elderly in the Azerbaijani town of Khojali.

To make matters even worse, in 1992, Armenia lobby group secured passage of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which denies most direct assistance from the United states to Azerbaijan, including for several years, even humanitarian assistance to the IDP / refugee population.

Given the record, I find it impossible to agree with your conclusion that the Armenian Genocide Resolution should be passed by the House of Representatives. Far from being innocent, Armenians not only have stained their hands with the blood of many Turks, but also have pursued over a significant historical span, their aggressive ambitions toward Azerbaijan and other neighbors. In the words of the British consul in Baku in 1918, Major Ronald MacDonell, who referred to wide-scale massacres conducted by Bolshevik-backed Armenian gangs: "There were no Moslems in the town except corpses." Let me emphasize that all this transpired at a time to which the resolution in question refers to as a period of "Armenian genocide."

There are serious moral questions about the motivations behind this critical ethnically driven resolution. Moreover Congress certainly should not undermine U.S. strategic objectives, nor should it damage the uneasy peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Elmar Mammadyarov
Chargés d'Affaires
Azerbaijan Embassy, Washington, D.C.

Azerbaijan International (8.4) Winter 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.

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