Azerbaijani President Gives National Address Publicly Praising Ethnic Cleansing of Armenians
WASHINGTON—Voicing the Armenian-American community’s outrage over Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s most recent anti-Armenian rant, Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Chairman Ken Hachikian has called upon President Barack Obama to publicly condemn the Azerbaijani leader’s renewed threats of war, exaltation of ethnic cleansing, claims to Armenian land, and renewed praise for unrepentant axe-murder Ramil Safarov.
In a Sept. 19 letter addressed to Obama, Hackikian noted that a strong U.S. stand in response to Aliyev’s Sept. 17 tirade can help “deter Baku from its announced intention to re-launch its war on Artsakh [Karabagh].” The full text of the ANCA letter is provided below. An English translation of Aliyev’s remarks can be viewed at http://www.news.az/articles/official/82721. The full text of Aliyev’s remarks is posted on his website (in Azerbaijani) at http://president.az/articles/9346.
Dear Mr. President:
I am writing to call upon you, in support of the vital role that U.S. leadership plays in the OSCE Minsk Group, to condemn Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s Sept. 17, 2013 anti-Armenian tirade.
In these public remarks, President Aliyev threatens to renew his war on Nagorno-Karabagh and extols the ethnic cleansing of Armenians from Baku, warning of Azerbaijan’s preparedness to repeat these atrocities. He claims essentially all of Armenia’s sovereign territory, including Yerevan, and he praises an unrepentant axe-murder who was pardoned by President Aliyev after his release from Hungary, where he was serving a life sentence for murdering Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan in his sleep during a NATO peacekeeping program.
President Aliyev’s speech honoring Safarov, coming as it does after the public praise, military promotion, and financial payments he received from Baku in the months following his release last year, represents a serious setback to the peace process. His remarks are all the more offensive in light of the White House’s statement of Aug. 31, 2012, expressing your deep concern and disappointment over President Aliyev’s decision to pardon Ramil Safarov. It is in this spirit, and in the hope that a strong U.S. stand may deter Baku from its announced intention to relaunch its war on Artsakh, that we ask you to clearly condemn President Aliyev’s incendiary diatribe.
In closing, we would also like to take this opportunity to extend, once again, our willingness to work with your Administration to invite the broad-based leadership of our community to meet with you to discuss your Administration’s policies on this matter, your pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide, and the full range of Armenian-American concerns.
Kenneth V. Hachikian, Chairman