Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey Engage in War of Words at UN General Assembly

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan delivers remarks at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, September 2019.

The United Nations’ General Assembly held its annual session September 24 to 30, 2019 in New York City. The participants were heads of state and high-ranking officials of UN member countries, including Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. Surprisingly, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev was absent—a big mistake on his part!

The first speech was delivered by Erdogan on Sept. 24, 2019. After speaking about the lofty notions of justice and equality, which are constantly violated by Turkey, Erdogan once again complained about the fact that Turkey is not represented among the five Permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, UK, France, China and Russia) which have a veto power. Long before Turkey is admitted to such an exclusive club, India, Brazil, and possibly Germany should have a priority over Turkey. Erdogan also misrepresented Turkey as the country that “has inflicted the first and heaviest blow” to ISIS terrorists in Syria. In reality, Turkey has been the biggest supporter of ISIS terrorists! Surprisingly, Erdogan blamed Greek Cypriots for Turkey’s continued occupation of Northern Cyprus. He also criticized Israel for its mistreatment of Palestinians.

Turning to the Caucasus, Erdogan stated, “It is unacceptable that Nagorno-Karabakh and its surrounding areas, which are Azerbaijani territories, are still occupied despite the [UN] resolutions adopted.”

Nikol Pashinyan, the Prime Minister of Armenia, addressed the UN General Assembly on Sept. 25, 2019, condemning Azerbaijan for its unwillingness to resolve the “Nagorno Karabakh” (Artsakh) conflict. He said that the solution to the conflict must be acceptable to all three populations of Armenia, Artsakh and Azerbaijan.

Regarding Turkey, Pashinyan stated that “by refusing to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia, overtly assisting Azerbaijan against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, Turkey remains a serious threat to Armenia and the Armenian people, who had experienced the deep tragedy of the genocide and continue to face the fierce denial of truth and justice.”

Speaking at the UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2019, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov stated that “rather than wasting time on attempts to mislead the international community and its own people, Armenia must drop its lousy attempts to prolong the unsustainable status quo and faithfully comply with its international obligations.” The sooner Armenia gives up its “aggressive and hostile policy in the region,” the better it would overcome its “serious political, economic and social burden,” Mammadyarov said.

Armenia’s UN delegate exercised his “right of reply” to Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Mammadyarov’s speech, accusing him of distorting the conflict of Nagorno Karabakh. Armenia’s representative then mentioned the Azeri massacres of Armenians in Sumgayit, Azerbaijan, in 1988. He added that Nagorno Karabakh was never a part of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan’s representative then responded with his own “right of reply.” The Armenian and Azerbaijani delegates proceeded to deliver a series of remarks replying to each other’s accusations.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu displeased with Erdogan’s criticism of Israel at the UN General Assembly, condemned him harshly according to the Jerusalem Post: “Prime Minister Netanyahu slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday calling him a liar and saying that ‘he who doesn’t stop lying about Israel, he who kills Kurds in his own country, he who denies the terrible crimes against the Armenians — that person should not preach to Israel.'”

Netanyahu’s comments did not please Armenians around the world who pointed out that under his leadership Israel has rejected the veracity of the Armenian Genocide and blocked the acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide by the Knesset (parliament). Netanyahu’s words were viewed as simply a disingenuous attempt to use the Armenian Genocide as a tool to bash Erdogan, while Israel itself has not acknowledged the Armenian Genocide. This is the height of hypocrisy by Netanyahu!

As I have repeatedly pointed out, the Israeli government, as the leadership of a nation that has suffered genocide itself, should have been the first country to recognize the Armenian Genocide, not the last. At this late stage, even if Israel were to recognize the Armenian Genocide, it would be a pointless exercise as dozens of countries and international organizations have already acknowledged the Armenian Genocide. By continuing its shameless refusal to recognize the Armenian Genocide, the Israeli government is simply tarnishing its own reputation in the international community.

Even the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi joined the political fray in New York by meeting with the President of Cyprus and the Prime Ministers of Armenia and Greece to indicate his displeasure at Turkish President Erdogan’s siding with Pakistan in his UN speech. Such a meeting is definitely in the interests of Armenia, Cyprus and Greece in order to counter Pakistan’s cozy relationship with Turkey and Azerbaijan. In June, the Foreign Ministers of Armenia, Cyprus and Greece met in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia to discuss an expansion of their relations. All three countries share the common goal of opposing Turkish hegemony in the region.

To end on an amusing note, Pres. Erdogan refused to sit at Pres. Trump’s table with other heads of states at a banquet given by the U.S. President at the United Nations last week, since Egyptian Pres. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, whom the Turkish President abhors, was sitting at that table. Erdogan’s chair remained empty, depriving him of the golden opportunity to brainwash Pres. Trump during dinner!

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Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the United Armenian Fund, a coalition of the seven largest Armenian-American organizations. He has been decorated by the president and prime minister of the Republic of Armenia, and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

19 Comments

  1. “Netanyahu’s comments did not please Armenians around the world who pointed out that under his leadership Israel has rejected the veracity of the Armenian Genocide and blocked the acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide by the Knesset (parliament)”.

    Exactly how is the Knesset (Israeli parliament) acknowledging the Armenian Genocide when it happened to actually remove this topic from its agenda in May of 2018? The author of this article obviously didn’t read the Armenian Weekly article, “Israel Vote on Armenian Genocide Recognition Pulled from Knesset Agenda”, published on May 29th, 2018.

    • What I’m confirming is that your statement about the Knesset acknowledging the Armenian Genocide is absolutely false.

      Another article which also debunks that false statement is the Armenian Weekly article, “Israeli Knesset Rejects Bill Recognizing the Armenian Genocide”, published on February 14th, 2018.

  2. How can you state that Karabagh (Artsakh) was never a part of Azerbaijan ? Russia including during its Soviet incarnation had repeatedly left Karabagh to Azerbaijan’s politico-jurisdictional care. It is, therefore clear that, despite being overwhelmingly ethnically Armenian,Karabagh de jure falls within Azerbaijani political soverainity.

    • Armenia’s position is that Karabakh was never a part of INDEPENDENT Azerbaijan. It seceded from the Azerbaijani SSR in accordance with domestic Soviet law. Then both the Karabakh SSR and the Azerbaijani SSR declared independence from the USSR.

      Former President Kocharian explained this position to PACE long ago (in Russian): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS_HjaE7gC8

    • Artsakh (Karabagh) became a part of Azerbaijan only when the leadership of Soviet Russia (Joseph Stalin) decided to detach it from Soviet Armenia and annex it to Soviet Azerbaijan, back in 1921. Therefore, under the law of the former Soviet constitution, Artsakh was a part of Soviet Azerbaijan. However, the Soviet Union officially dissolved on December 26th, 1991; as a result, the Soviet constitution was no longer in effect after that time. This therefore means that Artsakh was no longer a part of Azerbaijan after December 26th, 1991.

    • It was never to Russia to decide of the fate of Karabakh. It is for the Armenians that populate it to decide of the fate of their own land! What a shamefully absurd and non-sensical comment, Mr. Sahib…

    • Stalin put Artsakh within the Azerbaijani territory. Before Stalin, who got drunk on Vodka and made an idiotic decision, Artsakh was for over 1000 years settled by majority Armenians and was historically Armenian. And throughout the time of Soviet rule and even up to the war, it was always settled by over 80% Armenian. There is nothing Azeri about Artsakh and it’s name “Karabakh” was even developed by Stalin. That’s not it’s true historic name. So get off the juice and start realizing, you ain’t getting Artsakh back by crying about it.

    • Dear Bji Tullah M.H.B Sahib,

      There never was Azerbaijan. It’s a temporary name.
      When when the world stops relying on oil there will be no more temporary Azeri state.

    • Armenia’s position is that Artsakh was never a part of INDEPENDENT Azerbaijan. Artsakh seceded from the Azerbaijan SSR in accordance with Soviet law. Then, both the Artsakh SSR and Azerbaijan SSR declared independence from the Soviet Union.

      President Kocharian explained this position years ago in a speech to PACE:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS_HjaE7gC8

  3. Pashinyan is ridicilous, Artsakh is the integral part of Azerbaijan as it was existed and shown in the constitution of Soviet Republic like South Osetia and Gorno Badakhshan Tajikstan) All international documents recognized territorial integrity of Azerbaijan Georgia and Tajikstan with those autonomous regions.

    • The US president Abraham Lincoln was once quoted as saying: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. I suggest you do the same because you have no clue what you are talking about.

      As an autonomous region, the ancient Armenian territory of Artsakh, along with Nakhijevan, with majority Armenian population (95% in the case of Artsakh) was illegally placed under artificial Azerbaijan-SSR jurisdiction in 1921 by Soviet criminal Stalin as part of the good old Russian policy of divide-and-rule. Why would a 95% Armenian-populated territory be placed under the control of a hostile foreign power other than making the native Armenian population hostage to racist Azerbaijani policies so the Soviets could run Armenia unopposed?

      Azerbaijan-SSR was an artificial state invented by the Soviets and speaking about the territorial integrity of such state in ridiculous. Artsakh was designated as an autonomous region. Once the the Soviet Union came to an end so did the occupation of Artsakh by Azerbaijan-SSR. Artsakh has never been part of the so-called “independent” Azerbaijan. End of story.

  4. Dear sir

    For a Soviet leader giving lands to others doesn’t make it the land belongs to the other and it doesn’t give the right to the other to carry out etnetic cleansing neither massacre!

  5. huh, the Armenian prime-minister doesn’t know history. Go read some Wikipedia articles about Yerevan Khanate and come back later, Nicol. Yerevan Khanate, today’s armenian CAPITAL, was dominantely muslim in the 18-19 centuries. Period.

    • The Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan does not know history but an ignorant and institutionally brainwashed Azerbaijani like you does? I’m not in the least surprised Wikipedia is your source of information. You must be using Wikipedia to supplement what anti-Armenian lies your racist leaders have drilled into your empty skulls since birth.

      I have asked countless Azerbaijanis to show me a country called “Azerbaijan” on the map before 1918 and none of them could come up with one and there is a reason for that. The reason is that it never existed. It was artificially invented about a hundred years ago at the end of WWI in 1918 for the first time in history on occupied Armenian and Persian lands by criminal Soviets in collaboration with genocidal Turks for the former homeless Caucasian Muslim Tatars (Turkified Mongols). It was invented as a base for the Soviet expansion into Persia and beyond and as a Turkish outpost in the South Caucasus for the pursuit of pan-Turkic fascist agenda, that is the elimination of Armenia off the map and the creation of the mythical “land of Turan” from the Balkans to Mongolia and China. It was renamed to Azerbaijan only in 1936.

      This is a fake state, a gas station disguised as a country, just like the Azerbaijani nation is fake. The name “Azerbaijan” was stolen from the Persians and given to this artificial Azerbaijan republic in the South Caucasus deliberately in order to brainwash Turkish-speaking Persians living in Northwestern Iranian provinces bearing the same name (east/west Azerbaijan provinces) into believing the newly-invented Azerbaijan-SSR republic in the South Caucasus is “North Azerbaijan” and therefore those two provinces within the Iranian territory constitute the fictional “South Azerbaijan”. Nothing can be further from the truth. This was and is yet another pan-Turkic and separatist agenda based on pure fabrications.

      Furthermore, the name Azerbaijan which is derived from ATROPATAN is inside the Iranian territory. The River Araxis separates Iran from Armenia which means any reference to Azerbaijan (aka ATROPATAN) is a reference to territory south of the Araxis River. This means there can not be any Azerbaijan to the north of the Araxis River in the South Caucasus and therefore the Azerbaijan republic today located to the north of Araxis River could only have been invented and created artificially.

      I truly can not stop laughing at your ignorance. The Armenian capital of Yerevan, former Erebuni, was established 2,800 years ago and recently the Armenians worldwide celebrated the 2800th anniversary of this ancient Armenian capital. Nothing can change this fact no matter how you spin it. Artificial Azerbaijan’s capital Baku was built by Armenian oil men and engineers. The historic and ancient city of Constantinople, the center of Eastern Orthodoxy, was invaded and occupied by your criminal Turkish step-cousins from Central Asia. The Seat of Eastern Orthodoxy, the Basilica of Hagia Sophia, was taken over and converted into a Mosque for centuries, then into a Museum, and once again trying to turn it back into a Mosque.

      This has been the history of Turkish and Islamic invasion and occupation of this region. I’m not surprised about all the twisted nonsense and fallacies coming from you and others like you. You don’t know any better!

  6. Karabakh is always in Azerbayijan territory. Soon or late we will take it again. I don’t say this as an Azerbaijanian citizen but an Iranian. If Azerbaijan government want to prolong the process then we can’t bear it more!

    • Cabir – The name of the place is not “Karabakh”, it is ARTSAKH. Learn it and never forget it. You can dream all you want but rest-assured what you think is only a dream. In 1994, artificial Azerbaijan’s late president and former KGB agent Haydar Aliyev, the father of the current president who was hiding in Moscow during the war, kneeled down and begged for a ceasefire. Defeated with over half his army wiped out and humiliated, he knew the end of the artificial Azerbaijan was near. Accepting the ceasefire was the biggest mistake the Armenian leaders made. I’m positive they won’t make that mistake again.

      P.S. You are not Iranian. You are an Azerbaijani disguised as an Iranian. I have never met any Iranian who would say what you said. In fact, the Iranians consider you as their enemy. They know about your separatist anti-Iranian agenda and that’s why half a million Armenian minority in Iran has more rights than you do. Also, in Persian Cabir is spelled Kabir (meaning great).

  7. Why Azerbaijanis have built so many Armenian style Church in Nagorno Karabakh if they own the land ?, there are many, over four hundred years old Armenian style Church in the Armenian land Artsakh, These are not enough evidence it is Armenian Artsakh?, and it is not Azerbaijani Nagorno Karabakh.

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