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Genocide Warning: Azerbaijan threatens invasion of Armenia

Holy Mother of God Church, Voskepar, Tavush Province, Armenia credit: Soghomon Matevosyan

 

Genocide Warning:

Azerbaijan Threatens New Aggression Against Armenia


by Aline Keledjian, Ani Tonoyan, and Genocide Watch Team

 

On March 19, 2024, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan gave a speech in Voskepar, Tavush Province, Armenia in which he declared Armenia’s intention to cede four villages in Tavush Province to Azerbaijan. Pashinyan is often criticized for “giving Artsakh away.” In this case, he is surrendering these villages to prevent another war.

 

Azerbaijan’s demands and Aliyev’s inflammatory rhetoric pushed the Armenian government into accepting any terms necessary to reach a peace agreement. While critics denounce Pashinyan for ceding the villages, it is the U.S., France, and Russia that have failed to defend Armenia.

 

In his speech, Pashinyan expressed hope for NATO support in the peace process. But NATO — under U.S. direction — is unlikely to challenge Russia’s sphere of influence. Russian aggression in Ukraine and Georgia is considered by some experts to be a result of those nations’ overtures to join NATO.

 

During a tour of the South Caucasus, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg indicated his hope for increased cooperation with NATO in both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Following Stoltenberg’s visit, Pashinyan announced he would freeze Armenian membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) the post-Soviet military alliance of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyztan, Tajikistan, and Russia. Russia has denounced Armenia’s alliance freeze.

 

When Azerbaijan invaded Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), so-called Russian “peacekeepers” refused to stop Azerbaijan. Instead, Russia ensured a speedy surrender, causing a mass exodus of Artsakh’s Armenians from their homeland.

 

France and the US have pledged military aid for Armenia. But they have refused to sanction Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan buys 70% of its weapons from Israel, which receives its military technology from the US. Western Europe buys large quantities of Azerbaijani oil and gas/

 

Prime Minister Pashinyan’s surrender of Armenian border villages will not lead to lasting peace as appeasing diplomats may hope. Azerbaijan has openly announced that it may conquer the Syunik province of Armenia to build an oil pipeline connecting Azerbaijan to Turkey. US Secretary of State Blinken has already warned Azerbaijan not to invade Armenia.

 

Azerbaijan is acting out an old pan-Turanian dream of an empire of Turkic peoples from Anatolia to Xinjiang, China. Militarizing that origin myth, Turkey and Azerbaijan have committed genocides against all Christians in their territories, including Armenians, Circassians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Pontic Greeks.

 

In Azerbaijan, Armenophobia has become the ideology of the ruling elite. It denies all claims of other nationalities and cultures to their ancient homelands. It denies historical fact. Azerbaijani academia and media even claim Yerevan — Armenia’s capital — as an Azerbaijani city.

 

Pashinyan’s ceding of four Tavush Province villages to Azerbaijan will not satisfy Aliyev’s goal of dissolving the state of Armenia. To legitimize Azerbaijani encroachment on Armenia’s borders will only encourage Aliyev’s aggression into Armenia. Aliyev will not stop until he takes Yerevan.

 

To the U.S. and Europe, transfer of land from one state to another may seem to be a small price to pay for peace. But to Armenians, who today have a nation that is only a fraction of the size of their historic homeland, such peace will come at a mortal cost. Azerbaijan will amputate one limb of the Armenian body after another until Armenia is beheaded.

 

Armenians will never be safe under Azerbaijani rule. Peace for Armenians will only come when they can live freely in their own homeland.

 

Instead of praising Pashinyan’s concessions as steps toward peace, the U.S. and NATO should demand that Azerbaijan stop its invasions of Armenian homelands. The U.S. and E.U. should terminate economic relations with Azerbaijan if it invades Armenia.



Genocide Warning - Azerbaijan's Invasion of Armenia
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