"Despite the heavy and bloody territorial conflict with Armenia, occupation of 20 percent of its territories and one million refugees and IDPs, Azerbaijan, which faces double standards, is recognized as a regional leader in the South Caucasus," Well-known Israeli expert in international relations, the head of the Israeli non-governmental organization "International projects for society" Arye Gut made remarks.
According to the Israeli expert, Azerbaijan is a true model of multiculturalism, tolerance, inter-civilizational and interfaith dialogue. He spoke at the round table titled "Genocide against Azerbaijanis and the Karabakh war" as part of the International Summer School, co-organized by the Baku International Center of Multiculturalism, Baku Slavic University and Science Development Foundation under the President of Azerbaijan, in Guba.
The Israeli expert gave the participants a detailed information about the bloody events of March 1918 and atrocities against Azerbaijanis, committed in Baku, Shamakhi, Guba, Karabakh, Zangezur, Nakhchivan, Lankaran. The expert also focused on real causes of the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict and the massacre committed by Armenian fascists in Khojaly in February, 1992.
"The crimes committed by Armenians are etched on the minds of the Azerbaijani people. Thousands of Azerbaijani civilians were killed for the only reason of being Azerbaijanis. Armenians destroyed dwelling houses and burnt people alive, destroyed national architectural sites, schools, hospitals, mosques and monuments. The large part of Baku turned into ruins… This can be called a real genocide, since mass killings were committed not just by some thugs, but by the communist leadership of Azerbaijan, led by Stepan Shaumyan, " said Gut.
According to him, after the creation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the events of March 1918 were reviewed. "However, the occupation of Azerbaijan by Bolshevik Russia and fall of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic impeded the completion of this work," said Gut.
The Israeli expert further focused on the real reasons for the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. "In 1988, the Armenians began to demonstrate animosity towards Azerbaijan. The murder of two Azerbaijanis in Karabakh and the felling of Topkhana forest fueled the conflict which then grew into an armed confrontation."
He also presented a detailed information about the massacre committed by Armenian fascists in the town of Khojaly in February 1992.
"This tragedy is a crime against humanity. The Armenian armed forces and mercenary troops killed almost all residents of Khojaly, who could not leave the city and its surroundings, and the reason for the mass ennihilation of Khojaly civilians was that they were Azerbaijanis. Today, people occupying high posts in Armenia - Seyran Ohanyan, Serzh Sargsyan and Robert Kocharyan and others should be brought before an international court as perpetrators of the genocide. The crime must not go unpunished, as impunity gives rise to new crimes. The world community should charge Armenia over the military-political aggression," said Gut.
The expert said that despite the heavy and bloody territorial conflict with Armenia, occupation of 20 percent of its territories and one million refugees and IDPs, Azerbaijan, which faces double standards, was recognized as a regional leader in the South Caucasus. “At the same time Azerbaijan is a true model of inter-civilizational and interfaith dialogue”.
"Despite the ethnic cleansing and aggression, tolerance and multiculturalism are key foundations of the Azerbaijani society."
According to Gut, over the centuries, various religions and peoples have lived peacefully together in Azerbaijan. "Azerbaijan today continues to emit an incredible commitment to religious tolerance. A striking example of the Azerbaijani tolerance is a warm and brotherly attitude to the Jewish community of the country. "
"The State of Israel appreciates the warm and unique attitude of the leadership of Azerbaijan and President of Azerbaijan to the Jewish community, " the Israeli expert said.