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- 31ST OF MARCH [March 28, 2006, 22:28:52]
Dear fellow countrymen!
Dear compatriots!
I am addressing you on the occasion of the 31st of March, the date when the Azerbaijanis all over the world, with a deep sense of sorrow, commemorate the victims of genocide.

The policy of genocide and aggression pursued by Armenian nationalists against our nation has a history of about two hundred years. The goals of that crafty policy were to oust Azerbaijanis from their lands, and create the so-called state of “Great Armenia” invented by Armenian historians and ideologists. A lot of work of ideological, military and organizational character was done in a regular manner, and other means were used to realize this policy, which in certain periods of history concurred with plans of some world’s leading states. History of our nation has been roughly distorted, while our material and cultural monuments, and toponyms have subjected to aggression from the Armenian historians and “ideologists”. Based on the ideology of nationalism, chauvinism and hatred towards neighboring nations, they established “national-cultural”, political and even terrorist organizations, and mobilized the Armenian diaspora and lobby for those purposes.

Settlement of Azerbaijani lands of Karabakh and Zangezur by Armenians from Iran and Ottoman Empire in early 19th century, forced demographic change, handover of Zangezur to Armenia in 1920, provision of Nagorno-Karabakh with a status of autonomy, and the Soviet leadership-sanctioned deportation of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis from today’s Armenia in 1948-1953 are bloody pages of Armenian aggression against our people.

In 1988, the aggressive Armenian nationalists incited by their foreign patrons switched to explicit actions aiming to forcedly unify Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia, and launched military operations. The Khojaly tragedy committed by Armenian armed groups in February 1992 will remain in history as unprecedented act of genocide against humanity. The conflict led to occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and neighboring regions of Azerbaijan by the Armenian armed forces. As a result, about million of Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced, as tens of thousands of people were killed. This is an incomplete list of the crimes committed by the aggressive Armenian nationalists against our nation.

The aggression of the Armenian nationalists-chauvinists against our people continues today, and its hard consequences are reflected in fates of hundreds of thousands of our compatriots.

Armenian ideologists-nationalists having long and rich experience in devising political-ideological provocations and misinformation; the Armenian lobby abroad, using more sophisticated and crafty methods, wages propagandistic war against our country and people trying to mislead the international community with invented thesis and facts, cheat it, and make it forget the fact of occupation. Process of negotiations remains unsuccessful because of the destructive and aggressive policy of the Armenian leadership. Whereas the principles of civilized society and cooperation achieve more and more success, whereas the processes of all-round integration become widespread, the Armenian ideologists of the “great state” demonstrate explicit disrespect towards the norms of international law, and unleash hostility between nations, pursuing the policy of and propagandize national or religious exclusiveness and discrimination. The aggressive policy of Armenia and its patron, however, is doomed to crash as this course contradicts the current tendencies in the world politics. This policy has to withstand the Azerbaijani state, with its great potential, gradually growing economic power, political prestige, day-by-day strengthening unity of the world Azerbaijanis, and finally, the strong and modern Azerbaijani army. For the time being, Azerbaijan is among the world’s leaders in economic growth rate. Estimations show that dynamics of our country’s development will increase in the next few years. Azerbaijan is a player in and initiator of the important global energy and transport/communications projects being implemented in the region. Putting the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export oil and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipelines into operation in 2006, and beginning of construction of the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway will widen our country’s opportunities creating conditions for realization of even larger projects and programs. The leadership of Azerbaijan is conducting consecutive and regular work with leading powers and international organizations shaping the global politics, trying to change the stereotypes and mistaken political approaches formed over the decades. Today, we already can speak of certain achievements in this field. Cooperation with friendly communities, in particular, the brotherly Turkish diaspora, leads to increase in socio-political activity of our compatriots living abroad.

The vivid evidence of this is aspiration o for unity and solidarity that was demonstrated at the 2nd Congress of the world Azerbaijanis recently held in Baku. We have much to do in the field of political-diplomatic and informational-propagandistic struggle. We must exert our efforts on this path, and work harder and more efficiently.

We stand for peaceful resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh on the base of the international legal norms, and mutually acceptable variants. Our major demand is restoration of our territorial integrity, and return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their home lands.

Today, our country achieves substantial economic successes, implements important infrastructure and social projects, while Armenia faces deepening economic and spiritual-political crisis, worsening social problems and demographic situation. Conflicting with centuries-old neighbors, Armenia, which has become a hostage of the idea of “great state”, isolated itself from all of the regional projects, and became a serious threat to peace and stability in the Caucasus. The core of its aggressive policy is getting clear to the international community. The authoritative international organizations and leading states now more overtly recognize the Armenian policy as aggressive insistently calling the country to abandon this policy, and show respect to the international law. Meanwhile, the potential of the Armenian diaspora and lobby is also getting exhausted. I am sure that the day is not far off when the conflict is solved on the base of the international legal norms and principles, and justice is restored.

Today, our goal is that world’s parliaments and international organizations recognize and condemn the crimes committed by Armenian nationalists against our people. However, unlike the Armenian nationalists-chauvinists, who have been conducting their informational-propagandistic fight concerning the invented “Armenian genocide” and taking advantage of this to prove their territorial claims and obtain political dividends, we do not intend to use these facts to inflame hostility and hatred towards other nations, but stand against the impact of the historical events upon making political decisions today. It is alien to peaceful and human nature of our people. All we want is restoration of historical justice and truth, and international denunciation of those who pursue the policy of occupation and genocide.

I am sure that thanks to patriotism, national unity and purposeful activity of our people, as well as political will of the Azerbaijani leadership, we will achieve our goals, including restoration of our territorial integrity and sovereignty, and unmasking those who have systematically committed a genuine genocide over decades, and propagandized hatred and hostility between people and nations.

Dear fellow countrymen! Dear compatriots!

With a deep sense of sorrow and respect, I want once again to revere the bright memory of the victims of the genocide. I wish their families and relatives self-restrain, and our people happiness and success on the path of resolving our nationwide tasks

May Allah rest their souls in peace!

Ilham Aliyev

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Baku, March 28, 2006


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