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British radio host catches Yerevan lying on Karabakh

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In a new episode of the BBC's news program HARDtalk, its host Stephen Sackur caught Armenia’s foreign minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan lying, when he spoke about Armenia's approaches to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Vestnik Kavkaza reports.

In particular, Mnatsakanyan tried to convince the BBC audience that Yerevan seeks to achieve peace in the region. Stephen Sackur asked him: "You told me you want peace – explain to me then why in August, just a few months ago, the Prime Minister [Nikol Pashinyan] made a very high-profile speech in which he declared in no uncertain terms that 'Karabakh is Armenia – period.' And he wants peace?"

The Armenian Foreign Minister tried to slip away from the question, saying that Nikol Pashinyan had in mind the necessity of accepting the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for Armenia to the same extent as for Azerbaijan and the occupied Azerbaijani territories. "We are waiting from Azerbaijan a signal, a message which refers to our interests, to our concerns, which refers to the concerns of security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh," he said.
Sackur brought the conversation back on track, noting that the statement 'Karabakh is Armenia – period' is contrary to international law, no matter what was Pashinyan's idea behind these words. "When the Prime Minister declares 'Karabakh is Armenia – period' when he knows that flies in the face of international law, the position of the UN and all of the independent international agencies, I'm struggling to see how that a move or gesture toward peace," the BBC radio host admitted.
"Particularly, when he [Nikol Pashinyan] also followed up by leading the crowd during that one particular speech with chants of unification, nationalist slogans that have been heard in the 80-90s during the war with Azerbaijan, and you're telling me that the prime minister wants peace? " he asked again.

After that, Mnatsakanyan tried to explain Pashinyan's words from the pan-Armenian point of view, while confessing to the expansionist plans of Yerevan. "The pan-Armenian agenda concerns Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia is pursuing the development agenda, agenda of consolidation, and it does not leave out the people of Nagorno-Karabakh – that's the pan-Armenian agenda, we're a nation which is within the territory of the Republic of Armenia, but a nation of a global nature. Nagorno-Karabakh is a territory in which our compatriots live," he said as if he had forgotten about the policy of representing the puppet regime in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan as separate from the Armenian people.
Then Stephen Sackur drew the attention of his guest that even Armenia's main ally, Russia, condemned Pashinyan for these words. "Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov after this rather extraordinary statement by your Prime Minister that 'Karabakh is Armenia' is the same as if the Prime Minister of Albania said from Tirana that 'Kosovo is Albania'. Even the Russians are now saying that your position is unacceptable," he said.

Mnatsakanyan did not answer this remark either, repeating again about they wait for a signal from Azerbaijan. In response, the BBC radio host emphasized that Armenia should also give any signals of its readiness for compromises, and the Armenian minister ignored him again, saying only "we insist that compromise is a way out; He [Nikol Pashinyan] has been referring to the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem through compromise." Not a word was said about compromises on the Armenian side.
Then Stephen Sackur recalled the Armenian army's crimes. "It seems to me it needs the imagination to get out of a stalemate. Are you prepared to be imaginative in the spirit of reconciliation to have knowledge that over the last 20 years and more the Armenian military has been responsible for very serious abuses? The UN has concluded that. The European Court of Human Rights has concluded that. Independent groups like Amnesty International have talked about the abuses of your armed forces. If you want to change the dynamic with this new government is ready to admit that yes, we have been responsible for serious abuses in the past?" he asked.

Zohrab Mnatsakanyan did not answer this question either, saying without any connection that "Armenia is the only guarantee of security." When the host asked to answer the question properly, the minister repeated: "We are the only guarantors of security, what we have is the security arrangement for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, we have been responsible for this."
The host interrupted this monologue and tried to ask the same question a little differently. "I'll try one more time. The Human Rights Watch report into the conflict in 1995. It says that the Armenian forces with the support of the Republic of Armenia were responsible for the majority of abuses during the period of war. In 2017, the ECHR delivered 12 judgments concerning Armenia, 11 found the country in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. So all I ask now: are you prepared to say that in the past mistakes were made, abuses happened?" Stephen Sackur asked.

When Zohrab Mnatsakanyan once again tried to evade the answer saying that "that is part of moving forward, that is true, but at the moment we also have to figure out the way in which we can address out biggest priority – the security of the people," the host asked the question as directly as possible: "You do now express regret for something your military did in the past?"
This time, instead of answering, the Armenian Foreign Minister start accusing Azerbaijan of ethnic crimes during the Karabakh war, and also tried to present the April battles for Karabakh in 2016 as an attack by the Azerbaijani army. "Referring to your specific question, yes, I accept that we need to go forward all together, all of us, but it takes every party to engage in a constructive way. This is why the Prime Minister was saying a solution that is acceptable to all. And we are waiting for a message from Azerbaijan so that we have the foundation in our move forward," he again attributed all responsibility for the conflict to the Azerbaijani side.

Since it became clear that Mnatsakanyan would not speak any other words and did not intend to honestly answer the questions asked, Stephen Sackur recalled only numerous violations of the ceasefire by the Armenian side, asking the minister if the conflict would enter a new stage of exacerbation.
And here Zohrab Mnatsakanyan revealed. "This is what we are absolutely focused on," he said, without noticing at first how negative this answer was. Then the minister tried to correct the situation and said that reducing the number of violations is part of the policy of the new Armenian government. "We are focused on that, that is one of our priorities," the Armenian Foreign Minister concluded.

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28 years pass since Khojaly Genocide committed by Armenian military

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During the Karabakh war, the Armenian military committed an act of genocide against the population of Azerbaijan’s Khojaly town consisting of 7,000 people on Feb. 26, 1992, Trend reports.

As many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women, and 70 old people were killed as a result of the massacre. A total of 1,000 civilians became disabled in the onslaught. Eight families were completely annihilated, 130 children lost one parent, while 25 lost both parents. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people still remains unknown.

All these acts were committed by the Armenian military with extreme mercilessness and inconceivable barbarism. The second battalion of 366th regiment under the command of Major Seyran Ohanian, the third battalion under the command of Yevgeniy Nabokhin, staff chief of the first battalion Valeriy Chitchyan and more than 50 officers and ensigns took part in the attack, according to "The Investigation Materials Concerning Khojaly Occupation".

The town residents who attempted to flee were killed by Armenians in pre-organized ambushes. According to the Russian Remedial Center Memorial, 200 corpses were brought from Khojaly to Aghdam within four days of the massacre. Facts of humiliation on dozens of bodies were registered. Forensic examination in Aghdam was performed on 181 corpses, including 13 children. The examination revealed that 151 people died from bullet wounds, 20 people died from shrapnel wounds, 10 were killed with blunt instruments. Facts of scalping people alive were also revealed.

The Khojaly genocide has become one of the most terrible and tragic pages of Azerbaijani history.

Azerbaijani people have faced ethnic cleansing and genocide by Armenian nationalists and chauvinists for 200 years. Azerbaijanis were deported from their historical lands and became refugees and internally displaced persons, and all this was accompanied by massacres committed by Armenians.

The Nagorno-Karabakh events, which began in 1988 along with continuous efforts to implement the Armenian desire of building “an Armenia from sea to sea”, led to the destruction of towns and villages, the murder of thousands of innocent people, as well as the exile of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis from their historical lands.

Armenia's government is trying to annex Nagorno-Karabakh despite international legal norms, demonstrating its readiness to resort to any kind of crime and atrocity. The Khojaly genocide – a tragedy of the 20th century – was a result of this aggressive and criminal policy. This tragedy of the late 20th century was one of the most serious crimes not only against the people of Azerbaijan but humanity as a whole.

Armenians scalped people alive, beheaded them and cut other parts of their bodies, gouged children’s eyes and disemboweled pregnant women. It should also be noted that chemical weapons were used in Khojaly during the attack.

All these prove that Armenia committed genocide against civilians, violating the Geneva Convention's protocols.

The Khojaly genocide, committed with a particular atrocity, terrified journalists and publicists from Russia, Georgia, the UK, France, Germany, the US, and other countries.

International conventions and laws in all countries condemn genocides like the Khojaly tragedy and call them inadmissible.

The world must know that this crime was directed not only against the Azerbaijani people but also against the whole civilized world.

This crime shouldn’t go unpunished. Armenia's military-political aggression must be condemned by the world community. International organizations and parliaments of world countries must give political and legal assessment to the Khojaly genocide committed by Armenia in Azerbaijan’s territories.

The parliaments of several countries have made decisions recognizing the Khojaly genocide.

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South Korean media highlights Khojaly genocide

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The leading South Korean newspapers and web portals, including The Korea Post, The Seoul Times, The Korea Times have published articles commemorating the 28th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide committed by the Armenian armed forces against the peaceful Azerbaijanis, AzerTag reports.

The Korea Post published the article headlined “Genocide committed against Azerbaijanis amidst Armenia’s aggressive war against Azerbaijan”.

The article says: “The Khojaly genocide is the gravest crime of genocide committed against peaceful Azerbaijani people in the course of Armenia’s aggressive war against Azerbaijan. The town of Khojaly is located in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. The strategic importance of Khojaly is related to its location at the crossroads of the main highways of the region, as well as, the only airport in the Nagorno-Karabakh region is also located here. In the second half of February 1992, Khojaly was under total siege by Armenian military units and any attempts by local civilians to break the siege were prevented.

On the night of 25-26 February 1992, in violation of all international legal norms, Armenian armed forces attacked the civilian population of the sieged town of Khojaly with heavy military equipment, killing them with unprecedented brutality and razing the town to the ground. As a result of a crime against not only the people of Azerbaijan but against humanity, 613 civilians, including 63 children, 106 women, and 70 elders were brutally murdered on grounds of national identity.

Khojaly villagers were beheaded, had their eyes gouged out, skinned, and burned alive. Those trying to flee were killed with particular brutality by Armenian troops who ambushed them on roads and forests.

The Khojaly genocide was organized by the political and state leadership of the Republic of Armenia and was carried out by Armenian armed forces, Armenian terrorist groups in Nagorno-Karabakh and the former USSR army deployed in Khankandi.

Unlike the Nazis who tried to hide their crimes, the perpetrators of the Khojaly genocide justified and boasted of their barbarous criminal acts against civilian Azerbaijanis. Former president of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan’s words who was directly involved in the massacre says it all: “Before Khojaly, the Azerbaijanis thought that the Armenians were people who could not raise their hand against the civilian population. We were able to break that stereotype.”

Those days, foreign news outlets such as “Sunday Times”, “Financial Times”, “Times”, “Izvestiya”, “Le Monde”, “Crual L'Eveneman” were publishing articles on horror scenes witnessed in Khojaly. One of them, “Times” newspaper was writing on March 4, 1992: … “Many people were mutilated, and it remained only the head of one little girl”.

Since 1994, the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan has declared February 26 as the Day of the Khojaly Genocide. Every year at 5 p.m. on February 26 people of Azerbaijan honors the memory of Khojaly victims in a minute of silence.

The nature and gravity of the crimes committed in the town of Khojaly fully suit the definition of the word genocide as indicated in the Convention “On Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” adopted on December 9, 1948, under Resolution 260 (III) of the UN General Assembly. The premeditated massacre on this territory was committed with intent to annihilate residents solely on grounds that they were Azerbaijanis.

Khojaly does not differ from other horrifying tragedies of Katyn, Lidice, Oradour-sur-Glane, Holocaust, Songmy, Rwanda and Srebrenica, which remain in history as deep and shameful scars.

Meanwhile, “Justice for Khojaly” International Awareness Campaign carried out in many countries and cities plays an important role in the recognition of the Khojaly tragedy as an act of genocide in the world.

In addition to several international organizations, the Parliaments of Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Pakistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, the Czech Republic, Sudan, Jordan, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, Slovenia, Djibouti, and Paraguay already recognized the massacre in Khojaly according to the international legal norms.

Moreover, legislative bodies of 22 States of the USA, including Massachusetts, Texas, New-Jersey, Maine, New Mexico, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Mississippi, West Virginia, Indiana, Utah, Nebraska, Hawaii, Montana, Arizona, Idaho and Nevada have adopted relevant Resolutions.

On the eve of the 28th anniversary of the Khojaly Genocide, we once again urge all the states and international organizations to recognize this act of genocide in the name of justice, to consolidate and increase efforts for the punishment of its perpetrators.”

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Azerbaijan

First case of coronavirus reported in Switzerland

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The new coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, was first registered in central China in late December and has since spread to some 30 countries, prompting the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare a global health emergency, Sputnik International reports.

According to local media outlets, citing the Federal Office of Public Health, Switzerland has confirmed its first case of the Wuhan coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.

The health department promised to provide further details later in the day.

Earlier on Tuesday, Croatia and Austria confirmed the first cases of coronavirus.

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