AZERBAIJANI MP CONSIDERS IMPORTANT TO ESTABLISH WESTERN AZERBAIJANI EMIGRANT GOVERNMENT

Trend
April 8 2010
Azerbaijan

The idea of creating the Western Azerbaijani emigrant government must
be supported, said deputy chairperson of the Azerbaijani parliamentary
committee.

"The idea of the Western Azerbaijani emigrant government is very
serious, and I am a supporter of this initiative," deputy chairperson
of the Azerbaijan Parliament's committee on international relations
and parliamentary relations, Gultekin Hajibeyli, told Trend on April 8.

The mass deportation of Azerbaijanis from Armenia in the 20th century
is divided into four phases - 1948-1956, 1987-1988. Statistical data
and archival documents indicate that as a result, from Armenia more
than 1.5 million Azerbaijanis were expelled from their historical
lands. After the formation of the Armenian soviet republic, upon the
decision of the supreme council of Armenia, Armenian names were given
to 698 out of the 940 settlements, where Azerbaijanis lived and which
carried Azerbaijani names. However, the Armenians did not stop there.

Renaming continued after the complete deportation of Azerbaijanis from
Armenia. The former president of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosian issued
an order on April 9, 1991, changing the names of the last settlements
of Azerbaijanis - 91 settlements - to which were given Armenian names.

The oblivion of people who lived in Western Azerbaijan, whose number
may now be millions, would be the oblivion that the Western Azerbaijani
lands belong to the Turks. "From this point of view, this idea needs
to be kept on the agenda. At the same time, if today Turks do not
live in Western Azerbaijan, it does not mean that they will not live
there after 50 years. History repeats itself, and I am sure that the
lands will someday be returned to first owners - the Turks," she said.

Serious efforts to implement this idea could give new leverage to
Azerbaijan in settling the Karabakh conflict, lasting for more than 22
years. "I think that as the realization of this idea, and presenting
to agenda the Megrin corridor between Nakhchivan and Azerbaijan in
the end will lead to strengthening of Azerbaijan's position in ongoing
negotiations," said Hajibeyli.

Today, when the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding occupied
regions is the topic of negotiations, the issue of return of
Azerbaijanis to the western lands of Azerbaijan in Armenia, where
they formerly lived densely, is not presented to the agenda. "This
creates a serious imbalance in the negotiating process. I think
that if one of the points on which we must be very persistent is
Megri corridor, the other important point is precisely the return
of Western Azerbaijanis to their historical lands. From this point
of view, I think that all have not lost, and we can return to this
issue at any time," said the MP.