“Sumgayit pogroms were a crime based on nationality” – Armenian Foreign Ministry
Armenia is observing the 35th anniversary of the pogroms in Azerbaijan, in the city of Sumgayit. The Prime Minister, President, Speaker of the Parliament and members of the Security Council visited the memorial complex in Tsitsernakaberd in the morning. They laid wreaths at the khachkars (stone-crosses) erected in memory of Armenians whow ere victims of “pogroms organized by the Azerbaijani government” in the cities of Sumgayit, Kirovabad and Baku.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that the pogroms were the result of “incitement and the criminal inaction of the Azerbaijani authorities”, and they were “planned” in order to suppress the struggle of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh at the end of the last century.
“Today, together with Armenians, we mourn and pay tribute to the memory of those who died in 1988 in Sumgayit,” the US Embassy in Armenia responded to the anniversary of the tragic events.
“Planned mass crime”
The Armenian Foreign Ministry described the Sumgayit pogroms as “a mass crime committed on the basis of nationality.” The aim was declared to be to “cruelly suppress the civilized struggle of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh for a decent life and the establishment of peace in their historical homeland.”
The statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs mentions that the international community condemned this crime, the European Parliament adopted resolutions, but “the true organizers and perpetrators of the crime were not held accountable.”
“Encouraged by impunity and indulgence, they raised a new wave of Armenophobia and intolerance by carrying out new pogroms and massacres of Armenians in Baku, Kirovabad and other Armenian-populated regions of Azerbaijan,” the statement says.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry believes that subsequent events showed that these “crimes of the Azerbaijani authorities were not isolated episodes, but vivid examples of Armenophobia planned at the state level.”
The statement also refers to the blocking of the Lachin corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia, and says Azerbaijan’s goal is “the deportation of the 120,000 Armenians remaining in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
The department believes that in this way “Azerbaijan continues its policy of evicting the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh”, and to prevent it, targeted condemnation from international partners is expected.
“In response to Armenia’s efforts to build stability and peace in the region, Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian rhetoric, maximalist aspirations and aggressive actions are unacceptable. The Republic of Armenia expresses its commitment to the peace agenda, considering the establishment of long-term and comprehensive peace and security in the region as an urgent imperative,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.