The Sumgait Pogroms Marked the Beginning of the Karabakh Conflict: Armenia's MFA Statement
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia has issued a statement on commemoration of anti-Armenian pogroms in Sumgait.
The statement mainly reads:
''Today we are commemorating the victims of the anti-Armenian pogroms in Sumgait. In the closing days of February, 1988, the Armenian population of Sumgait was subjected to mass killings and atrocities, perpetrated with unspeakable cruelty.
The Sumgait pogroms marked the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, when Azerbaijan responded to the peaceful appeal of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to self-determination with mass violence and pogroms of Armenians. This in fact also formed the essence of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: to ensure the security of the people of Artsakh through exercise of their right to self-determination.
The Sumgait atrocity was the first identity-based mass crime in Europe since the end of the Second World War, and it was followed by better planned new crimes of wider scale in Baku, Kirovabad and occupied territories of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic - Shahumyan region, parts of Martakert and Martuni regions.
Azerbaijani authorities’ assessment of Sumgait massacre clearly reflects the absence of their willingness to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. For three decades Azerbaijani authorities shifted their assessment tactics - from glorification of perpetrators to blaming victims in organizing the pogroms. Only the absence of will of the Azerbaijani side to take responsibility for massive and grave human rights violations, and their genocidal intent against Armenians remain unchanged.
Today we commemorate the victims of the Sumgait massacres with a strong commitment to prevent such crimes against the Armenian people''.
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