Statue of a Dictator
Posted 10 May 2017 - 08:50 AM
Posted 10 May 2017 - 08:57 AM
Armenophobia rages in Azerbaijan unabated. While this statement might be a foregone conclusion, the causes and effects of such an appalling phenomenon need to be critically understood.
Armenians are the perfect external enemy for Azerbaijani authorities who use the current situation to aim their propaganda machine in the necessary direction, falsify history and disseminate Armenophobia in their country. The Azerbaijani authorities are diligently working in this direction. The question is, why?
The image of an external enemy is usually created by the political elite in order to internally mobilize society and oppress existing domestic political powers and movements directed against the very same elite. A number of psychologists claim that in the face of real or alleged threat, the population displays obedience to the leader who has the status of the “father,” “protector,” or even of the “traditional leader.”
Azerbaijan is a classic example of such policies. All socio-economic relations in the country are directly reflected on the frontier, reminding Azerbaijani citizens that if not for Aliyev and his “entourage,” the “enemy,” the Armenians, would have slaughtered the Azerbaijani people in their homes. Children are taught this in fairy tales, adults are regularly instructed by mass media and officials.*
Undoubtedly, Armenophobia in Azerbaijani society is imposed by the authorities. Yet, it would be hard to impose such attitudes without fertile ground. For all intents and purposes, the Azerbaijani people are not opposed to “hate speech” and indulge in it with enviable diligence.
But how does such a mechanism work? Primarily the signal comes from the head of state, the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. To understand such an elaborate mechanism, some of the president’s official speeches over the last few years should be cited. The speeches are accessible on the official presidential website. However, for users with Armenian IP addresses, access to the website has been blocked. It seems the Azerbaijani side is not aware of the existence of VPNs and many other useful programs assisting in avoiding such a blockade and staying undetected.
The dissemination of Armenophobia looks like the following: Excerpts from President Aliyev’s speeches:
“We have to be honest and acknowledge that Armenia simply carries formal existence and is artificially marked on the world map as an independent state. Armenia is a dependent state, which is not capable of determining its own future.”
“All our historical monuments, statues, mosques, and cemeteries are ruined by the Armenians.”
“Armenian fascism has inflicted a large amount of causalities. Even today many innocent people are suffering from Armenian policies.”
“We will isolate Armenia further from all the projects in the region. We are to strengthen our military forces.”
“The way it is going, Armenia will soon perish from the world map.”
“One of the decisive factors in the world today is military force. The main principle of political distribution is “Might makes right” […]. I have mentioned it on several occasions, and will repeat myself once again, if you do not want to die, free our lands.”
“The war is still persisting. The first stage of the war is over. If Armenia does not want the second stage to break out, it has to draw appropriate conclusions and voluntarily free the occupied lands. Only under such conditions is there is hope for an independent Armenian state.”
“Unfortunately, the nationalists, who have seized power in Armenia, have waged an insidious and dishonorable war against Azerbaijan. They have displayed a great sense of ingratitude towards the Azerbaijani people, who were feeding and helping them for long decades."
Once the president has signaled the dissemination of a particular idea or has commented on “Armenianhood” in general, the second echelon of power - ministers, deputies, and other officials - loyally follow the president:
“We have to seek revenge. To seek revenge for the victims of the Khojaly Massacre. We have to seek revenge for the blood of our shahids (martyrs).”
“There are powers that extremely disapprove of us. We may divide those into a few certain groups. In the first place, our mortal enemy is the global Armenian nation and all the corrupted, hypocritical, and treacherous politicians under Armenian influence.”
Zakir Hasanov, Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan
Defense Minister Hasanov meticulously cites the president in virtually all of his speeches. The president’s words and statements are a call to action for everyone else. As the minister claims, “The president’s demand that ‘All the Armenians have to free our lands. If Armenian soldiers do not want to die, they should not step into Agdam or Fizuli,’ should serve as a guide for action for everyone else. This is what the Azerbaijani people expect and is the Supreme Commander’s directive.”
During the Four Day War in 2016, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry issued the following decree: “The Minister of Defense has ordered the preparation to use all heavy weaponry at the disposal of the Armed Forces, including missile-artillery forces to attack Khankendi and other settlements on the territory of occupied Azerbaijan.” Khankendi is the Azerbaijani version of Stepanakert and Azerbaijanis consider Artsakh ‘occupied Azerbaijan.’ This statement by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense is a clear violation of Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions, Article 52 which provides for the protection of civilian objects during wartime.
Ali Hasanov, Head of Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, Social and Political Department
“Over the last 200 years, Armenians propagated the politics of genocide against the Azerbaijani people, they actively encouraged the policy of the displacement of the Azerbaijani people from their original homeland along with using brutal violence.”
Ogtay Asadov, Chairman of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan
“During the last century Armenians violently massacred over two million Azerbaijani people and Turks. Armenian nationalists are the ones responsible for all these murders.”
Elman Mammadov, Member of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan:
“It is not clear why Turkey tolerates Armenian people on its lands. What is the reason Turkey does not require Armenians to free their lands? Turkey should be a state without Armenians […]. If Turkey and Azerbaijan unite, they may wipe Armenia off the map of the world . Armenians should beware of this […]. We urge Turkey to expel Armenian from its territory so that they may make
Ziyafat Asgarov, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Security:
“The majority of Armenians is well aware that the so-called ‘genocide’ has never actually happened.”
Hafiz Hajiyev, Leader of the New Musavat Party:
“Our sons in Armenia will set the nuclear plant in Armenia to explode so that no Armenian is left in that territory.”
Allahshukur Pashazade, Sheikh ul-Islam and Grand Mufti of the Caucasus:
“We have undertaken all the possible measures to resolve the conflict in a peaceful manner. […] Nonetheless we do not see the result of all these meetings. Dishonesty and betrayal are rooted in Armenian genes. They have shared meals and bread with us, and now they publicly blame and accuse us.”
“We have to seek revenge for our shahid’s blood”
Hasif Hurbanovo, Chairman of the Global Congress of Azerbaijanis, expressed his views about Armenians during the Azerbaijani-Turkish conference titled, “The Past and Present Relationship Among Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia” held in the Turkish city of Izmir in May 2016:
“There are malware and antivirus programs in computers. The companies developing malware programs develop antiviruses as well. The developers of the malware program ‘Armenia’ should also launch its antivirus. If we want to achieve the goal of world peace, we have to get rid of the virus of Armenia.”
Kazim Abdullayev, Honored Artist of Azerbaijan,
The following is a passage from a recent interview with Kazim Abdullayev, an actor mostly famous as the national “Santa Claus,” a role he has coveted for more than 30 years:
- Dear Kazim, imagine you light a Christmas tree and it turns out it is a really magical one. Do you have a cherished dream to make a wish for?
- Oh, there are many dreams that I would like to accomplish, but in the first place I would freeze Armenians and free Karabakh from them.
Rafik Aliyev, Ph.D. candidate and professor:
“Our neighbors, Armenians, absorb the virus of national-chauvinism with their mother’s milk and this defines a credo for their whole life.”
Professor Ilgar Aliyev, President of the Azerbaijan’s National Academy of Sciences:
“Armenianhood is a unique, evil, and hateful phenomenon.”
Habil Aliyev, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Azerbaijani newspaper “Gundelik Baku:”
“Armenians are my eternal enemies. Wherever I see an Armenian, I will cut their tongues and publicly denounce them. Even if I am torn apart, I will always abhor them […]. If the war breaks out again, I will not spare even children.”
Murad Dadashov, Honored Artist of Azerbaijan:
“We communicate with a highly unhealthy society. Honestly, I have always sympathized with our officials and representatives who have to communicate with the Armenian side.”
Mubariz Ahmedoglu, Chairman of the Center for Political Innovation and Technologies
“Armenians should not inhabit Nagorno-Karabakh […]. I am not a fascist. I think Armenians should not inhabit Nagorno-Karabakh for reasons of security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, as sooner or later they will initiate secessionist inclinations.”
Farid Teymurhanlu, Azerbaijani journalist:
“The definition, the concept of the word ‘Armenian’ is clear for everyone, expect the Armenians themselves of course. It is vileness, cowardice and betrayal. Probably, when God was creating them, he was not in the mood and endowed them with the lowest human qualities.”
The Azerbaijani website Haqqin.az published an article about those stores in Baku that were selling T-shirts with Kim Kardashian’s image. They were being sold in the markets of Sadarak and Bin. The website urged everyone to stop wearing such “shameful” clothing, asking whether the Azerbaijani people knew the Armenian origin of Kardashian.
Reinforcing these sentiments and the final stage of Armenophobia is the role mass media takes upon itself.
Oxu.Az: “Recently Baku markets received a new delivery of condensed milk. The information about the product is actually translated into Armenian. It appears that the delivery was intended for the Armenian market. Our national markets display the given product for sale without even the slightest concern.”
Vesti.az: “It is commonly acknowledged, that the Armenian church stands behind the idea of terrorism. The Armenian Diaspora provides the main sponsorship, whereas the executives are Armenian political organizations.”
Modern.az: “Armenian women inflict imminent harm. They are like a ticking mortal time bomb. The Armenian imperial strategists have devised and currently are executing the plan to exterminate Turks through genetics and intermarriage.”
Gundelik Baku: “Department of Homeland Security has to establish an independent agency and assign the investigation of Armenian blood within the Azerbaijani population. For instance, parents who want to marry their offsprings, may send an inquiry to the agency to reveal whether their future relatives have Armenian genes or any Armenian relatives. Only at that point we may avoid intermarriages and the risk of being infected with the Armenian blood.”
We may treat the given situation humorously, ignore it, or even get into polemics, yet the fact is that Azerbaijan has already given birth to a generation, which has not seen Armenians; a generation, which has not lived or communicated with Armenians beyond social networks. This generation, in its turn, cannot protect its children against the propaganda of Armenophobia, which has penetrated all spheres of Azerbaijani society.
Unfortunately, this means that coming generations also will not be given the chance to develop mutual understanding unless there is an influential power capable of initiating the painful process of “denazification.”
I would like to finish the review with Russian journalist Vladimir Solovyov's question to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev during a recent interview. “Considering the extremely tense, in fact, explosive relationship between Azerbaijan and Armenia, is there a guarantee that a person with an Armenian surname who checks in a hotel in Azerbaijan will not be slaughtered?”
Indeed, under the extreme level of Armenophobia in Azerbaijan, cultivated and imposed by President Aliyev, there are unfortunately no guarantees.
*More information on this is available in the book “Armenophobia in Azerbaijan” (www.stophatespeech.net).
Posted 17 May 2017 - 10:07 AM
Arizona State Representative Don Shooter has effectively become the spokesperson of a genocide-denying dictatorship that executed and mutilated Christian civilians just last year.
Rep. Shooter visited Azerbaijan, ranked the fifth most repressive nation in the world, on all-expense-paid junkets. He received high-dollar gifts from the country infamous for its human rights abuses and militant hostility toward Armenian Christians.
The latter want to live in peace, free from an oppressive government trying to wipe their people and culture off the map. Rep. Shooter prefers his lavish friends’ alternative facts.
I write this as an Armenian-American and Phoenix resident. Arizona is home to a lively Armenian community; here we work, pay taxes, raise families and worship in our churches. On April 24 at the state Capitol, we held our commemoration of the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, where 1.5 million Armenians were marched from their homes, starved, massacred and crucified as part the Turkish government’s orchestrated plan. A crime Turkey and Azerbaijan are working overtime to cover up and deny.Azberbaijan hailed as a country of 'tolerance'?
Despite the facts of the horror taking place in Azerbaijan and its sister nation Turkey, on Feb. 23, Rep. Shooter presented an absurd, inaccurate proclamation and praised the brutal dictatorship of Azerbaijan — which the State Department called an “oil-rich mafia state.” With the Azerbaijan general consul at his side, Rep. Shooter touted that country's “tolerance.”
Worse than that, Rep. Shooter brazenly stated alternative facts that Azerbaijan’s small-landlocked neighbor, Armenia, which suffered a true genocide of 1.5 million deaths for being a Christian minority, was instead the perpetrator of genocide.
The hate-filled, anti-Armenian propaganda stems from several hundred civilian casualties during the 1990s, when indigenous Armenians in Artsakh, known as Nagorno-Karabakh during the Soviet years, were protecting their families, homes, ancient lands and the world’s oldest churches (Armenia was the first Christian nation) from Azerbaijan’s army.
The 1990s Nagorno-Karabakh war, which Azerbaijan launched and lost in order to maintain Joseph Stalin’s illicit decision to expropriate part of the already dwindled Christian Armenian homeland to Islamic Azerbaijan, victimized countless people on both sides. Azeri civilians did die in Khojaly, but for Azerbaijan and Rep. Shooter to cherry-pick one war episode and baselessly proclaim it "genocide" deliberately misrepresents the central cause of the conflict, which is Azerbaijan’s staunch determination to wipe out indigenous Armenians.
Azerbaijan’s state-sponsored hate was first applied in Nakhichevan, another Armenian region expropriated to Soviet Azerbaijan, which was completely cleansed out of its indigenous Arme-nian population by the 1980s. Artsakh had no choice but to fight to avoid Nakhichevan’s fate.
Azerbaijan continues its genocidal policies. It has already destroyed countless Armenian Christian churches and monuments, including sending in its army in 2005 to demolish the world’s largest medieval cross-stone field (the Djulfa cemetery in Nakhichevan), in an attempt to erase 2,000 years of Christian history and culture.
In April 2016, Azerbaijan launched and lost yet another war, this time committing ISIS-like war crimes against Armenian civilians in Talish and soldiersduring Azerbaijan’s ceasefire violation.Shooter unresponsive to brought-up concerns
These facts were conveniently left out of Rep. Shooter’s proclamation as well as from Azerbaijan’s state-controlled media that reported his repetition of Azerbaijan’s alternative facts as breaking news.
When Arizona residents called Rep. Shooter’s office to set the record straight on his blatantly false proclamation, those calls were unreturned.
Genocide denials and spreading fake news about a people trying to live in peace in their homeland is heartbreaking at best and complicit at worse.
This leaves one to ask: does Rep. Shooter work for the people of Arizona or the dictator of Azerbaijan?
Yervant Baltajian, who is married with two children, is a Phoenix resident and a small-business owner. He served in the U.S. Air Force. Email him at email@example.com.
Posted 25 May 2017 - 09:50 AM
May 24 2017
Azerbaijan kills soldiers accused of spying for the Republic of Armenia
Politician Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan touched upon the recent
sensational spy scandal in Azerbaijan. Let us remind, that about four
dozen soldiers were arrested, accused of spying for the Armenian side.
“They were killed in unknown circumstances by law enforcement bodies,
and were buried in close coffins, without any explanations what had
happened to them”, the politician informed about the latest news
available in Azerbaijani media.
He also noted that the Defence Minister of Azerbaijan and the Chief of
the General Staff are in competition trying to neutralize each other’s
personnel by accusing them of spying in favor of the Republic of
Armenia. “There is also some information that the arrested officers
were planning an armed rebellion”. Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan believes
that the arrest of the officers is also connected with the fact that
they refused to participate in the border incidents provoked by
Azerbaijan in January-February.
Posted 04 June 2017 - 09:49 AM
The fool is losing his mind, not that he had any brain!
Lragir, ArmeniaJune 2 2017Aliyev Changes Staff: What's Happening in Azerbaijan?
- Naira Hayrumyan, Political Commentator
- The Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev has suddenly changed his staff and 6 assistants. Fuad Aleskerov has been appointed as assistant for military affairs and law enforcement agencies.
Aliyev’s nervousness is evidence to his stalemate due to his policy and geopolitical developments.
Azerbaijan’s central bank has declared default, Azerbaijan has appeared amid a scandal in OSCE where an investigation is underway into the case of bribing PACE members by Azerbaijani officials.
Besides, Azerbaijan has appeared amid another scandal. The Georgian president has called to investigate the abduction of the Azerbaijani journalist in Georgia and illegal border crossing. Georgians are protesting against the actions of the Azerbaijani special services.
The so-called Peace Platform has failed which Azerbaijan tried to conceal its destructive stance in the talks on Karabakh. The OSCE Minsk Group has bluntly blamed Azerbaijan for ceasefire breaches. The foreign ministry of Armenia has called for applying sanctions on Azerbaijan.
Aliyev is worried and is taking incomprehensible steps. The Armenian military say the Azerbaijani army is inventing targets, hitting them and then reporting hitting Armenian positions.
Yesterday the International Crisis Group published a report on the Karabakh settlement which highlights the dissatisfaction of Azerbaijan with Aliyev’s policy. It is said that some circles in Azerbaijan demand implementation of the militaristic “triumphant” intentions Aliyev has been speaking about for many years. There is an opinion that Aliyev has hardly been able to suppress pressure.
Posted 28 June 2017 - 09:13 AM
BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN
After identifying the lobbying and PR firms hired by the government of Turkey, we now report on four similar firms hired by Azerbaijan.
By observing Azerbaijan’s devious approach to foreign relations, I have noticed the following pattern:
1. Whatever actions Armenian-Americans take for their causes, Azerbaijan seeks to emulate and counter them in the United States through its hired companies. Pres. Aliyev in a 2013 speech stated that Azerbaijan’s “main enemy is the Armenian lobby.” He also stated: “the Armenian lobby day and night is trying to slander Azerbaijan, to undermine its authority. They have broad financial resources. They are closely connected with the authorities of their countries where they donate to the legislators under the name of ‘lobbying.’ But, in fact, it is a bribe. Thus the Armenian lobby is at the forefront of an organized campaign against us.” In his lengthy diatribe, Pres. Aliyev falsely ascribes to Armenians the persistent bribing campaign carried out by his own government around the world.
2. Azerbaijan follows the footsteps of Turkey’s more experienced officials in its policies on Armenia and Armenian issues, including the denial of the Armenian Genocide and accusing Armenians for the crimes committed by Azerbaijan and Turkey. Regrettably, Azerbaijan has been also emulating Turkey in the repression of its own citizens, making it difficult to determine which of the two countries is more autocratic.
3. The government of Azerbaijan, realizing its tarnished image in the West due to widespread human rights violations, has hired PR and lobbying firms to whitewash its negative reputation. One would expect a regime that is so concerned about its poor image overseas that it would improve its human rights record at home, so it does not need to waste millions of dollars on American firms to carry out the impossible task of cleansing its image. In his 2013 speech, Pres. Aliyev wishfully described Azerbaijan as a “modern, progressive, open, tolerant country.” Who can be fooled by such outright lies?
The government of Azerbaijan has hired dozens of PR and lobbying firms over the years. However, at this time, it employs only four such firms.
1. Podesta Group, Inc., is paid $45,000 a month by Azerbaijan to “research and analyze issues of concern to [Azerbaijan]; counsel [Azerbaijan] on U.S. policies of concern, activities in Congress and the executive branch, and developments on the U.S. political scene generally; and maintain contact, if necessary, with members of Congress and their staff and executive branch officials, media and non-governmental organizations.”
2. SOCAR USA (U.S. subsidiary of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) pays Roberti White LLC $125,000 to “research and analyze issues of concern to [Azerbaijan]; counsel [Azerbaijan] on U.S. policies of concern, activities in Congress and the Executive branch, and developments on the U.S. political scene generally; and maintain contact, as necessary, with members of Congress and their staff, executive branch officials, members of the press, and non-governmental organizations.” It is not surprising that the description of the functions performed by Roberti White for SOCAR USA is identical to the ones performed by Podesta Group, Inc., for the government of Azerbaijan.
3. BGR Government Affairs, LLC is paid $50,000 a month by the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Washington, D.C., to provide “strategic guidance and counsel with regard to government affairs and public relations activity within the U.S. This may include relevant outreach to U.S. government officials, non-government organizations, members of the media and other individuals within the U.S.”
4. The Tool Shed Group LLC, originally headquartered in Woodland Hills, California, now relocated to Parker, Colorado, was hired by the Consulate of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles in 2009 for a period of four months for a flat fee of $35,000. The Tool Shed Group now also represents the Republic of Azerbaijan. Since then the contract has been renewed every six months. Tool Shed is led by Jason Katz, former Director of Public Relations and Public Affairs for the American Jewish Committee. Tool Shed provides “consulting services to the Consulate, including organizing briefings/lectures; facilitating meetings with community members, elected and appointed officials, and business leaders; write and disseminate op-eds.”
Recently, the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles disseminated to all Consulates in Los Angeles, and probably many others, a color brochure entitled, “Nagorno-Karabakh: Background and Facts.” This 16-page propaganda piece, full of misrepresentations about Artsakh, most likely was prepared by The Tool Shed Group, Azerbaijan’s and its consulate’s PR and lobbying firm. At the end of page 16, there is a note which states: “Published by the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles.” It is interesting that this sentence does not indicate who prepared the brochure, but simply who published it!
Posted 05 July 2017 - 09:06 AM
Azerbaijan has long been known for its support for terrorist groups, Spokesperson for Artsakh President says.
“This is a well-known fact to everyone, especially the special services of the countries, which immediately deal with the Islamic State and the threat of terrorism,” the President’s Spokesman David Babayan told Public Radio of Armenia.
The comments come after the report by the Bulgarian Trud newspaper, revealing that at least 350 diplomatic Silk Way Airlines (an Azerbaijani state-run company) flights have transported weapons for war conflicts across the world over the last 3 years.
Davaid Babayan said “Azerbaijan established ties with terrorism at the time it gained independence.”
He reminded that “Chechen militants were getting treated in Azerbaijan during the first and second Chechen wars. It was also providing medical services to Mujahideen during the Afghan war and the Grey Wolves Turkish extremist group, as well as other groupings, which were fighting against Artsakh during the first Artsakh war and the four-day war in April.
The Spokesman insists that “reporting the facts is not enough” and insists that the revelations should be followed by concrete actions.
“The international community has a lot to do here. The international community should take measures,” he said, adding that “we often see adverse developments instead.” “They entrust Baku to host first European Games, the Formula 1, a number of forums and conferences instead of taking anti-terrorist measures against the country,” David Babayan noted.
According to him, “the developments are the logical outcome of the world’s silence in response to Aliyev’s statement on the intention to down the civilian planes flying between Stepanakert and Yerevan.”
“An evil grows into epidemics if not uprooted at the beginning. Azerbaijan is one of the countries spreading the epidemics, one of the cradles of international terrorism.”
Posted 05 July 2017 - 09:07 AM
Azerbaijani Silk Way cargocompany and air forces transported weapons under the cover of diplomatic flights, Bulgarian newspaper Trud reports.
The author of the investigation, Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, presented the photos of Grad rockets transported by Silk Way and found at Al Nusra warehouse in liberated Aleppo.
For several years Silk Way and the Azerbaijani air forces requested clearance for diplomatic flights (not subject to checks) and transported thousands of tons of weapons by them, the newspaper writes.
The consignor was the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, the consignees being the Afghani police and the Republican Guards of Congo. However, the weapons appeared in Iraq and Syria. Major customers of the flights were US, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Bulgarian MFA, which provides the necessary clearance for diplomatic flights, helped the Azerbaijani side, the newspaper notes. Copies of relevant documents are attached to the article.
A user under the nickname Anonymous Bulgaria sent to Trud newspaper the correspondence between the Bulgarian MFA and Azerbaijani Embassy in Sofia with attached documents for weapons deals and diplomatic clearance for overflight and/or landing in Bulgaria and many other European countries, USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, etc.
Silk Way Airlines offered diplomatic flights to private companies and arms manufacturers from the US, Balkans, and Israel, as well as to the militaries of Saudi Arabia, UAE, the military forces of Germany and Denmark in Afghanistan and of Sweden in Iraq, and finally US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). The airline company transported thousand of tons of weapons for them.
They made technical landings with stays varying from a few hours to up to a day in intermediary locations without any logical reasons (they didn’t need to refuel the planes).
According to international agreements, clearance for overflight or landing is provided for military aircraft, whereas Silk Way has no such rights, their aircraft being civil. Thus, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry sent instructions to its embassies in Bulgaria and a number of other European countries to request diplomatic clearance for Silk Way Airlines flights.
The responsible authorities of many countries (Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Turkey, Germany, UK, Greece, etc.) turned a blind eye to what was being transported by the diplomatic flights.
Some of the weapons that Azerbaijan carried on diplomatic flights were used by its military in Nagorno-Karabakh against Armenia. In 2016, Azerbaijan accused Armenia of using white phosphorus. Armenia denied the allegations. Interestingly enough, according to the documents of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Sofia, white phosphorus munitions were carried on a diplomatic flight via Baku in 2015
Among the main customers of the “diplomatic flights for weapons” service provided by Silk Way Airlines were American companies. The common element in these cases is that they all supplied non-US standard weapons; hence, it would be logical to suppose that the weapons were not used by the US forces.
Trud checked the register of federal contracts and found out that over the last 3 years American companies were awarded $1 billion contracts in total under a special US government program for non-US standard weapon supplies. All of them used Silk Way Airlines for the transport of weapons. Below are a few examples:
On 12 May 2015 an aircraft of Azerbaijan Air Forces carried 7,9 tons of PG-7V and 10 tons of PG-9V to the supposed destination via the route Burgas (Bulgaria)-Incirlik (Turkey)-Burgas-Nasosny (Azerbaijan). The consignor was the American company Purple Shovel, and the consignee – the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan. According to the documents, however, the military cargo was offloaded at Incirlik military base and never reached the consignee. The weapons were sold to Purple Shovel by Alguns, Bulgaria, and manufactured by Bulgaria’s VMZ military plant.
According to the federal contracts registry, in December of 2014 USSOCOM signed a $26.7 million contract with Purple Shovel. Bulgaria was indicated as the country of origin of the weapons.
Another U.S. contractor involved in the same program for non-US standard military supplies is Orbital ATK. This company received $250 million over just the past two years alone. Information as to what type of weapons and to whom those weapons were supplied is classified.
According to the documents, Orbital ATK transported weapons on 6 diplomatic Silk Way Airlines flights in July and August of 2015 flying the route Baku (Azerbaijan)-Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina)-Baku-Kabul (Afghanistan). The weapons were exported by IGMAN j.j. Konjic, (Bosnia and Herzegovina) commissioned by Orbital ATK. The consignee was the National Police of Afghanistan. Interestingly, all these diplomatic flights with weapons had technical landings and a 7 h 30 min stop at Baku before their final destination – Afghanistan.
Military aircrafts of Azerbaijan transported 282 tons of cargo (PG-7VL and other grenades) on 10 diplomatic flights in April and May 2017 to the destination Baku-Rijeka (Croatia)-Baku. The consignor was the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, and the consignee – Culmen International LLC, USA. This same company has been awarded two contracts ($47 million each) along with other contractors for non-US standard weapon supplies on 18 February 2016 and 19 April 2017 respectively.
Chemring Military Products is another main contractor in the program for non-US standard weapon supplies to the US army through diplomatic Silk Way Airlines flights. This military supplier has 4 contracts for $302.8 million in total. The weapons were purchased from local manufacturers in Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania and according to documents transported to Iraq and Afghanistan via diplomatic flights.
The largest non-US standard weapons supplier to the US army is Alliant Techsystems Operations-USA with contracts totalling $490.4 million. In December of 2016, this company transported tons of grenades (API 23×115 mm, HE 23×115 mm, GSH 23×115 mm) from Yugoimport, Serbia to the Afghani Defense Ministry on diplomatic flights to the destination Baku-Belgrade-Kabul.
Posted 10 July 2017 - 09:19 AM
YEREVAN. – The article of the Bulgarian periodical is a major finding as to how irresponsible Azerbaijan is, and to what extent the policy of this country’s government undermines regional security and stability.
Regional Studies Center Director, political analyst Richard Giragosian, told about the aforesaid to Armenian News-NEWS.am. At the same time, he urged to be vigilant.
As per Giragosian, however, even if these accusations were to be confirmed, there is no need to expect major reaction from the international community because there is nothing new here, considering Azerbaijan’s caviar diplomacy and corruption links with the Council of Europe. He added that this is just the latest, but not the first example of corruption in Azerbaijan.
A Bulgarian periodical wrote that the Azerbaijani Silk Way cargo airline and the Azerbaijani air force had transported weapons under the guise of diplomatic flights. Grad missiles were discovered in the depot of Al-Nusra jihadist terrorist organization, in Aleppo.
According to this Bulgarian source, Azerbaijan supplied weapons also to the Islamic State terrorist organization, in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users