Elin Suleymanov, the Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United Kingdom, voiced strong criticism against what he perceived as “double standards” in international reactions to conflicts involving his country.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Ambassador Suleymanov particularly pointed out the contrasting responses to the situation in Ukraine and the ongoing tensions in the Middle East compared to Azerbaijan’s decades-long conflict with Armenia.
The Ambassador expressed his concerns about the inconsistency in global responses to these conflicts, highlighting the significant differences in reactions and support received.
He questioned why the international community seemed to apply varying standards, emphasising that each conflict had its unique context.
“Azerbaijan never crossed the border of Armenia. It all happened within the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. We lost 200 soldiers plus several hundreds were wounded, and approximately the same number of Armenian militants died in Azerbaijan,” Suleymanov said.
READ MORE: France turns to residence permits for jobs in short supply
“Armenian sources say a maximum of 10 civilians were killed. That generated so much criticism [against us] from our Western partners. When Ukrainians are fighting for their territory, recognised territory, not only do they not get criticised, they also get supplied with weapons by the West. So, I think there’s clearly a double standard.”
The Azerbaijani Ambassador pointed out that his country does not view conflicts in religious terms and has strong relationships with various religious and cultural communities, including the Jewish and Christian communities. He emphasised the cultural similarities and historical connections between Azerbaijan and Ukraine. Still, Suleymanov expressed his confusion at the different treatment his nation received compared to Russo-Ukrainian conflict.
He said: “When we talk about the positions of different states on all this, just look at what France is doing.
“France wants to discuss the horrible actions of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as they described it. The reality is that with what’s happening in the Middle East, they don’t seem to be as concerned.
Russian troops ‘still making the same mistakes’ on front line they made in 2022[INSIGHT]
Vladimir Putin launches into strange bedbugs rant and mocks new Russia sanctions[ANALYSIS]
Desperate Putin ‘losing Black Sea control’ as Zelensky ‘confident’ in victory[LIVE BLOG]
- Advert-free experience without interruptions.
- Rocket-fast speedy loading pages.
- Exclusive & Unlimited access to all our content.
“And the question is why? Why is this possible?
“Why do we have this information space where so much unverified information is flying around, so many claims are made, so many accusations are levelled?
“It was the case with Ukraine, it’s the case now in the Middle East, and it’s the case with us as well.”
He added: “We don’t look at these conflicts [between Azerbaijan and Armenia] in religious terms. We have very good relations with your Jewish community, with our Christian community. We have great relations with our Christian neighbours like Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Egypt. So we don’t see it in religious terms.
“But one begins to wonder, what is it that makes this not particularly handsome man different from a maybe much better looking guy in Ukraine? He’s closer to Europe? Yes, maybe. But we are essential very close to each other, we have similar cultures in many ways, we understand each other, we came from the same system almost.
“But there’s a visible difference and we know what it is.”
The comments come amid renewed tensions in the South Caucasus region, specifically along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, which have raised concerns of another escalation in the long-standing conflict between the two nations. The region has witnessed two wars, one in 2020 and another in the 1990s, both centred on the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Azerbaijan considers Nagorno-Karabakh its territory under international law, while Armenia has maintained control of the area. Recent skirmishes along the border have stoked fears of a larger-scale conflict.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks on the conflict drew the ire of Azerbaijani officials. Macron referred to Azerbaijan’s actions as a “terrible war” and expressed unwavering support for Armenia. These remarks were met with strong criticism from Baku.
France’s significant Armenian diaspora has often influenced its stance on the conflict. Baku’s foreign ministry described Macron’s comments as “unacceptable and biased,” leading to a reconsideration of France’s role in mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani talks.
Efforts to mediate the long-standing conflict have seen involvement from various international actors, including Russia, the European Union, and the United States. Diplomatic initiatives have led to meetings between foreign ministers and discussions about a future peace treaty. The European Union has even announced a “civilian EU mission” to assist in delineating the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is rooted in the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, which saw ethnic Armenian separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh declare independence from Azerbaijan. The ensuing conflict resulted in significant loss of life and has continued to simmer over the years, erupting into full-scale wars in the 1990s and 2020.
Source: Read Full Article