BAKU—Azeri President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday praised axe-murderer Ramil Safarov as a hero and vowed to “reclaim” Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity by claiming that one day every Azeri can live in Yerevan, Zangezur and other areas that are part of Armenia.
In a speech, that seemed more like a rant, Aliyev, who was attending the opening of a so-called genocide museum, said: “Azerbaijan’s state flag will wave in Shusha, Khankendi [Stepanakert] and Azerbaijanis will live on their historical lands in the future. Our historical lands are Irevan [Yerevan] and Zangazur regions.” The museum is dedicated to the victims of a 1918 “massacre,” which Aliyev claims was committed by Armenians against Azeris. The fact that a country of Azerbaijan did not exist until 1918 seems to escape the Azeri leader.
On another note, Aliyev blamed what he called “Armenian fascism” on the international community’s reaction to crowning Safarov a hero.
“I was condemned baselessly and so many foreign dishonest politicians made accusations against me, because the Azerbaijani officer, Ramil Safarov, returned [to his] homeland and I gave him freedom,” said Aliyev.
“Even the European Parliament adopted a resolution on this issue and condemned my actions. But even today I can say firmly that Azerbaijan has returned its officer to the homeland, given him freedom and established justice. But look at the world press, international organizations, how many groundless accusations they have made against Azerbaijan,” Aliyev said.
The Azeri leader went on to stress that all factors, including economic and military ones, indicate that in a matter of time Azerbaijan “will restore its territorial integrity” and reclaim its “historic lands,” which includes the capital of Armenia, Yerevan.
“There will come a time when we live on these lands. I am convinced of it,” said Aliyev, calling the people of Azerbaijan to action to “bring this sacred day closer.”