‘Stapanakert Would Welcome Mehriban Khanoum,” Says Artsakh Presidential Spokesperson
Anna Hakobyan, the spouse of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Wednesday invited Mehriban Aliyeva, the wife of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev to visit Artsakh. Artsakh’s president’s spokesperson David Babayan said Aliyeva will be welcome there.
Speaking at a conference of the UN Security Resolution on “Women, Peace and Security” in Yerevan, Hakobyab referenced a post by Aliyeva on the Russian social media network Telegram.
“Our only dream is to listen to Karabakh shikeste [a type Azerbaijani folk song known as mugham] together on the Karabakh land!” wrote Aliyeva, who is also Azerbaijan vice-president, on Monday.
“Few days ago Azerbaijan’s first lady Mehriban Aliyeva said on her Telegram account that they all dream of listening to mugham in Artsakh. I invite Mehriban Aliyeva to Artsakh, and she will be our guest. Our people—the people of Artsakh—know how to host and honor a guest,” said Hakobyan in her remarks.
“One of our rules of hospitality is to honor the guest with the music that he/she likes. We can make her dream come true and she can listen to her beloved mugham in Karabakh. This is an invitation, and if she accepts this invitation, I am also ready, in my turn, to be hosted in Baku,” added Hakopyan adding that it would be an implementation of the U.N. landmark resolution on women know universally as UNSCR 1325.
“But if Mehriban Aliyeva means that their dream is to come to Artsakh to listen to mugham with war,” warned Hakopyan. “I assure that in that case this dream will remain unfulfilled.”
The Armenian PM’s wife stated that if Mehriban Aliyeva on behalf of herself and the Azerbaijani people says that she dreams of listening to mugham, the only way to reach that dream is peace, the normal relations with Artsakh and the mutual visits as a guest. She said that different nations of the world managed to overcome wars, hatred over the course of years, and today live in the same economic union, as best friends.
“If this has happened with other European nations, why can’t we do it? The Azerbaijani side just needs to show political resolve, reject war because it will reach nothing with it. I want to once again state that this invitation is very serious,” added Hakobyan.
“I believe that it is not normal when women and children are targeted and killed based on their race in the name of religion. It is not becoming for normal people,” said Artsakh presidential spokesperson David Babayan.
“That is why if Meriban Khanoum [Mrs.] would like to visit Azerbaijan’s neighbor on an official visit, we will be happy to greet her as a guest [as we are] with representatives of any country on any given visit,” added Babayan, adding that she must keep in mind that her visit will be as an equal peer and tourist. He added that the Azrebaijani first lady will also be welcome in Artsakh, be that as an official representative or tourist, when both countries mutually recognize one another.
Babayan went on to praise Artsakh’s vast cultural offerings, as well as the variety of music that it performed, including Aliyeva’s favorite mugham and other Islamic music after the settlement of relations.