Armenia initiates ‘geopolitical game’ to discredit Azerbaijan – Italian journalist
Italian portal Lo Spessore has published an article highlighting Azerbaijan’s traditions of multiculturalism.
The article by Italian journalist Domenico Letizia notes that Azerbaijan is known worldwide for the protection and freedom of exercise of faith of all Christian churches and the religious heritage they represent.
The journalist states that Azerbaijan has always been home to representatives of all nations and religions, who have coexisted and worked together peacefully for centuries. He also praises the special attention the Azerbaijani state pays to the protection, restoration and reconstruction of all religious and cultural monuments in the country.
Letizia recalls that during his visit to Azerbaijan in October 2016, Pope Francis praised Azerbaijan as a model country of religious tolerance for the world. He points out that the restoration and reconstruction of historical and religious monuments, including churches and synagogues, is an integral part of the policy pursued by the Azerbaijani state for the promotion of multiculturalism.
The journalist also comments on the fake news by BBC about the “destruction” of an Armenian “chapel” in Jabrayil, one of the Azerbaijani districts liberated from the Armenian occupation.
“This Armenian “chapel” was built in 2017 during the military occupation of Armenia, alongside a military unit for Armenian soldiers. The same Armenian newspapers wrote in October 2017 about the opening of this "chapel" next to a military unit in the Jabrayil district, for which the Armenians invented the name of Mekhakavan. As noted by the Armenian press of that period, the church was to become a symbol of the fact that “these lands will never be returned to Azerbaijan”. Therefore, it is not an architectural-historical monument, it is not part of the cultural and religious heritage of the region, and it is certainly not proof of the “centuries-old presence of Armenians” in Karabakh,” he says.
“In 2017 as Foreign Ministry spokesperson I made a statement on illegal construction of a military chapel in occupied Jabrayil where never Armenians lived. I said: Building chapel while vandalizing everything related to Azerbaijan is contrary to basic principles of Christianity,” the author cited Hikmet Hajiyev, Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, Head of the Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration, as tweeting last Thursday.
“Upon Azerbaijan’s appeal, in 2017 the OSCE Mink Grup Co-Chairs visited illegal chapel built in Jabrayil. They concluded that this is chapel built in military compound for the service of soldiers. Any attempts to change the religious and cultural nature of seized lands illegal,” Hajiyev wrote.
As for the BBC allegations of deliberate destruction of this “chapel”, Letizia notes that since this “chapel” was built next to a military unit, it is possible that it may have been destroyed during the fierce battles for the liberation of Jabrayil district.
According to the author, all this is a “geopolitical game” initiated by Armenia.
“The “geopolitical game” initiated by Armenia has nothing to do with the defense of minorities and the protection of different religious faiths but is linked only to a political move to discredit Azerbaijan. A political paradox perpetrated on the one hand by the Armenian government, the subject of numerous disputes by citizens, to divert attention from the current internal political chaos. On the other hand, this anti-Azerbaijani propaganda is masterminded by those who are trying to instill hatred and revenge in the Armenian people and provoke a new war in the region, which would lead to more serious tragedies, especially for the Armenian people, and it would jeopardize its existence,” Letizia notes.