Azerbaijani Diaspora Establishes Effective Interaction Against Disinformation

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AZERI OBSERVER EDITORIAL STAFF

On July 12, Armenia attacked the Azerbaijani district of Tovuz on Armenian-Azerbaijani border, which led to subsequent clashes and escalation of the ongoing conflict between the two countries. The attack and ensuing clashes killed at least 11 Azerbaijani servicemen and one 76-year-old civilian; others were injured, and civilians living in the border zone, still remain in the danger zone. Six officers of Azerbaijani armed forces including Major-General Polad Hashimov and Colonel Ilgar Mirzayev were killed as a result of this attack.

Until this moment, the international community has not exerted political or diplomatic pressure on Armenia, despite various resolutions. Instead, due to the efforts of a well-established, politically organized and influential Armenian diaspora in the United States and France (both are co-chairs of OSCE Minsk Group mediating the Nagorno Karabakh conflict), the United States imposed bans on any direct assistance to Azerbaijan and the conflict has been interpreted as an outcome of bilateral violations. Eventually, Section 907 of the US Freedom Support Act, was amended to allow the President of the United States to overturn the ban, which has been done since it was passed in 2001, but lobbying attempts to harm US-Azerbaijan relations have yet to cease.

Using its diaspora as a direct attack tool, Armenia and its apologists have been conducting an effective disinformation campaign, playing on religious and ethnic fanaticism, and internal political tensions in Western countries on other geopolitical issues. For instance, they made a statement, that it was in fact Azerbaijan, who “provoked” the attack or otherwise targeted the Armenian civilians. This aggressive rhetoric of the Armenian Defense Ministry pointing to the opposite has been virtually ignored or downplayed.

The continuation of the occupation policy of Armenia and the provocations against Azerbaijan on the state border in the direction of the Tovuz region, caused great anger of Azerbaijanis living abroad, as well as representatives of friendly peoples, who held authorized rallies in the leading countries of the world in front of the offices of the UN, OSCE and other international organizations, all in the sight of the world’s prominent media.

The leading states of the world and influential international organizations were demanded to take decisive measures to liberate the Azerbaijani lands from occupation and ensure the territorial integrity of the country.

Despite restrictions on gatherings in many countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 71 events were held in just 26 countries, involving more than 25,000 people. Of these, 33 took place in European countries, 16 in the United States, 9 in Turkey and 13 in other countries. In Latvia, Sweden, USA and Canada, the actions (4 actions in total) were organized by car marches.

Protest action in Vancouver, Canada on July 19.

Three out of 71 rallies in 26 countries took place in front of the United Nations offices in Sweden, the United States and Ukraine. The resolutions adopted at the rallies were restated, and demands were made to the UN to ensure the implementation of the adopted resolutions on the immediate and unconditional liberation of the Azerbaijani lands occupied by Armenia.

Armenians once again demonstrated their deceitful and aggressive nature and tried to organize unauthorized rallies in front of the embassies of Azerbaijan in various countries. This time, the attempt of Armenians to deceive the world by chanting false slogans and speeches at rallies did not take place due to the unity and organization of Azerbaijani compatriots. The State Committee on Work with the Diaspora of Azerbaijan organized dozens of webinars in support of the Azerbaijani army and condemnation of the Armenian aggression.

Unauthorized rallies organized by Armenians in front of the embassies of Azerbaijan in Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, the USA (Washington, Los Angeles), Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine, failed by the rallies of our compatriots. Along with the protests organized against the provocations of Armenia, there were published articles in foreign media reflecting the truth and declaring Armenians to be provocateurs for the whole world. A total of 180 articles and news were published in 20 languages in 40 countries.

Diaspora organizations and individuals around the world, made statements about the provocation committed on July 12 by the Armenian armed forces on the state border, in the direction of the Tovuz region of Azerbaijan. The statements expressed a strong protest against the policy of aggression and provocative actions of Armenia, and called on the UN, OSCE and other international organizations, as well as legislative bodies and official circles of the leading countries of the world with an appeal to stop the policy of aggression. World powers and international organizations had to immediately respond to the termination of the aggressive policy of Armenia, the liberation of the occupied Azerbaijani lands, the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their native lands and put pressure on the occupiers. In total, Azerbaijanis living in 36 countries of the world made 128 statements.

Azerbaijani diaspora have faced the atrocities of the Armenians. The entire community around the world have witnessed and condemned these Armenian atrocities. Armenian radicals have committed such massive atrocities against peaceful Azerbaijanis, gathered on the administrative territory of the Azerbaijani diplomatic mission in Brussels. As a result of the attack by Armenian provocateurs, with stones, sharp cutting tools and explosives, 6 representatives of the Azerbaijani diaspora – as well as the correspondent of the European Bureau of REAL TV, Khatira Sardargizi – were injured and received medical assistance. The staff of the diplomatic mission were also injured, the administrative building of the mission was attacked, windows were broken, the personal car of a representative of the Azerbaijani community was rendered unusable, and an attempt was made to break into the territory where members of a family of diplomats lived. Furthermore, the Armenians, outraged by the courage of the Azerbaijanis who faced a large number of Armenians in Los Angeles, demonstrated violence and aggression towards them by inflicting various bodily harm. As a result, 7 Azerbaijanis, including one woman, received various injuries. In addition, a police officer received a  head-wound, while trying to protect Azerbaijanis from Armenian violence.

The Armenian diaspora, which has formed over the years in various foreign countries, including in Europe and the United States, found itself powerless before the examples of unity and courage, demonstrated by the Azerbaijani diaspora. Such a vast show of solidarity, shocked the Armenian diaspora deeply. The situation even went so far that Prime Minister, Nicole Pashinyan, carried out a sweep in the office of the Armenian Commissariat for Diaspora Affairs. He signed a decree on the dismissal of more than 10 employees of the Commissariat for Work with Diaspora.

The reason for Pashinyan’s decision was the ineffectiveness of the Comissariat for Diaspora Affairs. He was outraged by the defeat of the Armenian diaspora, especially in countries where the majority of the Armenian diaspora reside. According to Pashniyan himself, during the Tovuz incident, Armenian diaspora were helpless, incompetent and passive in front of the Azerbaijani diaspora, which was especially active in foreign countries, as well as exposing the provocative policy of Armenia.

The Armenian diaspora, a propaganda machine, was previously strong in a campaign of slander and terror against Azerbaijan, in several directions. At first glance, they seem strong and incorrigible. After the events in Tovuz, the world became aware of the real vandalism of the Armenian diaspora. Solidarity of Azerbaijani diaspora living abroad thwarted the enemy’s propaganda plans.

The fruits of the concept of Azerbaijanism, which the Azerbaijani state has been implementing for many years in relation to the world Azerbaijanis, are visible from day to day. As a result of adequate steps taken by Azerbaijani diaspora organizations, a number of countries condemned the aggression of Armenia. The dynamic steps of Azerbaijan’s President, Ilham Aliyev, and the patriotic appeal of the First Vice President, Mehriban Aliyeva, demonstrated that the Azerbaijanis of the world gave a worthy response to the Armenian provocateurs.

This time everyone clearly saw the defeat of the world Armenian diaspora, which until yesterday was the single weapon of Armenia. To this end, tribute must be paid to the Azerbaijani diaspora, which has recently become more active world-wide,  with the help of a new mechanism.

The State Committee on Work with the Diaspora has managed to mobilize Azerbaijani diaspora around the globe. Coordination councils and Azerbaijani houses, which were reorganized by Azerbaijanis around the world, played a significant role in this solidarity. The mobilized Azerbaijanis immediately and instantly, organized rallies and slogans in front of the Armenian embassies and international organizations in the USA, Great Britain, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Geneva and other strategic points. For the first time, direct speeches and appeals of the children of Azerbaijani martyrs and national heroes were organized in front of international organizations abroad. With this mobilization, the Azerbaijanis destroyed the myth of the “powerful Armenian diaspora” that existed until now. This will be the key to the next stage of success. With this blow, the loss of confidence in the Armenian diaspora in Armenia has already caused a split between them. In general, the solidarity of Azerbaijanis, both inside the country and abroad, became stronger, which in turn has dealt a huge blow to the Armenian lobby, as they face a different kind of strength among Azerbaijanis. The atrocities committed by Armenians against Azerbaijanis in various countries provoked a protest from the representatives of the local peoples of these countries, including well-known politicians.

Having addressed her compatriots in connection with the indicated events in Los Angeles, and the capitals of some European countries, First Vice-President, Mehriban Aliyeva, noted: “I thank everyone, who, these days raised their voices and raised the Azerbaijani flag in all cities of the world. Let no one doubt that no amount of provocation can deviate us from the path of the truth. We are many, we have one goal – to protect the Motherland, restore its territorial integrity and historical truth. Because Karabakh is Azerbaijan and an exclamation mark!”

The informational response of Azerbaijan’s supporters to the crisis has been so far limited, at least in part due to the fact that its diaspora in Western countries is fairly new, young, consists of immigrants striving to earn a living and move forward, and has not yet established a political fulcrum. However, there is evidence that the diaspora’s approach is beginning to change, and there is growing interest in more active social, cultural and political participation in other countries.

Armenia still does not want to understand, that they will not be given a single centimeter of land; on the contrary, it isolates itself from transnational projects in the South Caucasus and will put the life of its people in very difficult conditions. Because now, according to modern requirements, the world is ruled by power and reason together. There is nothing like this in Armenia. The desire and attempts of Armenians and their supporters to impede the realization of large energy projects, implemented jointly by Turkey and Azerbaijan, will always be resolutely reflected by the world community.