Time to close the Khankendi office of ICRC has come

Time to close the Khankendi office of ICRC has come
# 06 February 2024 13:37 (UTC +04:00)

The activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have always created certain doubts and questions, APA reports.

There were quite the mysteries around this organization’s activities during the former Nagorno-Garabagh conflict as well. ICRC’s position especially about the Azerbaijani captives and hostages played no small role in the tragic end of the fate of those people. The fate of up to 4000 Azerbaijanis taken captive or hostage during the former Garabagh conflict is unknown to this day precisely because of the incompetent, irresponsible, non-transparent activity of the ICRC, along with Armenia’s.

Additionally, over this whole period, ICRC has been one of the organizations that do not settle with the government of Azerbaijan and secretly cooperate with the separatists in Garabagh by violating its sovereignty.

It would be appropriate to note that in the early 2000s, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) signed a deal with the so-called regime, which has already been thrown into history’s trash, on opening an Office in Khankandi without agreeing with Azerbaijan or even notifying it. Despite the insistence of the Azerbaijani side, it has never shared the text of the deal with Azerbaijan under the guise of “confidentiality”.

Over all these years, the Khankandi Office was not subject to the Baku Office, but to the Yerevan and Geneva offices. After the Patriotic War, even though Azerbaijan has repeatedly raised the issue of subjecting the Khankandi Office to the Baku Office before ICRC, the self-satisfied ICRC, acting on the thought of “We are an independent, impartial, neutral organization”, has avoided providing Azerbaijan’s rightful request. ICRC can never be an independent organization. ICRC is not even an international organization; ICRC is a non-governmental organization in Switzerland.

Seeing ICRC’s unacceptable approach, the Azerbaijani side was forced to address an official note verbale to the ICRC in February 2023, demanding the ICRC’s Khankandi Office to directly be subjected to the Baku Office and a specific timetable for this purpose to be presented. After Azerbaijan’s requests regarding a response to the note, presented approximately 2 and a half months later, in May 2023, the ICRC stated the following in its response note: “ICRC’s activity in Garabagh is based on its legal assessment and in this regard, ICRC believes that the armed conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia has still not ended. ICRC must contact those who "de facto control" the specific location where it operates. ICRC can reconsider this issue in the new reality that may arise after 2025.”

With this, the ICRC displayed its haughty behavior and "exceptionalism" once more, by placing itself above Azerbaijan's legal interests.

Baku remembers well the ICRC's expansion of the territory of "Nagorno-Garabagh" on maps and linking it with Armenia, its efforts to decelerate the attack of the victorious Azerbaijani army during the Patriotic War, its out-of-mandate advice to persons arrested in Ganja events, such as "Go on a hunger strike, apply for asylum at the French and German embassies", and its involvement in smuggling.

The fact that ICRC still keeps its office in Khankandi after September's anti-terrorist measures indicates its malicious intent, becoming an executor of the anti-Azerbaijani policy of France, the United States, the European Parliament, and PACE. They instructed the ICRC not to close its office, the separatists will return to Garabagh and be involved in illegal activities again, and in such a situation, the ICRC will continue to "work" as it is until 2023. At present, the Khankandi Office plays the role of "eyes and ears" of West in Garabagh.

Our state sovereignty over all our territories has already been restored. On February 7, 2024, presidential elections will be held throughout Azerbaijan for the first time since gaining independence. These days, the visit of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society to Khankandi city and the meeting with the Armenian residents can be considered a symbolic movement. The Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society, which has been functioning since 1920, is not a state organization. The Society is a non-partisan humanitarian organization as a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies of high credibility with a positive international reputation.

Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society can eliminate the need for Khankandi to the Khankandi Office of ICRC. It is the exact time to close the ICRC’s Khankandi Office. The ICRC’s Khankandi Office is the “remnant” of the disrespectful attitude to the sovereignty of Azerbaijan.

Baku does not forget anything and can wait patiently.