Western Azerbaijan Community released statement, APA reports.
"The Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, made a statement on the 35th anniversary of the demonstrations that began on February 20, 1988, in the city of Khankendi, Azerbaijan, claiming that the protests had started spontaneously and tried to present them as a human rights issue.
In fact, those demonstrations were prepared well in advance and were part of a systematic plot that served territorial claims against Azerbaijan and racial discrimination against Azerbaijanis.
Before these demonstrations, Armenia had already made a territorial claim against Azerbaijan and started a total ethnic cleansing by means of violence against the Azerbaijanis living in the Armenian SSR. These processes initiated by Armenia served the creation of a mono-ethnic space and territorial expansion which are contrary to human rights and international law. Through this racist and aggressive approach, Armenia expelled Azerbaijanis from its territory, occupied the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan and expelled all Azerbaijanis from there.
The successful completion of the self-defense operation of the Republic of Azerbaijan against the military attack and occupation by Armenia in 2020 is an important step towards the restoration of justice. It increased the prospects of peace between the two countries. Instead of using this unique opportunity for taking concrete steps for attaining peace, particularly, for enabling the peaceful, dignified and safe return of Azerbaijanis expelled from the territory of Armenia, the statement by Armenian leadership on the occasion of the anniversary of a notorious event which embodies territorial claims and ethnic cleansing is regretful.
It is hypocritical on part of Government of Armenia, which does not allow Azerbaijanis to return and live in their homes, to speculate on the rights of Azerbaijani citizens of Armenian ethnicity living in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.
It is an immense injustice that Azerbaijanis expelled from the territory of nowadays Armenia still cannot return to their homes and that the mono-ethnic statehood, ethnic cleansing, and systematic racial discrimination continues in this country. This represents a major obstacle to the establishment of lasting peace.
The Western Azerbaijan Community calls on the Government of Armenia to immediately start negotiations with the Community within the framework of a relevant international process so that the Azerbaijanis it expelled from Armenia can return to their homeland peacefully, in safety, and dignity," the statement reads.