Azerbaijani Ambassador to Mexico Mammad Talibov. Pulse News Mexico photo/Thérèse Margolis

By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS

Azerbaijani Ambassador to Mexico Mammad Talibov hosted a lavish diplomatic reception and buffet luncheon at Mexico City’s Hotel Presidente Intercontinental on Monday, Nov. 7, to mark the second anniversary of his nation’s liberation from 27 years of Armenian occupation.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome all of you to this celebration that commemorates the second anniversary of our Victory Day, which followed after a 44-day Patriotic War,” Talibov told his guests in a brief speech.

“Two years ago, under the leadership of (Azerbaijani) President Ilham Aliyev and in full compliance with four separate UN Security Council resolutions, those very same children who were expelled from that homes by the Armenian invasion in the 1990s became national heroes by liberating their homelands during the Patriotic War.”

Talibov went on to say that both for his people and for those throughout the world who have supported the Caucasian nation, the event was not only an occasion for celebration and pride, but also an opportunity to give thanks and pay homage to those Azeris who sacrificed their lives to regain their country’s territorial integrity.

He then asked all present to observe a minute of silence in their memory.

In 1991, Armenian troops invaded the Azerbaijani territorial enclave of Nargorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts, occupying a full 20 percent of the independent republic and forcefully expelling more than 1 million Azeri farmers and their families from their homes in a vicious attempt at ethnic cleansing and an unlawful landgrab of brute force.

Talibov pointed out that the barbarous Khojaly Massacre has been emphatically condemned by nations around the world, including Mexico.

He added that, in an attempt to erase any trace of indigenous Azerbiajani culture, the occupying Armenians tore down and vandalized countless Muslim temples and monuments, as well as razing entire towns to the ground, noting that his government has been working diligently for the last two years to reconstruct and restore the liberated region’s cultural and ethnic heritage, while at the same time building new airports, highways, railways, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure projects to revitalize the economy of the Karabakh region.

“Azerbaijan is a nation that is committed to peace and lasting regional stability,” Talibov said. “We are a people who have lived firsthand the consequences of war, and, for that reason, are willing to do whatever it takes to not repeat those difficult times.”

The ambassador said that, in this spirit, Baku is willing to sign a permanent peace treaty with Armenia that would embark five fundamental principles of mutual respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“Azerbaijan knows that the only path to regional progress is peace,” he said.

But for that to happen, Talibov said that Armenia “must abandon its aggressive policies and territorial demands” and accept the UN resolutions and international law.

“Azerbaijan is convinced of the importance of working toward conciliation not only for the sake of regional stability, but also as a beacon of peace through dialogue in a turbulent world,” he said.

Last month, Talibov said, the president of Azerbaijan and the prime minister of Armenia, with the diplomatic participation of France and the European Union, signed a tentative declaration of mutual territorial respect, setting a framework for a more substantial and broader accord.

“Today, we celebrate with each and every one of you our Victory Day … and the prospect that Azerbaijan and the Caucasus region will enjoy a new dynamic that will offer the opportunity of a lasting peace that will benefit all the countries in the region,” Talibov concluded.

“In this oh-so-turbulent age around the globe, and considering the terrible trials of war that Azerbaijan endured for decades, I want to say: Long live peace!”

In addition to a buffet of traditional Azerbaijani cuisine, guests enjoyed a photo exhibition of Shusha, Azerbaijan’s ancient cultural capital, which was liberated during the Patriotic War.

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