Address of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev to the Azerbaijani people on the occasion of the genocide committed against the Azerbaijanis on March 31 - March 27, 2002

Dear compatriots!

The thirty first of March in the present period of our history is commemorated with grief and sadness by our people all over the world. Since 1998, March 31 is commemorated as the day of the genocide of the Azerbaijani people, and the attention of the world community is focused on it.

The aim of this genocide policy conducted by the aggressive Armenian nationalists nearly 200 year was to drive out the Azerbaijanis from their ownlands and establish an Armenian state with the support of their foreign protectors. To realize this hateful idea they implemented into military, ideological and organizational activities, and made efforts turn to them into reality. The long history of our people was distorted; but the Armenian history was antiquated and exaggerated. The Azerbaijanis were driven out from their homelands gradually, the Armenians from foreign countries were settled here. The Azerbaijany homonyms Armeninzed. The genocide policy conducted for decades were accompanied by total ideological aggression, terrors against the Azerbaijani and Turkish people, and their prominent persons. This policy conducted by more subtle and dangerous methods in the period of the Tsarist Russia and Soviet Union, the Azerbaijanis were deported in mass numbers.

As reminding chronology of the genocide, the cruelties', criminals' scale and methodology one can not hide his anger and surprise. At a result of the war between Russia and Iran our territories was shared between them, the Armenians were settled in our lands. The massacre of 1905 and 1918 with the support of the Tsarist Russia and Bolsheviks our lands given to them in 1920, deportation of the Azerbaijanis in 1948-53 by the order Soviet government, all these plans were carried out as a part of a special scenery. After it, at the end of 1980 the nationalists of the Nagorno Karabagh separatists, rebels instigated by Armenia and the administration of the Soviet Union led to at large scale war later, as a result nearly one billion Azerbaijanis became refuges , 20 per cent of the Azerbaijani territory was occupied by the Armenians. All these are a few examples of the Armenian chauvinism and their protectors living with the illusion of 'Great Armenia'.

Even today their policy of deportation, genocide and aggression has not lost its intensiveness and not weakened.

On the contrary, their propaganda and calumny campaign has intensified. The Armenian chauvinist nationalities today continue to introduce themselves as'' a miserable and oppressed '' nation benefiting from their lobbies and communities abroad, do their best to distort the real facts about the genocide, tries to make the world public reconcile with this invasion.

The policy of genocide and deportation has inflicted great damage on our country from economic, political, materialized spiritual point of view. As a result of this aggression policy going on about 200 years our historical lands have been captured by the aggressive forces, thousands of our people have been killed with special cruelty and of many thousands have become refuges, our matchless cultural monuments have been barbarously destroyed. Nearly 2 million Azerbaijanis have felt the grave consequences of this tragedy.

Though the roots of this genocide are very deep, the truth about it has been partially conveyed to the public owing to the determination of the current administration. Some steps have been taken to introduce all the realities to the world community, and expose the genocide policy of Armenia. But we should do our best. Azerbaijan, its communities abroad bear great responsibility for it. It is the duty of us and the young generation to make the world known the organizers and supporters of the genocide.

All our citizens, all the Azerbaijanis must be in solidarity occupy the same position.

These terrible acts must be estimated as a crime against mankind. All the countries of the world should disclose their position on this issue, refuse the stereotypes formed by the Armenian propaganda. This act is important for preventing the extension of such crimes, it is also our duty as citizens to fulfill to pay our tribute to the victims of genocide. We are against intensive extension of aggressive acts, and using this information for hostility purposes. At present days propaganda, hatred ideology, territorial pretensions are unacceptable for us. The feeling of hostility is not inherited the Azerbaijani people. We try to guaranty our citizens' welfare, and improve our country.

Once more we bow to the sacred memory of the victims of genocide, I and wish luck, prosperity, courage and determination on the way of solution of the national goals.