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In response to Armenia's numerous evidences, Azerbaijan has made desperate attempts to create a false sense of equality between the parties, and filed a lawsuit against Armenia. Yeghishe Kirakosyan, representative of Armenia for international legal affairs, stated this at Tuesday’s verbal hearing on the Armenia vs. Azerbaijan lawsuit at the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The difficulty for Azerbaijan is that it does not have videos of racial atrocities to support its claims, or the ability to quote statements made by Armenian government officials. Azerbaijan revived the historical grievances of three decades, which are clearly outside the temporal scope of the ICJ's jurisdiction. Yesterday, Azerbaijan made a false claim, presented the Armenian national ideology of the beginning of the 20th century as racist; this has nothing in common with the realities of today's political arena in Armenia. Azerbaijan has also made improbable claims about environmental damage, which have nothing to do with racial discrimination. Azerbaijan is already trying for the third time to convince the ICJ that its claims regarding landmines fit within the scope of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Kirakosyan noted.

According to him, the vast majority of Azerbaijan's claims are absolutely outside the jurisdiction of the ICJ. However, Azerbaijan is trying to blame the other party with the same strategy and present the same claims with a mirror reflection. Undoubtedly, Azerbaijan knows about the jurisdictional problems of its lawsuit against Armenia, and now it is desperately trying to convince the ICJ that Armenia's lawsuit will also face jurisdictional obstacles. Azerbaijan simply hopes that one group of objections will cancel the objections of the other. This is a cynical strategy that is used because there are no other options, Kirakosyan said.

Referring to Azerbaijan's claim that it was making progress in the negotiations at that time, Kirakosyan said that at that time it was opening a park of “military trophy” and mocking ethnic Armenians with racist memes. In this context, even one year of negotiations was too long. Armenia negotiated with Azerbaijan in good faith and engaged in discussions that were more than futile. Armenia has satisfied the letter and spirit of the requirement of Article 22, and Azerbaijan's first objection in this regard is subject to absolute rejection, Kirakosyan noted.

He stressed that Azerbaijan's second objection is also baseless. Being able to argue that the vast majority of Armenia's claims are outside the scope of the ICJ's jurisdiction, Azerbaijan is trying to convince the court that some of Armenia's claims and demands, which are related to violence, detentions and enforced disappearances, have nothing in common with the aforesaid convention, and Azerbaijan has based itself on at least two fictitious arguments. First, it tells the court that Armenia simply does not have enough evidence of a racism, Azerbaijan claims that Armenia must prove that each case of violence, detention, and disappearance was sufficiently racist, and to do this, it is not enough that Armenia needs to show an environment of hate speech, or the most extreme atrocities or the racist words of abusers are not enough. According to Azerbaijan, Armenia must prove that there is something else, which is more than that, Kirakosyan noted.

Another fictitious argument by Azerbaijan is that Armenia's lawsuit does not fit within the framework of the aforementioned convention. From Azerbaijan's point of view, Armenia is unnecessarily trying to resolve the armed conflict between two warring countries through the court. Armenia's demand is not limited to the 44-day war of 2020. Using Azerbaijan's metaphor, the war was only the tip of the iceberg, and it was the iceberg of decades of racist policies and practices by Azerbaijan. The existence of an armed conflict does not exclude the operation of the aforesaid convention. History has shown that the most extreme manifestations of racial discrimination, including persecution, ethnic cleansing and genocide, occur more often in the context of armed conflict, Yeghishe Kirakosyan said.

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