On July 13, when Azerbaijan initiated an attack on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and when the perspective of the expansion of those hostilities was visible, I called on the women and mothers of Azerbaijan “to urge on their country’s leadership to cease hostilities and not endanger the lives of Azerbaijani and Armenian sons.”
It was the call of the initiator of the “Women for Peace” campaign, which is aimed at uniting women against war, creating a favorable environment for the leaders of the conflicting countries to seek the settlement of the conflict at the negotiating table.
Some of the mothers of Azerbaijani soldiers responded to this call through the state-controlled Azerbaijani media and their message can be summed up in the following lines: “as a mother of a soldier, I say: fight! the Azerbaijani soldier, forward! Fight to wave our flag in Stepanakert. Soldier’s only mother is the homeland. The fight for the homeland is sacred.”
Thus, according to the state propaganda of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani mothers rejected my call to cease hostilities and move towards peace, they announced that they were sending their sons to fight and die in the holy war.
A large number of Azerbaijanis were killed in the following days.
And for several days now, the “holy war for the homeland” has expanded beyond the borders of the conflict zone.
Azerbaijanis living in Russia, in different European countries started various actions against the Armenians in order to retaliate for their fallen compatriots; first they attacked and smashed Armenian apricots, then they banned the sale of apricot in the markets which belong to them, during the protests they attacked the Armenian women, set the car of the diplomatic mission of Armenia on fire, smashed the cars and the stores of the Armenians, a group of them attacked and beat an Armenian.
Those actions found their response; of course, our compatriots had to defend themselves.
And now, the Armenians and Azerbaijanis are already fighting in capitals and cities of different countries of the world.
Today, not only the lives of the soldiers standing at the border are endangered but also the lives of any Azerbaijnani and Armenian living in Moscow, Brussels, Los Angeles and other cities.
And now the Azerbaijani mothers, the ones who were pushing their sons “for a holy war”, started to appeal to various international organizations, human rights NGOs. They urge them to intervene, give assessments and prevent what is happening in different countries.
The women who boldly rejected the call for peace and led their people to war, are currently attempting to place the responsibility for the consequences of that very war on others.
As an Armenian woman and a mother, I have to say bluntly: Armenian mothers do not fear of sending their sons to the war, moreover they do not fear of personally fighting and dying for their homeland.
Nevertheless, Armenian mothers prefer peace. I am confident, Azerbaijani mothers, sisters and daughters, too.
Finally, the Azerbaijani mothers should seek an answer to one question: does the blood of their sons flow for the homeland or for the continuity of the dictatorial authorities?
I call on Azerbaijani women and mothers to be more courageous and join the “Women for Peace” campaign to force their country’s authorities to irrevocably abandon their obsession of resolving the conflict through military means and seek a settlement around the negotiating table, in a peaceful environment.
Because the violence breeds violence.
Whereas there is no alternative to peace.
P.S. Azerbaijani women, you can deny the war and voice your word for the sake of peace. All you have to do is register on the “Women for Peace” website in the section “I support.” Your support is essential. If you are thousands, your government cannot take revenge on you, on the contrary, it will take into account your demands.