On peculiarities of the Azerbaijani-Palestinian relations

As approved by the UN, on November 29, the world marks the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

November 29 – International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People established by the UN.

Traditionally, there are no official events or statements on that day in Azerbaijan, despite the fact that Palestine is represented in Azerbaijan by an “ambassador without an embassy” Nasser Abdul Kareem.

In 2013, during his interview with 1news.az, he admitted that until the first official visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov to Palestine in April 2013, relations between Palestine and Azerbaijan “were not as good as they are today”. Why?

Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Palestine and the right of the people to establish their own state. The response of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was his demonstrative support of Armenians, who occupied Azerbaijani territories. Yasser Arafat has visited the Soviet Armenia twice.

The late Rais has always considered himself a friend of the Armenian people… “Israel wanted to control the Armenian quarter of Jerusalem, and I told them that I would never betray Armenians. We and the Armenians are one people”, – Yasser Arafat said in one of his interviews. The founder of the Palestine Liberation Organization has never hidden his sympathy for the Armenians, wrote the Yerevan information resource “Panarmenian”.

After the death of Arafat, in 2005, Mahmoud Abbas became the leader of the Palestinians. While living in Syria and studying in Damascus, young Abbas collaborated with local Armenian organizations, met with the leaders of the Armenian community in Lebanon, as well as with the spiritual leaders of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia.

Abbas also was surrounded by Armenians during his studies in Moscow. He finds it natural to draw the analogies between the Holocaust of the Jews and the “Armenian genocide”.  Armenians hope that Mahmoud Abbas will initiate the consideration of the recognition of the so-called “Armenian genocide” in the future parliament of an independent Palestinian state.

Meanwhile, in recent years, pronounced pro-Azerbaijani trends are becoming apparent in Abass’ policy, despite the fact that Baku considers the friendly relations with Israel to be important.

The Palestinian government did not recognize the so-called “parliamentary elections” in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh in May 2015 and “fully supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan”, as stated by the Palestinian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Nasser Abdul Kareem.

“The State of Palestine does not recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, and, therefore, does not recognize the elections held there. Palestine has repeatedly expressed its position on this issue. Nagorno-Karabakh is the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

We continue to support Azerbaijan in an effort to urge Armenia to implement the UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the occupied territories”, – said the ambassador. He recalled that Palestine, in support of Azerbaijan, has no diplomatic relations with Armenia.

Palestinian leaders are pursuing the same policy towards Azerbaijan as the other Arab countries, leaning towards the one which is stronger and more useful for them. Azerbaijan, in its long-standing confrontation with Armenia, seems more preferable to the Arabs. In 2011, Abbas was on an official visit to Azerbaijan and inaugurated the building of the Palestinian state’s embassy in Azerbaijan.

But there is no telling how the Palestinians will behave on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, if the international position of Yerevan will strengthen. At least, the opening of the Palestinian Embassy in Yerevan is not yet on the table, despite rumors spread by Armenian media.

Bey Turan

Source: Radio “Liberty”  

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