October 20, 2020

KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:

A Pro-Western Azerbaijan Deserves American Support (JASON EPSTEIN AND IRINA TSUKERMAN,  10/20/20, Newsweek)

One of us is a human rights attorney stridently opposed to Turkish foreign policy in the Eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere; the other is a public affairs consultant who strongly believes Turkey is a key pillar in America's ongoing efforts to roll back the Iranian regime's aggressive behavior.

However, we unite in our support of Sunni-majority Turkey's Shi'a ally, Azerbaijan, an unabashedly pro-Western country, as it is unfairly smeared in certain political, diplomatic and media circles for having the audacity to defend itself in the latest round of bloody fighting with its neighbor, Armenia.

Both nations reside in the South Caucasus region, which borders Iran, and had declared their independence from the imploding Soviet Union in 1991. The Soviets had a policy of instigating and backing sectarian tensions, and a Kremlin-backed Armenian invasion of Azerbaijan immediately followed, resulting in the capture of some 20 percent of the latter's territory (the Karabakh region and seven adjacent territories) and ethnic cleansing of the region. Nearly one million Azeris became internally displaced persons. The Khojaly massacre in February 1992, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Azeri civilians, is all but forgotten, as is the historic context for the conflict we have witnessed ever since.

We should be strengthening the Shi'a Crescent everywhere.

Posted by at October 20, 2020 12:00 AM

  

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