Irina Berchiyan in Baku. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the Caucasian Knot.

14 March 2018, 00:10

Armenian woman's visit to Baku highlights discrimination of parties to Karabakh conflict (+video)

Irina Berchiyan has managed to visit her native Baku for the first time in 30 years. The woman joined the "Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform", an organization supporting the settlement of the Karabakh conflict on the Azerbaijani conditions.

In 1989, Irina Berchiyan together with her family members left Azerbaijan because of the beginning of the Karabakh conflict. The Berchiyan family lived for several years in Russia and three years in Armenia. Then, they settled in the Stavropol Territory.

In the period of 1988-1992, about 360,000 Armenians had to leave Azerbaijan. Of them, about 2300 people were not granted Armenian citizenship. Their return to their homeland, even for a short visit, is usually accompanied with difficulties in crossing the border.

According to the official data of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), for the first half of 2017, 25 Russian citizens with Armenian surnames were denied entry to Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani MFA explained that "certain security measures" had been introduced for Russian citizens of Armenian origin in order to avoid possible provocations.

Irina Berchiyan succeeded in visiting Baku after she had learned about the creation of the "Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform" and supported the initiative. According to Irina, she lived for almost 30 years with memories of her native city. On March 4, the woman arrived in Baku and noted that over the past time the city had become even more beautiful.

Irina Berchiyan shares the opinion that the Karabakh conflict arose because of the involvement of some "external forces" that sowed enmity between the two nations. The woman emphasizes she has supported the "Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform", since she wants "both nations live in friendship, avoiding war and enmity."

"I really hope I will be able to contribute to settlement of our conflicts through friendly negotiations, so that eventually we all live well in peace as neighbours should live," Irina Berchiyan told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Source: CK correspondent

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