Baku. 14 July. REPORT.AZ/ The Armenian Oksana Altunyan, who joined the Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform, visited the city of Baku. Oksana Altunyan was born and lived in Baku until 1987 when she left to Moscow because of family issues. However due to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia around Nagorno-Karabakh, she did not have the opportunity to return to her hometown.
Report was informed in the platform's press service.
Arriving in Baku, Oksana Altunyan visited the Alley of Honor, where she honored the memory of Former President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev and cultural and art figures whose work left an indelible mark on the formation of her personality - Rashid Behbutov and Muslim Magomayev. Then she talked with neighbors, with whom she did not meet from the starting of war.
During she walked around the city, Oksana visited her own street, her the school, which she had finished, met with the neighbors of the house, where she used to live with her family. She shared her memories of good-neighborly and friendly relations between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Baku, the story of the salvation of her family members by Azerbaijani neighbors during the conflict. She underlined that for ordinary people affected by the conflict and far from politics, the opportunity to visit their native lands is the most necessary and important thing.
Oksana Altunyan also has visited the office of “Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform” where she met with experts and supporters of the Peace Platform. At the meeting were the chairperson of the Public Association for Humanitarian Studies, conflictolog Avaz Hasanov, Dilara Efendiyeva – the chairperson of the Center of Women Peace and Security at the Society for Protection of Women Rights named after D.Aliyeva, co-coordinators of “Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform” Suzan Jaghinyan and Orkhan Nabiyev.
Oksana Altunyan expressed her confidence that peace between the two neighboring countries is possible and inevitable, but this requires additional efforts to restore confidence and stressed the special role and mission in this process of the Peace Platform between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which created prerequisites for further peacekeeping initiatives.
Then conflictolog Avaz Hasanov expressed the importance of the strengthen of the peace-building processes between two nations regarding of the last tragical occasions that started from ruining of the Kazan process and showed itself brightly last year in April. Avaz Hasanov also said that the conflict between our countries has assumed a protracted character precisely because of insufficient attention to civil initiatives, and shared his experience of peacekeeping activities and his own contribution to the conflict resolution processes, spoke about the moods in both societies in the aftermath of the April 2016 events and again underlined need to strengthen peacekeeping contacts and expressed confidence that "Participation in the peace process of such pleasant and optimistic people would serve as a speedy restoration of trust between our peoples”.
Dilara Efendiyeva spoke about the experience of local and international peacekeeping initiatives and expressed the importance of communication between the representatives of the two peoples at all levels, as this strengthens confidence and promotes the normalization of relations between the conflicting countries.
Co-coordinator of “Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform” Orkhan Nabiyev said that there is social challenge for peace in the society of the two countries - no one wants his loved ones to die on the front line. Such peacekeeping projects contribute to the strengthening of this social challenge. Therefore, it is necessary that the authorities of the conflicting sides and the Minsk Group of OSCE will pay more attention to these social challenges strengthening the negotiation process on the peaceful settlement of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan around the Nagorno-Karabakh process, within the framework of recognized norms and principles of internation law.
In the next day with the members of the Peace Platform, Orkhan Nabiyev and Dilyara Efendiyeva, Oksana Altunyan visited the graves of two-year-old Zahra Guliyeva and her grandmother - Sahiba Guliyeva who died in the firing from mortars and heavy artillery of the village of Alkhanly of Fuzuli region. Oksana Altunyan expressed condolences to the relatives and friends of the dead and condemned the aggression against civil population living close to the front line. Oksana urged all the sensible forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan to unite their efforts to restore peace and good-neighborliness: "We must stop this brutality, this meat grinder in the front zone. As an ordinary representative of the people, I want peace between the two peoples. To do this, the leadership of both countries must cease hostilities and sit down at the negotiating table."
Oksana Altunyan also visited the Armenian Church, got acquainted with the unique and rare copies of books, collections of scores and music, manuscripts stored there and thanked the library staff for their efforts to preserve unique samples of Armenian literature and culture.
Oksana Altunyan told about the feelings she experienced, having received an invitation to visit Baku. However, even greater feelings in her evoked the changed face of the city, and the cordiality with which it was accepted. She expressed her admiration for the new image of Baku, the progressive changes that took place in the city, which she continues to regard as her own, in the intervening time.
She expressed her gratitude to the members of the World Platform for organizing her visit to her hometown.