The Hill: A delicious way to peace in the Caucasus

Baku, May 8, AZERTAC

US-based The Hill newspaper has published an article titled “Green apples A delicious way to peace in the Caucasus”.

The article says: “Armenians eat many of those apples. The popularity of Azerbaijani apples in Armenia is causing the Armenian government to set up barricades to confiscate the illicit fruit. In recent weeks many Armenians have bought Azerbaijani green apples despite a technical “state of war” between the two countries.”

“The problem is that market forces are overcoming political forces; Armenians are fond of Azerbaijani apples, maybe even some of those I saw in orchards north of Baku.”

“When they buy Azerbaijani apples they intentionally submerge decades of anti-Azerbaijani feelings and hostility following a bloody war between the two South Central Caucasus nations in the early 1990’s that resulted in the occupation of around 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory and expulsion of over 800,000 Azerbaijanis from those lands by Armenia,” the article says.

“The apples are clearly labeled by stickers of Azerbaijan’s largest produce exporter “DAD” which means “taste.” The Azerbaijani apples are sold everywhere in Armenia including in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital.

The Armenian government has indeed become extremely concerned over “Applegate.” It is flooding cities and towns with government agents charged with confiscating Azerbaijan apples and detecting how they arrived on Armenia’s grocery shelves.

This Armenian crisis has been covered by Armenian news outlets. Joining them are press releases from the official Food Safety Service of the Republic of Armenia, the government agency tasked with hunting down illicit Azerbaijani apples.

How the apples entered the country and Armenian retail fruit markets are the biggest questions they have. That, of course, and why weren’t import duties paid on the fruit.

According to article, Eurasianet.org – where, Georgian writer Giorgi Lomsadze writes the“Tamada Tales, a daily feast of news from the South Caucasus,” brought the news of the “apple invasion” of Armenia to the English-speaking world as a non-Armenian outlet. The Armenian sources hid behind Armenian-language-only reports.

Driving north from super-lively Baku, agricultural Azerbaijan contrasts with the pulsating capital like day and night. Orchards, apple orchards, on both sides of the highway bear lots of yellow and light green-colored apples.

Trucks and railroads move tons of fruits and vegetables from Azerbaijan to oil/natural gas partner/customer Georgia. From there just how easy is it for Azerbaijani apples to be loaded on trucks traveling from Georgia’s capital Tbilisi south to its open border with Armenia.

This incident must irritate Armenian die-hards who refuse to settle the 25-year-long conflict it has with Azerbaijan.

That conflict is highlighted by control of 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory while Azerbaijan apples are sold openly in Armenian markets. An incident with Azerbaijan garlic six years ago took many Armenian resources to resolve. Apples are far more numerous and popular than garlic.” The article concludes.

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