Azerbaijan eager to reintegrate Armenians living in country territory - MFA

“We strongly reject the fully distorted statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, which refers to the interview of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev of April 18, 2023,” said Azerbaijan`s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as it commented on the April 19 anti-Azerbaijan statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, reports.

“Accusation against Azerbaijan in ethnic cleansing and assertion of Armenia to be a peaceful side, who during almost 30-years of occupation period plundered 9 cities and hundreds of villages, carried out ethnic cleansing against 1 million Azerbaijanis, deprived them of the right to return to their homes, and ignored the calls of international organizations and partners to end the occupation of Azerbaijani lands, is an example of hypocrisy and fraud.

Claims by Armenia that Azerbaijan allegedly acts on the basis of hatred is completely baseless, since Armenia, despite the international obligations and even the decision of the International Court of Justice, continues to promote racial enmity on the basis of hatred against Azerbaijan as can also be seen from the burning of the Azerbaijani flag at the European weightlifting championship, welcomes and refuses to punish the activities of persons acting on the basis of hatred, as well as ethno-nationalist groups, committed atrocities against Azerbaijani prisoners, as well as massacres.

Azerbaijan is committed to the process of reintegration of Armenian residents living in the territory of Azerbaijan. Armenia must stop interfering in this process. All rights and freedoms of every person, who wants to live in the territory of Azerbaijan while obeying its laws, are guaranteed.

As mentioned by Mr. President, it was Azerbaijan that initiated the proposal to sign a peace treaty with Armenia based on the principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty, despite its territory being under occupation for 30 years. On the contrary, Armenia not only obstructs the negotiation process with various pretexts, but also attempts to include in the peace agreement issues that are in direct conflict with the principles of international law, thereby prolonging the process. The fact that Armenia did not comment on Azerbaijan’s proposals on the peace agreement during the last 43 days is an example of this country’s lack of interest in result-oriented negotiations.

Accusation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia against Azerbaijani servicemen, who crossed into the territory of Armenia in adverse weather conditions, and were captured and subjected to inhumane violence contrary to the principles of international humanitarian law, in an alleged murder without any legal basis is against all norms and principles of law. It should be known to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia that if the guilt of a person accused of committing a crime has not been proven in accordance with the law, and if there is no valid and legally binding court judgement, then the person is considered innocent. It seems that Armenia, while talking about the rule of law, is unaware of its basic principles. Furthermore, this step of Armenia shows that it has no intention to reciprocate the confidence-building measure by Azerbaijan such as the immediate return of the Armenian soldiers who got lost and crossed the border of Azerbaijan after the end of the 30-year occupation, and this action should be strongly condemned.

If the appeals presented as a peaceful message are not accompanied by any practical steps, and, in contrast, while these misleading messages are being voiced along with the claims against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, and if Armenia refuses to withdraw its armed forces comprised of 10,000 personnel from the territories of Azerbaijan, if it does not liberate 8 villages of Azerbaijan that are still under occupation, if it continues its military and political provocations in the territories of Azerbaijan, then such messages of Armenia are baseless.

Azerbaijan, as the initiating party, is ready to sign a peace agreement with Armenia based on the principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty. For this, Armenia must give up its territorial claims against Azerbaijan and unequivocally accept Garabagh as the territory of Azerbaijan,” the ministry said.

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