Some MEPs must cease their actions targeting Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity: MP
It is deplorable for some members of the European Parliament to issue groundless statements against Azerbaijan while turning a blind eye to the occupation and destruction of Azerbaijan's territories for the last three decades, Azerbaijani MP Tural Ganjaliyev told News.Az.
He was commenting on the biased stance of the chair of the European Parliament delegation for relations with the South Caucasus and the standing rapporteurs on Azerbaijan and Armenia at the European Parliament.
“Even for the past three years, these same MEPs have ignored the existence of ten thousand illegal Armenian armed troops on the Azerbaijani territory, have not uttered a single word about the dire humanitarian catastrophe that we face due to the contamination with the land mines of our formerly occupied territories by Armenia. These MEPs have not even noticed Armenia's dishonest and manipulative attitude towards the post-conflict normalization process,” the lawmaker said.
MP Ganjaliyev stressed that allegations on the so-called “blockade” of the part of the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and “dire humanitarian situation” are utterly groundless and false, and are nothing other than reckless attempts to manipulate the international community. “Unfortunately, some MEPs buy it without searching for the true information.”
Contrary to the allegations raised by MEPs, the Lachin border-check point established by Azerbaijan on the international border with Armenia is a legal and legitimate act of Azerbaijan aimed at ensuring the security of its borders, said the lawmaker, adding: “This is fully in line with international law and established international practice. Abuse of humanitarian activities, including arbitrary denial of humanitarian assistance based on political considerations constitutes a blatant violation of international humanitarian law, and thus, must be rejected. In this regard, Azerbaijan resolutely condemns Armenia’s consistent efforts to abuse the issue of humanitarian assistance for its malign purposes and instrumentalize relevant international actors, most notably the ICRC.”
It is Armenia that incited the provocation against Azerbaijan after the establishment of the Lachin border checkpoint, Ganjaliyev recalled.
“The armed provocation took place at a time when the convoy of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was in the close vicinity of the border check-point carrying out a pre-planned operation of accompanying the group of Armenian residents of the Karabakh region to travel to Armenia for medical reasons. Thus, the 15 June 2023 armed attack did not only target the Azerbaijani border servicemen but also put under the danger the ICRC staff and civilians passing through the checkpoint. Yet, Armenia has not ceased its provocations and recklessly attempted to exploit ICRC-hired vehicles for smuggling of goods to supply its illegally deployed armed forces in the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan. This is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and a serious blow to humanitarian mandate and the international reputation of the ICRC,” he said.
The MP noted that Azerbaijan has offered to the ICRC to use the Aghdam-Khankendi route for its humanitarian activities and expressed its readiness to provide all necessary conditions to that end.
“The availability of the Aghdam-Khankendi route for transfer of goods to residents was reiterated by Azerbaijan at meetings with Armenia facilitated by international actors, such as the President of the European Council Charles Michel. The EU Council President in his public remarks following the meeting encouraged the use of the Aghdam-Khankendi route as an important part of ensuring that the needs of the Karabakh residents are met. Through the illegal regime in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, it is Armenia that orchestrates so-called public protests against the usage of alternative routes for the delivery of cargo and services, and recklessly, instrumentalizes the residents for its malign political agenda of ethnic and racial hatred. The Aghdam-Khankendi road is currently closed with concrete blocks by Armenia’s subordinate illegal regime not to allow cargo and vehicles, including those of the ICRC, to pass,” he said.
“Concerning the latest decision by the International Court of Justice, it unanimously rejected Armenia‘s request on July 6, 2023, essentially confirming that Armenia’s claims for the illegality of the border-check point of Azerbaijan have no ground whatsoever,” Ganjaliyev added.
The MP also called on MEPs to stop turning a blind eye to the above-mentioned facts, to cease their actions targeting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and stop interfering with Azerbaijan’s internal affairs.
Ganjaliyev emphasized that by their groundless statements, the MEPs encourage the revanchist forces in Armenia and damage the overall fragile situation in the region.
“Instead they must focus more on contributing to normalizing inter-state relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan based on mutual recognition of and respect for each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and inviolability of borders,” he concluded.