Armenia must recognize new reality outside Minsk Group - Azerbaijan's rep OSCE

Azerbaijan has repeatedly provided evidence of the illegal use of the Lachin-Khankendi road by Armenia, Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the OSCE Rovshan Sadigbayli said at a special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in response to the speech of Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, reports.

"Of particular concern is that the Lachin road is being misused by Armenia not only for illegal military activities, but also for looting of natural resources from the territories of Azerbaijan to Armenia. Over the past decades, Azerbaijan presented irrefutable evidence attesting to the direct involvement of Armenia in unlawful economic and other activities in the formerly occupied territories of Azerbaijan for its own economic gain in flagrant violation of international law. It is continuation of this deplorable practice accompanied with environmental damage and denial of access of the relevant Azerbaijani authorities to the mineral deposits to conduct on-site monitoring, environmental assessment, cadastral accounting of property and natural resources inventory, which caused justified indignation of the public in Azerbaijan and let to peaceful protests continuing to date," Sadigbayli said.

He stressed that Armenia has not fully withdrawn its armed forces from the territories of Azerbaijan, as stipulated in the November 10 trilateral statement, and continues a variety of military activities within the territories of Azerbaijan.

"Armenia still refuses to return to Azerbaijan eight enclave villages along the border that the Armenian forces occupied in the 1990s. Illegal military build-up, rotation of Armenia's armed forces and illegal armed formations, illegal transfer of weapons and personnel to the territory of Azerbaijan through the Lachin road is a blatant violation of the trilateral statement, which envisaged the use of this road for humanitarian purposes only for the movement of citizens, vehicles and goods," he noted.

Sadigbayli pointed out that transfer via the Lachin-Khankendi road and setting up mines on Azerbaijan's land, after the signing of the trilateral statement in November 2020, is one of the major threats to the large-scale restoration and reconstruction work carried out in the post-conflict period and to the civilian population.

"Since August 2022, some 2728 antipersonnel landmines produced in Armenia in 2021 have been found in the territories of Azerbaijan," he added.

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