Azerbaijan will ensure rights of Armenian residents of its Karabakh region based on the country’s Constitution: Foreign Ministry
Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement on the latest situation in the region, News.Az reports.
“The Republic of Azerbaijan for almost 30 years has encountered with the military aggression of Armenia and occupation of its territories, mass atrocities committed against Azerbaijanis without distinction as to the elderly, women, and children, when one million Azerbaijanis turned into internally displaced persons and refugees.
Despite the fact that within the four UN Security Council Resolutions of 1993 Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity were recognized, the elimination of the occupation and the immediate withdrawal of the occupying forces from the territories of Azerbaijan were demanded, Armenia has consistently ignored all the calls, and on the contrary, further strengthened the status quo based on the occupation, intentionally destructed the historical and cultural heritage of Azerbaijani population in the occupied territories, and conducted illegal settlement policy. The Armenian leadership made provocative statements, such as “Karabakh is Armenia, and a full stop,” and threatened Azerbaijan with a “new war for the sake of new territories.”
In the 44-day Patriotic War of 2020, under the leadership of Victorious Commander-in-Chief, President Ilham Aliyev, the people of Azerbaijan won a historic victory and put an end to the occupation of the Azerbaijani lands. Despite the 30-years occupation and hardships, shortly after the Patriotic War, the Azerbaijani side proposed basic principles and a peace treaty for the normalization of relations between the two countries on the basis of mutual recognition and respect for each other's territorial integrity, sovereignty and borders. Despite the fact that the Armenian side did not respond to Azerbaijan's peace initiatives for a long period of time and after the start of negotiations between the two countries stalled the process under various pretexts, the Azerbaijani side demonstrated resolve and did not spare its good-faith efforts for advancing initiatives on peace treaty, delimitation of borders and opening of communications.
Furthermore, the authorities of Azerbaijan have taken consistent steps for establishing contacts and holding dialogue with local Armenian residents of the Karabakh region. At the initial stages, a number of contacts and dialogue with Armenian residents made a positive contribution towards the construction of the new Lachin road, the use of small Hydro Power Plants in the Lachin district, the use and management of the Sarsang water reservoir. On the other hand, the Armenian side, on the contrary, came up with an unfounded proposal such as “ensuring the rights and security of Karabakh Armenians through the Baku-Khankendi negotiations within the framework of the international mechanism,” hindered contacts between Azerbaijan and local Armenian residents, and actually continued its territorial claims against Azerbaijan under a different name.
As a result intensive laying of landmines in the territories of Azerbaijan by Armenia, the transfer to and planting of landmines produced in 2021 in Azerbaijan, in violation of the provision of the statement of 10 November 2020 on cessation of all military activities, as well as other international commitments of Armenia, and ignorant attitude by the international community to Armenia’s deliberate threat of landmines, 303 Azerbaijanis, including two journalists, have become landmine victims since November 2020.
In violation of its obligations, Armenia has not yet fully withdrawn its armed forces from the territories of Azerbaijan. On the contrary, using the Lachin road, Armenia has conducted their rotation, continued to supply them with weapons and ammunition, financed them from the state budget of Armenia, and engaged in plundering Azerbaijan’s natural resources.
Azerbaijan has installed the Lachin border checkpoint in its sovereign territories, in order to establish control over its own borders, and to prevent the illegal acts of Armenia. Notwithstanding the facilitation by Azerbaijan of the passage of Armenian residents, the personnel of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as of the Russian Peacekeeping Contingent through the checkpoint, Armenia, for the purpose of continuing its illegal acts in the territories of Azerbaijan, disseminated false claims on the “tense humanitarian situation in the region.” Moreover, Armenia committed provocations by opening fire on the Border Guard personnel on July 15, attempting smuggling, as well as dispatching the cargo vehicles to the territory of Azerbaijan on July 26 without prior agreement.
Despite the fact that the Azerbaijani side put forward a number of proposals, including the use of the “Aghdam-Khankendi” road and other alternative routes, to meet the needs of the Armenian residents, that were supported by the European Union and the ICRC, opposition by Armenian side to all the proposals, blockage of access to the territory by placing concrete barriers on alternative roads, demonstrates that Armenian claims about the humanitarian situation are nothing than a political blackmail and manipulation.
The aim of Armenia is to bring third parties to the region, expand the geography of tensions, as well as to lead the peace process to a failure point.
All the mentioned, especially the military provocations consistently committed by illegal military formations, including the recently intensified radio-electronic interference targeting civilian flights, is intolerable and unacceptable.
The responsibility for all these provocations that have occurred in recent days rests with Armenia and its leadership, which continues illegal military presence in Azerbaijan, encourages separatism and hinders reintegration efforts.
Issuing the biased statements against Azerbaijan by the countries and international partners, which turned a blind eye to the occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories for 30 years, is unacceptable. For the past three years, those countries and international organizations have ignored the presence of Armenian armed forces in the territories of Azerbaijan, and Armenia’s obstruction of opening of communications. We demand from the countries and international organizations that are deceived by Armenia’s manipulations and make biased statements to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, not to interfere in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan, and to put an end to the policy of double standards.
Azerbaijan will ensure the rights of Armenian residents living in its Karabakh region based on the country’s Constitution, and will resolutely prevent any step against its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the ministry said.