Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry holds briefing for diplomatic corps on latest situation in the region (UPDATED)

On 20 September 2023, a briefing for the diplomatic corps accredited in Azerbaijan was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with participation of Assistant to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan-Head of the Department of Foreign Policy Affairs of the Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev, Representative of the President of Azerbaijan on special assignments Elchin Amirbayov and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Fariz Rzayev.

During the briefing the following main points were highlighted:

On September 19 Armenian armed forces illegally stationed in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan conducted a number of large-scale military provocations and terror attacks.

As a result of the explosion of landmines planted by Armenian reconnaissance-sabotage groups on the Ahmadbayli-Fuzuli-Shusha road for the purpose of inflicting terror, civilians and servicemen of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were killed and wounded. Furthermore, units of Azerbaijan Army came under fire from mortars and small arms. As a result, two servicemen of Azerbaijan Army were injured.

On September 19, as a result of a further terrorist attack by the Armenian armed forces illegally stationed in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, two civilian workers were killed in the cities of Aghdam and Shusha, respectively.

Fortification of the positions and units being brought to the high combat readiness level by the Armenian armed forces was detected by the units of Azerbaijan Army.

In light of the listed factors, local counter-terrorism measures were launched to prevent possible large-scale provocations by the Armenian armed forces illegally stationed in the Karabakh economic region, to ensure implementation of the Trilateral Statement provisions, including the disarmament and withdrawal of units of the armed forces of Armenia from the territories of Azerbaijan, neutralization of their military infrastructure, and to provide the safety of civilian population, the personnel involved in the reconstruction work in the area, and to restore the constitutional order of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Within the measures taken, the positions of the formations of the armed forces of Armenia in the front lines and rear areas, military equipment and facilities were incapacitated using high-precision weapon systems.

The counter-terrorism measures targeted exclusively illegal military formations and military infrastructure. The civilian population and facilities have never been attacked. Any claim in this regard is groundless and unacceptable.

Taking into consideration the deployment of military infrastructure of the units of Armenian armed forces near the residential areas, Azerbaijan urged the civilian population to stay away from military facilities. Armenian residents living in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan were provided with relevant information via mobile SMS service, loudspeakers and information leaflets.

The protection and security of administrative, social, educational, medical, religious, and other facilities was ensured in line with laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan and international humanitarian law.

In order to ensure the evacuation of the population from the dangerous areas, humanitarian corridors and stations were established on the Lachin road and other directions.

Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that the continuation of deployment of units of the armed forces of Armenia in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan runs contrary to the provisions of the Trilateral Statement of November 10, 2020, and thus is a serious threat to regional peace and stability.

The only way to achieve peace and stability in the region is the unconditional and complete withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and the dissolution of the illegal puppet regime.

Any military presence in the sovereign territories of Azerbaijan in violation of international law is a serious threat to regional peace and security, and Azerbaijan’s actions are aimed exclusively at disbanding these illegal forces and dissolution of the puppet regime.

Taking into account the appeal of the representatives of the Armenian residents of Karabakh region of Azerbaijan through the Russian peacekeeping contingent, an agreement was reached on complete ceasefire and the local anti-terrorist measures were halted on September 20, 2023 at 1:00 p.m.

According to the agreement, the formations of the Armenian armed forces and illegal Armenian armed groups located in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan must lay down their weapons, surrender military equipment, and withdraw from their combat positions and military posts.

The implementation of the agreement will be carried out in coordination with the Russian peacekeeping contingent.

A meeting with the representatives of Armenian residents living in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan will be held on September 21, 2023 in the city of Yevlakh, Azerbaijan, to discuss the reintegration issues in the framework of the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 

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