Baku says it’s important to avoid abusing ICRC mandate for political purposes

It is important to comply with the humanitarian mandate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and refrain from the abuse of this mandate for political purposes, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The Foreign Ministry commented on the statement by the ICRC of July 25 regarding the humanitarian situation in the region and the activities of the ICRC.

“As it is known, while assessing the firing at the Lachin border checkpoint on June 15, and the attempts of Armenian drivers to bring smuggled items to Azerbaijan in vehicles of the International Committee of the Red Cross as further illegal acts by Armenia against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, as well as hindering of operation of the checkpoint, we have demanded to stop such malign actions,” the ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry stated that along with preventing attempts of Armenia for illegal actions, the Azerbaijani side has continued important cooperation with the ICRC.

“Following the discussions held by Azerbaijan with the ICRC, conditions were created within necessary regulations for the continuation of the passage of Armenian residents through the border checkpoint for medical purposes by the ICRC, and dozens of Armenian residents passed through the checkpoint in both directions on a daily basis,” said the ministry.

“Moreover, assistance was offered by Azerbaijan for transportation and delivery of larger quantities of medicine and cargo using the "Aghdam-Khankendi" road. Unfortunately, however, the Armenian side adamantly refuses this offer.

Furthermore, the visit of the ICRC medical personnel to the area to further assist in the passage of Armenian residents through the border checkpoint with the facilitation of ICRC was also regrettably refused on-site despite the previous agreements,” the ministry added.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry emphasized that the opposition of the Armenian side to the steps taken by Azerbaijan, as well as its intention to assist, including the proposals to use the "Aghdam-Khankendi" and other alternative roads as mentioned in the ICRC statement, once again proves that the claims of "tense humanitarian situation" in the region are a means of political manipulation and pressure.


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