Azerbaijan, Baku, 8 October / Trend, M. Aliyev /
Attempts to commission Khankendi airport in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh seriously harm the settlement of the conflict through peaceful negotiations, said the chairman of the Coordination Council of "Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh" Orkhan Akbarov.
"National borders and airspace of Azerbaijan shall be inviolable, these boundaries can not be used without permission of Azerbaijan. Any activity carried out by Armenia in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas is illegal," - he said.
Azerbaijani state is entitled to use any mechanisms to prevent illegal flights over Azeri lands, said Akbarov.
"Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas are legitimate territories of Azerbaijan recognized by the international community. Standards of civil aviation in the matter are entirely on the Azerbaijani side", - said the Chairman of the Coordination Council of the community.
Earlier, Armenian media reported about the commissioning of the airport in Khankendi.
Commissioning of an airport in Khankendi is an open violation of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, representatives of Azerbaijani MFA noted.
Azerbaijan has banned the use of the airspace of Nagorno-Karabakh occupied by Armenia, as no one can guarantee flight safety in the area, the head of the Azerbaijani Civil Aviation Administration, Arif Mammadov said.
He said Armenia's steps directed to the operation of the airport in Khankendi are attempts to violate international legal norms. This air space belongs to Azerbaijan, so its use by Armenia is impossible.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the European Civil Aviation Conference (ICAC) also support the position of Azerbaijan on this issue.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France and the U.S. - are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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