Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 21 / Trend, S. Agayeva /
The Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers' new rules on air traffic regulation rules are based on international law and the Chicago Convention, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Elman Abdullayev said at a briefing on Monday.
He was commenting on Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan's negative speech in Yerevan on January 15 about Azerbaijan.
"All countries have exclusive rights to and full sovereignty over their airspace according to the first paragraph of the Chicago Convention," Abdullayev said.
Abdullayev said that the ninth article of the Convention reflects the right to sovereignty. According to it, the country has the right to close its airspace if necessary.
"Using its sovereign rights, in 1993, Azerbaijan closed its airspace over the occupied territories," he said. "This means that all the member-states of the Convention are obliged to respect Azerbaijan's right."
Commissioning the airport in Khojaly is an open violation of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (signed in Chicago on Dec. 7, 1944), the Azerbaijani foreign ministry reported earlier.
In this regard, Azerbaijan will strengthen the work in the legal sphere of using the Chicago Convention
Azerbaijan has banned the use of the airspace of Nagorno-Karabakh occupied by Armenia, as no one can guarantee a safe air corridor in the area, the head of the Azerbaijani Civil Aviation Administration, Arif Mammadov said earlier.
He said Armenia's steps directed towards use of Khojaly airport are attempts to violate international legal norms. That air space belongs to Azerbaijan, therefore 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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