Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug. 7 / Trend /
Azerbaijan has banned the use of the airspace of Nagorno-Karabakh occupied by Armenia, since no one can guarantee flight safety in the area, the head of the Azerbaijani Civil Aviation Administration, Arif Mammadov, told the New Azerbaijan party's official website.
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.
"Therefore we, in accordance with international rules of air navigation, declared air space closed. Our decision has been accepted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). If Armenians illegally invade the air space of Azerbaijan, it will mean that they violate international norms," the administration head said.
The equipment for the airport in Khankendi was obtained from the French company Thales fraudulently. The Azerbaijani side has sent appeal to the ICAO, in which it indicated that this equipment could fall into terrorist hands. The international organization fully supports the position of Azerbaijan, Mammadov said.
In his response letter ICAO head said that in case of violation of its airspace Azerbaijan may compel the offender to make a landing at any other airport, without causing harm to civilians and civilian aircraft. The right to take any decision belongs to the state, Mammadov said.
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.