Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 20 / Trend M. Aliyev /
Armenia has no legal right to open an international airport in Khankendi, the occupied territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, the first vice-speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Ziyafat Asgarov told media on Thursday.
"We have repeatedly expressed our position on this issue," he said. "Armenia has repeatedly tried to do it, but for various reasons postponed opening of the airport. But if they try to do this, they will face Azerbaijan's appropriate response."
Azerbaijan has informed the international organizations on the subject, he said.
"No one can carry out such a project without Azerbaijan's consent," Asgarov said.
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, told the New Azerbaijan party's official website earlier.
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 Armenian side is planning to open the airport in Khankendi, located in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. President Serzh Sargsyan promised to be the first passenger which will fly from Khankendi.
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.