Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 21 / Trend E. Mehdiyev /
Armenia has repeatedly voiced its intention to start exploiting the airport in Khankendi, but it always gets a measured response, director of the Centre for Strategic Studies under the Azerbaijani President Farhad Mammadov told media today.
He recalled that the International Civil Aviation Organisations directly stated that it is possible to use Azerbaijan's air space only with its consent.
"Of course, Azerbaijan will not give its consent," he added. "On the other hand, Azerbaijan strongly disagrees with the last statement of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen, in which opening the airport in Khankendi is seen as a step that could help establish trust between the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict."
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.