OSCE: Commissioning airport in Khankendi would harm negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia
Azerbaijan, Barda, Oct. 10 / Trend S. Jaliloglu /
Commissioning the new airport in Khankendi without mutual agreement of the parties will harm the negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, special representative of the OSCE chairperson Andrzej Kasprzyk said today.
"The land on which the airport Khankendi is located is Azerbaijan's sovereign territory," he told media. "Therefore, in this respect much depends on Azerbaijan's position. Commissioning the airport without mutual consent will not improve the situation."
Earlier, Armenian media reported the commissioning of the airport in Khankendi.
The action towards the commissioning of Khojaly airport in Nagorno-Karabakh is dangerous. It violates international law and harms the peaceful settlement of the conflict.
Earlier, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry urged all international companies operating in Khojaly airport to immediately stop their illegal activities in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
"Otherwise, the Azerbaijani side will take the appropriate steps," Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev said earlier.
Commissioning the airport in Khankendi is an open violation of the Convention on International Civil Aviation.
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 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.