Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry: Armenian President is exacerbating an already difficult situation
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 16 / Trend, S. Aghayeva /
Controversial and aggressive statements made by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan suggest that Armenian leadership has no vision for the future, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Elman Abdullayev said at a news briefing on Tuesday, commenting on a negative speech by President Sargsyan against Azerbaijan on January 15 in Yerevan.
"It seems that the Armenian president is exacerbating an already difficult situation for the satisfaction of his own selfish purposes, and for the approval of certain interested parties both inside and outside of Armenia", Abdullayev said.
Abdullayev said that despite Sargsyan's efforts aimed at creating a visible deepening of hostility between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the pragmatic and far-sighted strategy of Azerbaijan will serve as a formidable counterweight to such action.
"Azerbaijan has always been and will be a center of tolerance and peaceful co-existence between different nations, regardless of religion. Currently, our country is home to 30,000 Armenians," Abdullayev said.
According to him, Sargsyan seemingly uses aggressive rhetoric in order to inflict even more damage to the region's development.
Sargsyan's contradictory statements reflect his true intentions, Abdullayev said.
"Trying to play itself as an innocent victim, Armenia continues to flagrantly violate international law. Armenia is an aggressor and the international community has recognized it as one, its expansion and occupation of Azeri lands have no legal basis", Abdullayev said.
Armenia is fully responsible for the continuation of the situation since Azerbaijan is presenting a clear hypothesis which states that the withdrawal of Armenian troops will create conditions for progress in the peace process, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry 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.