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First Vice-Speaker: Azerbaijan not to give up its position on Khojaly airport

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 20 January 2013 11:43
Azerbaijan definitely will not give up its position on the Khojaly airport, the first vice-speaker of the Milli Majlis (Parliament) Ziyafat Askerov told reporters on Sunday.
First Vice-Speaker: Azerbaijan not to give up its position on Khojaly airport

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 20 / Trend H.Valiyev /

Azerbaijan definitely will not give up its position on the Khojaly airport, the first vice-speaker of the Milli Majlis (Parliament) Ziyafat Asgarov told reporters on Sunday.

"We have repeatedly stated that, according to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and the provisions of the Law on Civil Aviation of Azerbaijan, illegal flights over the territory of Azerbaijan will be prevented", Asgarov said.

He said that any foreign aircraft flying through the airspace of Azerbaijan without the permission of the country will be shot down by air defense forces.

"This is an unambiguous solution, and we have repeatedly stated this," Asgarov said, adding that it only applies to the flights to be operated in the occupied territories.

"Today, the Armenian civilian aircrafts operate flights through the airspace of Azerbaijan. Alongside, such flights are operated by the civil aviation of Azerbaijan as well. This procedure is regulated by international laws and conventions. I repeat: we are talking about the planned flights over the occupied territory. It is necessary to distinguish between these two concepts. Flights over this area may only take place in one case - upon Azerbaijan's approval. Azerbaijan may consider the issue only after the liberation of the occupied territories," Asgarov said.

Earlier, Armenian media reported about the commissioning of the airport in Khojaly in the near future.

Commissioning the airport in Khojaly is an open violation of the Convention on International Civil Aviation [adopted on December 7, 1944 in Chicago], the Azerbaijani foreign ministry reported earlier.

In this regard, Azerbaijan will strengthen the legal level on the application of Chicago convention.

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.

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