Azerbaijan says ‘neutral territories’ expression by mediators unacceptable
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 20
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
Using the "neutral territory" expression by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in their statement is unacceptable, the acting head of the press service of Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry, Hikmet Hajiyev told Trend Nov. 20.
"The destruction of the Armenian armed forces' military helicopter took place on the territory of Azerbaijan's Aghdam district occupied by Armenia," Hajiyev said.
He noted that the occupation of the Aghdam district of Azerbaijan was condemned in the special UN Security Council Resolution 853, which supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and demands unconditional and complete withdrawal of the occupying forces from Azerbaijan's occupied territories, stressing the unacceptability of attempts to change by force the internationally recognized borders.
Earlier on Nov. 12, an Armenian Mi-24 military helicopter flying 1,700 meters northeast of the Kengerli village of Azerbaijan's Aghdam district attacked the Azerbaijani army positions.
The Azerbaijani side shot down the helicopter.
The OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs Igor Popov (Russia), James Warlick (US) and Pierre Andrieu (France) expressed concern over the lack of humanitarian access to the wreckage of the downed military helicopter, according to a message from the OSCE.
The message said the helicopter's wreckage is in a mined area on neutral territory of the contact line between the Armenian and Azerbaijani troops.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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