Azerbaijani FM sends letters to leading states, int’l organizations

Azerbaijani FM sends letters to leading states, int’l organizations

Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 4

Trend:

Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov sent letters Apr. 4 to leading states and international organizations over the situation along the contact line of Armenian and Azerbaijani armies.

The letters were directed to the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries, OSCE chairperson-in-office and the three countries permanently chairing that organization, as well as the secretary generals of the UN, OIC and NATO, and the EU's high commissioner, said Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.

The letters contain information about the facts of ceasefire violation by Armenia on Apr. 2, during which several civilians in frontline areas were killed.

"In order to ensure the security of civilians within the internationally recognized borders, Azerbaijani armed forces took necessary measures to stop the Armenian provocations," according to the letters.

It was also said in the letters that the main reason of the ceasefire violation and escalation of the situation is the presence of Armenian armed forces in Azerbaijan's occupied territories.

"The resolutions of the UN Security Council confirm that the Nagorno-Karabakh region is Azerbaijan's integral part and demand the unconditional and immediate withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied lands," read the letters.

"Armenia should stop deceiving its people and international community, put an end to the occupation policy, withdraw its troops from Azerbaijan's occupied territories, constructively participate in the negotiation process and fulfill its international obligations," the letters said.

On the night of Apr. 2, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from Armenians, who were using large-caliber weapons, mortars, grenade launchers and guns. Azerbaijani settlements near the frontline densely populated by civilians were shelled as well.

A counter-attack was carried out following the provocations of the Armenian armed forces on the night of Apr. 2.

Six Armenian tanks, 15 gun mounts and reinforced engineering structures were destroyed and more than 100 servicemen of the Armenian armed forces were wounded and killed during the shootouts.

Twelve servicemen of the Azerbaijani armed forces heroically died, one Mi-24 helicopter was shot down and one tank was damaged on a mine.

Three more soldiers of Azerbaijan were killed during the past day and night as a result of the ceasefire violation.

On Apr. 4, Azerbaijani armed forces destroyed three tanks and eliminated around 30 servicemen of the Armenian armed forces.

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 withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

Edited by EA

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