Baku, Azerbaijan, May 17
Azerbaijan agreed to participate at the Vienna presidential meeting in order to start serious negotiations aimed at changing unacceptable and extremely fragile status quo in the zone of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Elchin Amirbayov, Azerbaijan's ambassador to France.
He made the remarks during his interview with France 24 TV channel.
Armenia must finally understand that it can no longer, without consequences, continue the illegal and internationally condemned occupation of our historical lands, including Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan's seven other regions, said Amirbayov.
The ambassador added that even today Armenia continues to constantly break the ceasefire agreement, which was achieved on April 5 in Moscow with Russia's mediation by the Armenian and Azerbaijani chiefs of general staffs, picking civilian population of Azerbaijan on the front line as target.
On the night of April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers. The armed clashes resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-attack, which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements.
Military operations were stopped on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian armies on Apr. 5 at 12:00 (UTC/GMT + 4 hours) with the consent of the sides, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry earlier said. Ignoring the agreement, the Armenian side again started violating the ceasefire.
"We believe that the international mediators will exert the necessary pressure on Armenia in order to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of full-fledged negotiations, the first phase of which should be the beginning of the occupation forces' withdrawal from Azerbaijan's occupied territories," noted Amirbayov.
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
Edited by SI